September 18, 2013
A total of 20 armed suspects crossed by boat to Presa de Los Leones and shot at an unarmed civilian and torched one home Monday, according to various news accounts posted in thee website of El Debate news daily.
The civilian under fire fled the area and into the hill under constant small arms fire as he left.
At about 1000 hrs the suspects entered the village of Tacopaco and began to fire their weapons, mostly AK-47 rifles. There they kidnapped Saul Salmeron Rabago, 57, and torched three more homes. Residents of the village, totaling about 50, reported beatings by the suspects as they moved through the area.
Following the attack, the suspects withdrew towards Chihuahua state by boat.
Local police were not notified of the incident until 1300 hrs. Security forces consisting of municipal police, Sinaloa state ministerial agents and army troops moved to Tacopaco. There they found two vehicles, one Jeep Cherokee SUV and one Nissan pickup truck which had been destroyed by fire.
Police also found at least 19 spent cartridge casing for AK-47 rifles, but the El Debate report said many more than that number had been found.
The report also said ministerial agents requests a helicopter to the area, but it never arrived. Police also went to the Presa de Luis Donaldo Colosio dam towards ejido Techobampo and evacuated 14 individuals, mostly women and children. Many more had fled into the mountains seeking refuge from marauding drug gangs.
In a separate account, an unidentified dairy farmer from Choix said he came under small arms fire at around 0700 hrs, the presumed start time of the assault, and fled under constant rifle fire. He waited in the hills without food or water for several hours as he watched armed suspects move through the area.
Residents of Tacopaco who also fled their village, also waited for hours until in the afternoon, with only bottled water, and with no food, when state police arrived and began evacuating them to a shelter in Choix proper, along with other local refugees.
According to an El Debate article, the Mexican Army will reinforce patrols in the area.