Mexico searches for three missing soldiers in Jalisco state

Mexican security authorities are looking for three missing soldiers in the wake of helicopter crash that was downed by gunmen during a military operation in western Jalisco state

Updated Jul 28, 2015

Mexican military forces searched on Saturday for three missing soldiers in the country’s western Jalisco state where an increasingly strong drug cartel known as Jalisco New Generation allegedly brought down an army helicopter’s tail rotor, hereby, forcing it to make an emergency landing on Friday near Villa Purificacion.

The attack occurred one day after Mexican military launched an operation against the drug cartel in Jalisco state where gang members have been increasingly undermining the state authority.

Gunmen killed seven people, including three soldiers from the helicopter crash while three other soldiers were missing after the violent clashes between Mexican army and drug criminals.

Mexican prosecutors also commenced a legal investigation about the violence created by gangs and drug cartels according to state officials.

Prosecutors are "investigating the events in Puerto Vallarta. It hasn't been confirmed that it is a roadblock by organized crime," Jalisco state government spokesman Gonzalo Sanchez said on his Twitter account.

The Mexican authorities detained 19 people related with Friday’s violence during which gunmen set fire to cars, buses, banks and gasoline stations and trade gunfire with soldiers and police. 

Organised crime attacks on security forces in Jalisco had killed at least 20 security officials in last two months. The attacks claimed to have been carried out by The New Generation drug cartel, led by Nemesio Oseguera Cervantes, alias "El Mencho".

El Mencho, one of the richest drug lords in Mexico, is believed to have been trafficking between the continents, said Jose Reveles, author of several books on drug trafficking.

"Everything points to an increase in violence because there hasn't been a cartel this strong in the state since the 1980s," Reveles also claimed.

Jalisco state came to fore as the Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto started a nationwide campaign against drug cartels in order to minimize the country’s criminal gangs and illegal organizations.

President Nieto had pledged to fight drug cartels while taking office, and government recently started “Operation Jalisco” to increase security in the state that plays a major role for country’s economic growth.

In the last eight years, gang related violence caused more than 100,000 deaths despite a slowdown in recent years since the President Nieto took office at the end of 2012.

TRTWorld and agencies