Gunmen ambushed a police convoy in the western state of Jalisco, killing 15 state police officers and wounding five as bullets riddled their vehicles in the deadliest single attack on Mexican police in recent memory. The attack happened late Monday as the convoy traveled on a rural road between the Pacific coast resort of Puerto Vallarta and Guadalajara, the state capital, Jalisco state officials say. Jalisco is home to a drug cartel known as Jalisco New Generation, which experts say is now among Mexico's most powerful. Prosecutors would not confirm the gang was involved in Monday night's attack, but it would be unlikely for a rival gang to launch such a large attack on Jalisco's home turf.
While state Security Commissioner Alejandro Solorio didn't say how the attack was carried out, he said the convoy was ambushed in a "cowardly attack." Local media reported that a vehicle was hijacked, parked across the two-lane road, and set on fire to force the convoy to stop. "The serious thing about this attack was that it was very well planned and orchestrated, with a military-style strategy," says a security expert at Mexico's National Autonomous University. "This was planned. A lot of gunmen were involved. They blocked the highway to surround them and attack with military superiority."