Mexican state police officers are forced to abandon their homes and go into exile after drug cartels now began hunting down and killing officers at their homes in front of their family members.

Members of the notorious Jalisco cartel are targeting officers of an elite police force known as the Tactical Group, in the state of Guanajuato, the Associated Press reported Sunday, May 30.

The cartel recently hung up a banner from a building in Guanajuato city that declared:

"If you want war, you’ll get a war. We have already shown that we know where you are. We are coming for all of you."

"For each member of our firm (CJNG) that you arrest, we are going to kill two of your Tacticals, wherever they are, at their homes, in their patrol vehicles," the message read.

According to the AP, the cartel has kidnapped, tortured, and killed several members of the Tactical Group to obtain the names and addresses of their fellow officers.

The most recent cartel killing reportedly happened on May 27, when a state police officer was kidnapped from his home and murdered. His bullet-ridden body was later found dumped on a highway.

Another brutal incident was reported in January when gunmen went to the home of a female state police officer and kidnapped her after murdering her husband. The female officer was reportedly tortured before being shot and dumped.

In June 2020, Mexico police discovered dismembered bodies of seven officers dumped in plastic bags inside a minivan that was abandoned next to a soccer field.

State officials have not provided an official confirmation on the exact number of police officers fallen prey to cartel killing so far.

Poplab, a Guanajuato-based news cooperative, told AP that at least seven state police officers have been murdered on their days off so far in 2021.

According to Poplab, a total of 262 Guanajuato state police officers have been killed between 2018 and May 12. An average of about 75 officers were reportedly murdered each year.

The repeated attacks have forced several officers to flee their homes with their families and remain in exile.

"A lot of them (officers) have decided to desert. They took their families, abandoned their homes and they are fleeing and in hiding," Guanajuato-based security analyst David Saucedo said.

"The CJNG is hunting the elite police force of Guanajuato."

"This is an open war against the security forces of the state government," he added.

On May 17, the state government published a decree to provide an unspecified amount of funds to be used for enhancing protection mechanisms for police and prison officials.

"Unfortunately, organized crime groups have shown up at the homes of police officers, which poses a threat and a greater risk of loss of life, not just for them, but for members of their families," according to the decree.

"They have been forced to quickly leave their homes and move so that organized crime groups cannot find them," it reads.

State officials have refused to comment about the measures that will be adopted to safeguard the officers and their families, the wire service reported.

It is unclear whether officers will be paid to rent new homes, or if the government has plans to construct special secure housing compounds for the officers and their families.

Mexico Police
Mexico City police. Representation image. Reuters

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