Mexico: Knights Templar allegedly improvised navy admiral ambush | GlobalPost
Dudley Althaus July 31, 2013 17:24
Mexican authorities say low-level Knights Templar gangsters murdered the navy’s vice admiral in Michoacan.
MEXICO CITY, Mexico — This week’s ambush murder of a Mexican navy admiral by alleged gang members in the violent Pacific coast state of Michoacan wasn’t a planned attack, the state’s acting governor said Wednesday.
Vice Adm. Carlos Salazar and a bodyguard were shot dead Sunday when gunmen attacked their official navy car, which had been diverted by a protest blockade on a major toll road on to a secondary road in Michoacan.
Federal police quickly arrested three men they say carried out the attack, whom they identify as low-level members of the Knights Templar criminal band.
“To me it’s clear that the attack wasn’t against the navy, that it wasn’t an attack on the vice admiral,” Gov. Jesus Reyna told a radio interviewer Wednesday morning. “It’s a lamentable, deplorable but really circumstantial event.”
EDITORIAL COMMENT: We respectfully disagree with the present Mexican authorities assessment. The Navy was brought into the drug battle because the cartels were offering the "bribe or the bullet" to Mexican Army and Police officials at all levels. Naval troops could be brought into the area and quickly removed and isolated aboard ship without coming into extended contact with the cartels. The Navy was becoming quite effective at shielding its rank and file naval assault forces from the cartel's "bullet or bribe" programs. The Navy was so effective in fact, that just a couple weeks prior to the murder of Vice Admiral Salazar the Navy had captured the head of the dreaded Zeta Cartel. To us this looks like a change in tactics. Namely that since the Cartels can't reach the Navy rank and file, they are going to take to killing naval brass at every opportunity in the hopes that scared admirals concerned for their safety and that of their families (The Knights Templar also killed the admiral's wife in the same attack) will call off the attack. The Navy is going to have to learn a great deal about executive protection fast. If the Navy can both protect its rank and file from penetration by the cartels and their executive structure from violent attack, an important corner has been turned in the Mexican drug war, a corner in favor of law and order.