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Police say shooters stormed the San Miguel Totolapan town hall on Wednesday at 14:00 (19:00 GMT). Mayor Conrado Mendoza Almeda’s left-wing PRD party condemned his “cowardly” assassination and demanded justice.


Mendoza Almeda’s age not to be clear yet.


The attack has been blamed on the Los Tequileros criminal gang, which is linked to a powerful drug cartel.

Police officers and council workers were also killed in the massacre, with graphic images of bloodied bodies lying on the ground circulating on social media.

Mr Mendoza Almeda’s father, a former mayor, Juan Mendoza Acosta, was also killed – in his home – before the attack moved to the town hall.

A highway in Guerrero, where San Miguel Totolapan lies, was reportedly briefly blocked by large vehicles to prevent security forces from getting into the city.

Mendoza Almeda
Mendoza Almeda

Even by the violent standards of Guerrero state, this was a shocking attack, reports the BBC’s Mexico correspondent, Will Grant.

San Miguel Totolapan lies in the heart of a region known as Tierra Caliente, a violent part of drug cartel-controlled western Mexico.

Our correspondent adds that various groups battle for control of the lucrative drug routes north along the Pacific corridor.

In a preliminary report seen by local media, Guerrero’s attorney general said that three others were wounded as well as the 18 people who were killed.

Following the attack, the defence ministry deployed the army and navy units to find the shooters.

Guerrero Governor Evelyn Salgado Pineda tweeted to say she deeply regretted the deaths.

Shortly before the attack, alleged members of Los Tequileros released a video on social networks announcing its return to the region, where they had been fighting a rival drug gang.

The criminal group devastated Guerrero between 2015 and 2017 – and was known for threatening the region’s mayors – until its leader Raybel Jacobo de Almonte, was assassinated.

De Almonte was known as El Tequilero – the Tequila Drinker – and his gang took their name from him.

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