Four bus and taxi drivers were killed Monday following apparently coordinated attacks by gunmen in the city of Chilpancingo, the capital of the southern Pacific coast state of Guerrero, AP reported.
Drug gangs battling for control in the state have long been known to kill people for not paying “protection” fees, including drivers. In January, drivers in Acapulco and in the colonial city of Taxco staged strikes to protest the killings of their colleagues.
State prosecutors said they are investigating the killings Monday on streets and roads around Chilpancingo, and have received reinforcements from the army and National Guard.
The prosecutors said the victims were members of the transportation industry but did not specify how many drove taxis and how many drove buses. Local media reported that at least two of the dead were drivers of privately owned bus-like minivans who were shot aboard their vehicles.
Transportation workers are frequently shaken down for protection payments by drug gangs throughout Guerrero state. Some drivers are also sometimes forced to work for the gangs under threat. That is despite the fact that more army and National Guard troops have been dispatched to Guerrero — which was hit by Category 5 Hurricane Otis in October — than to any other state in Mexico.