XALAPA, Mexico – Gunmen burst into a restaurant and killed the federal police commander for Veracruz and a second officer in another bloody day for the troubled Mexican state.
The police officers were among at least 10 people slain in Veracruz state on Saturday, including four children from one family, according to local officials.
Veracruz Gov. Miguel Angel Yunes released a video calling the killers "beasts" and "cowards" and repeated his vow to crack down on organized crime in the Gulf coast state.
"We are going to do everything, whatever it may be," he said. "Veracruz will not be hostage to these animals."
The killing of federal police commissioner Camilo Castagne in the city of Cardel came two days after he had appeared with Yunes at an anti-crime event that was prompted by the discovery of dismembered bodies in bags left outside the office of a security official. Yunes said in the video that two police officers died with Castagne but later clarified that one officer had died and the other was injured.
Also in Veracruz, gunmen killed an entire family made up of four children and two adults in Coatzacoalcos, and two women were killed in the city of Orizaba.
The state has suffered waves of killings, kidnappings and extortion by organized crime gangs. Federal statistics indicate 625 people were killed in Veracruz during the first five months of 2017, a 93 percent jump over the same period last year. And at least 300 bodies have been unearthed from mass graves used by gangs to bury their victims.
Yunes took office late last year following turmoil over the resignation of former Gov. Javier Duarte, who vanished while facing corruption allegations. He was tracked down and arrested in Guatemala in April and faces extradition proceedings. Mexican prosecutors accuse him of using front men and shell companies to amass properties acquired with money stolen from the state.