Crime and Violence · Organized Crime

Violence Against Police Officers Continues in 2023

Source: The New York Times

12/01/2023 (written by tfaris) – On Monday morning, November 13th, Carlos Manuel Flores Amezcua, deputy operational director of the Zapopan Municipal police, was killed in a cafe in Zapopan in an attack specifically targeting the officer. The attack was carried out by two men and two women posing as two couples enjoying a coffee in the cafe. The group of 4 waited for Flores Amezcua to enter the cafe, then opened fire on him. According to Zeta, the women opened fire on the police officer. Zeta also reported that the four hitmen are related to the New Generation Jalisco Cartel. No one has been charged or identified as a suspect yet in this case.

Coyuca de Benitez Attack

On October 23rd, there was another case of violence against the police. In the municipality of Coyuca de Benitez in the state of Guerrero, 13 police officers were ambushed and killed along the Acapulco-Zihuatanejo highway. The group of police officers killed includes the municipal secretary of security Alfredo Alonso Lopez. As of November 8th, the mayor of Jalisco Osiel Pacheco Salas announced that the state had not yet opened an investigation into the killing.

The state of Guerrero has been particularly dangerous for police officers. The state is particularly susceptible to turf wars between cartels, as the territory is especially valuable due to its mountainous environment used for growing marijuana and opium poppy (The New York Times). In December of 2022, Alonso Lopez’s predecessor secretary of security, David Borja Padilla, survived an assassination attempt.

Violence Against Police Trends

With 34 reported police officers killed this year in Guerrero, this makes the state the second-most violent in Mexico (infobae). Guanajuato, with 58 police officers killed, is the most violent state for police officers in Mexico so far this year. Guanajuato has been the state with the most assassinations in Mexico in the time period of December 2018 to April 2022, with 226 police homicides.  

2020 is the most violent year on record for police officers in Mexico, with 524 officers reported to have lost their lives on duty. However, in a review of the first quarter of 2023 carried out by Causa en Común, the group found that there was a 28 percent increase in assassinated officials than there was in the same time period as the previous year. Causa en Común indicated that there have been 340 police officers killed so far this year. 


Munguía, Juan Carlos. “Asesinan a balazos a un comandante de Zapopan al interior de una cafetería.” Milenio. November 13, 2023.

Investigaciones ZETA. “Sicarias del CJNG.” ZETA. November 20, 2023. 

Díaz, Raúl. “¿Qué pasó en Coyuca de Benítez? Matan a 13 policías municipales, entre ellos el secretario de seguridad, Alfredo Alonso López.” sdpnoticias. October 24, 2023. 

Trujillo, Javier. “Familias de policías asesinados en Coyuca de Benítez quedan desamparadas.” Milenio. November 11, 2023. 

Jiménez, Ernesto. “Un asesinato al día: el riesgo de ser policía en México.” infobae. October 23, 2023. 

Vela, David Saúl. “Policía, profesión de peligro en México: asesinan a 66 en 40 días de 2023.” El Financiero. February 13, 2023. 

Kanno-Young, Zolan, et. Al. “13 Law Enforcement Officers Killed in Ambush in Mexico.” The New York Times. October 23, 2023. 

Causa en Común. “La situación de las policías en México; 2018-2022.” Cause en Común. 2022.

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