MEXICO CITY (AP) - The army said Wednesday it has stepped up
patrols in a remote, mountainous drug hotspot in northern Mexico,
after gunmen killed two army lieutenants in the region.
The grisly discovery happened days after Roman Catholic
Archbishop Hector Gonzalez Martinez created a stir by saying that
Sinaloa cartel leader Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman lives near the
town of Guanacevi, in Durango state, and that "everybody knows it
except the authorities."
The bullet-riddled bodies of the two army officers were found in
the Durango township of Tepehuanes, about 30 miles (50 kms) south
The army said in a statement Wednesday that the two officers
were off duty when they were killed, and that it had increased
patrols in the area to look for the assailants.
Local news media reported that the bodies were found with a sign
that read "neither the government nor priests can handle El
Chapo," an apparent reference to the archbishop's comments and the
government's posting of a $2.1 million reward for Guzman in March.
An army official, who was not authorized to be quoted by name,
and a local official in Tepehuanes, who asked that his name not be
used for fear of retaliation, confirmed that a message was found
with the bodies. But they could not say what it said.
The location of Guzman, who escaped from prison in 2001, has
become a part of Mexican folklore, with rumors circulating of him
being everywhere from Guatemala to almost every corner of Mexico,
especially its "Golden Triangle," a mountainous,
marijuana-growing region straddling the northern states of Sinaloa,
Durango and Chihuahua.
Officials in Guanacevi, a small mining hamlet of about 2,500,
said the town "totally rejects" it is home to Guzman.
"If they're so sure this man is here, why haven't they
presented any evidence?" said Pablo Vargas, secretary of the
Guanacevi town council.
Guzman has long been reported to move around frequently, using
private aircraft, bulletproof SUVs and even all-terrain vehicles.
The heavily forested mountains around Guanacevi have few roads,
making it a prime spot as a hideout.
Also Wednesday, the Defense Department announced that soldiers
captured Isaac Manuel Godoy Castro, an alleged top member of the
Arellano Felix cartel. The department said Godoy Castro led a cell
of the cartel and answered directly to its suspected leader,
Fernando Sanchez Arellano, known as the "the engineer."
Godoy was arrested Tuesday, along with six other alleged members
of his cell, the department said. They were found with four guns
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