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ABCNEWS VideoSource
Mexico Drug War - Police chief and family killed, suspected cartel members held
NAME: MEX DRUG WAR 20090729Ix TAPE: EF09/0725 IN_TIME: 10:09:39:09 DURATION: 00:02:24:06 SOURCES: AP TELEVISION/TV AZTECA DATELINE: Veracruz -29 July 2009 RESTRICTIONS: Check shotlist for details SHOTLIST TV Azteca - No Access Mexico Veracruz - 29 July 2009 1. Various of firefighters arriving at the house UPSOUND: siren 2. Flames coming out of window, pull back to wide 3. Various of firefighters 4. Smoke coming from window on upper floor 5. Firefighters spraying water through window 6. Firefighter checking pump on fire engine, pull back to wide 7. Ambulance arriving 8. Medics walking to house 9. Various of firefighters and police AP Television ++Audio as incoming++ Mexico City - 29 July 2009 10. Police officers walking, escorting prisoners alleged to be members of La Familia cartel 11. Prisoners standing by table 12. Close of cuffed hands, tilt up to prisoner's face 13. Pan along line of prisoners 14. SOUNDBITE (Spanish) Ramon Pequeno, head of anti-narcotics force of the Federal Police "Members of the Federal Police detained yesterday at the same time six alleged members of the financial structure of the Michoacan cartel of La Familia." 13. Wide of authorities at news conference STORYLINE Gunmen shot up and torched the home of a Mexican police commander on Wednesday, killing the officer, his wife and his four children, including a six-year-old boy. The interior of the house in the Gulf coast city of Veracruz was completely destroyed and its facade was riddled with bullet holes. Inside, police found the bodies of municipal police commander Jesus Antonio Romero and his family, Veracruz state Public Safety Secretary Sergio Lopez said. Police said the youngest child was a six-year-old boy and the oldest a 15-year-old girl. The motive was unclear, but the pre-dawn attack bore the hallmarks of Mexico's brutal drug cartels. Lopez said police believed the assailants set fire to the house by hurling grenades. He said neighbours reported hearing explosions. Romero was promoted a month ago to deputy operations coordinator for the Veracruz-Boca del Rio area, a hotbed of drug violence and a stronghold of the Zetas, a group of hit men aligned with the Gulf cartel. It was unclear if Romero and his family were shot dead or overcome by the fire. Mexico's drug war has claimed more than 11,000 lives since President Felipe Calderon deployed tens of thousands of soldiers and federal police nationwide to fight the cartels. Drug gangs have stepped up attacks on police and government officials, often gunning them down in front of their homes, but it is rare for their families to be targeted. In one of the boldest offensives against the government, 18 federal agents were killed earlier this month in a series of attacks in western Mexico blamed on La Familia drug cartel. Authorities say La Familia was retaliating for the arrest of one of its top members. The federal government responded by sending 5,500 federal police, soldiers and navy personnel to western Michoacan state and stepping up its offensive against La Familia, which has turned to large-scale methampthetamine production. On Wednesday, Federal Police announced the capture of six more suspected La Familia members, including a man accused of being a chief financial operator. The arrests came a day after soldiers seized almost a half-ton of crystal methamphetamine in raids on two rural drug laboratories in Michoacan. Authorities have raided at least 40 drug labs in Michoacan this year, including 19 in the last 10 days.