September 17, 2013
Armed suspects entered the far northern Sinaloa state municipality of Choix firing rifles and incinerating homes, according to Mexican news reports.
A wire dispatch which appeared on the online edition of El Imparcial news daily said that a total of 17 homes have been destroyed by fire in the last two weeks. Additionally two more vehicles adding to the count of two (for a total of four) were also destroyed by fires deliberately set.
Procuraduria General de Justicia del Estado (PGJE) deputy Martin Robles Armenta said that on Monday an armed group, which entered Choix from Chihuahua state, also kidnapped one unidentified individual in the village of Tacopaco.
Several Mexican news accounts say the armed suspects, dressed in black, entered Choix using boats across the Rio Fuerte near the Huites dam.
Communities affected by the attack were Tacopaco and Leon de la Presa, from which 12 people — eight women and four children were evacuated from the area by army troops, and taken to a shlter where relatives can retrieve them.
Authorities also found spent cartridge casings for AK-47 rifles in the area.
In the last 45 days a total of 30 homes have been destroyed, the bulk of them, 23, in Choix, with the remainder in Sinaloa municipality.
The mayor of Choix, Juan Carlos Estrada Vega, has made a public call for a permanent Mexican Army base in the region saying that Choix would be a strategic location to stop the attacks from Chihuahua state, according to the Mexican news website am.com.mx
The same report said that a total of 44 villagers from Cieneguilla de los Núñez and Babo were escorted by Sinaloa state police to return to their homes last Friday. The report also noted that 15 primary schools in Choix were to be activated, according to data supplied by the Sinaloa state Secretaria de Educacion Publica y Cultura del Estado.
According to a separate report which appeared in El Debate news daily, Estrada Vega and his police chief, identified only as Said Gastelum, said that it is in the northern approaches to Choix in the mountains where the problems are, not in Choix itself, although the area near Huites dam was a location where marijuana was being cultivated.