Mexico is an incredibly popular tourist destination but parts of it are also hotbeds for drug-related crime. And often quite brutal and terrifying crime at that.
A case in point is this incident, captured on a body cam when police officers in Madera, Chihuahua were ambushed by heavily-armed gunmen belonging to the La Linea wing of the Juarez cartel, a Juarez street gang that also usually performs the gang’s executions.
The intense footage shows the cartel taking aim at the state policemen before the officers exit their cars and return fire. A lengthy gun battle that genuinely looks like a scene from the movies – or a video game – then ensues.
The officer recording the attacks fired 17 rounds before taking cover behind the reinforced police cars as the sound of bullets fills the air.
Founded in 1970 by Amado Carrillo Fuentes, the Juarez Cartel is one of Mexico’s most notorious and violent crime gangs, and is responsible for smuggling a massive number of drugs, such as heroin, cocaine, Methamphetamine and marijuana – into the USA each year that are worth billions of dollars in profits.
Fuentes – who was known as the ‘Lord of the Skies’ – died in 1997 during a plastic surgery operation, and the cartel was taken over by his brother, Vicente. He was arrested in 2014. Although he is still behind bars, he remains in charge.
Juan Pablo Ledezma is the head honcho of La Linea – and the Mexican government have issued a $2 million (£1.5m) reward for information leading to his capture.
Since 1992, more than 38 journalists have been killed in Mexico as a result of their work reporting on the country’s drug cartels, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ). Fifty more were slain in the same period for reasons which remain unclear.
Mexican journalist Miroslava Breach was murdered in March this year by La Linea after she exposed the relationship between the cartel and Mexican politicians.
She was shot eight times in her car outside of her home in Chihuahua. The gunmen left a note which read: “For being a loudmouth.” She was the third journalist killed in the country in that month alone.