Article author: Miky Weinberg – Owner of the Tarantula Technologies Ltd and Octagon Security Ltd Companies.
Friday, June 26, 2020, at the upscale Chapultepec neighborhood in Mexico City where many wealthy government officials live and foreign embassies are located, woke up to a new morning. It is 06:30, a time when the day begins with the departure of residents to work, outside workers arrive at their place of work, and vehicle traffic is seen on the quiet streets.
Omar Garcia Harfuch, Mexico City’s police chief (police minister), lives in the neighborhood and is preparing to leave for a new workday, which like every other day since taking office, also includes a war against drug cartels. The police chief’s bodyguards are ready to leave.
The Jalisco New Generation drug cartel, which controls the area from Cancun to the capital Mexico City, has decided to try and assassinate the chief of police, thus resuming the assassination attempts on senior police chiefs, the last of which took place in 2008.
According to reports released after the incident, it was alleged that the government had intelligence based on a quote from the phone taps of the drug cartel and stated that they were planning to assassinate a number of senior government officials including the police chief.
The drug cartels in Mexico are a cruel and powerful opponent that does everything in order to keep out of their way any personality that dares to interfere with their profitable activities. In the day-to-day and never-ending war against the drug cartels, all local and relevant government bodies, including the police, are led by commanders who are determined to try and win it. In reality in Mexico in general and in Mexico City in particular, every commander and every police officer becomes a target of the drug cartels for recruitment to provide assistance or alternatively a target for threats and even assassination.
The Jalisco New Generation drug cartel decided that the police chief was interfering with its activities so it was time to assassinate him. The assassination plan was formulated and based on a common mode of action among drug cartels – carrying out an ambush for a police chief while on the move in his armored vehicle and launching a powerful attack with several operators who would use rifles and grenades, thus being to be able to penetrate the armor of the police chief’s vehicle.
Video showing the armored Chevy Suburban:
Documentation of another ambush carried out by the drug cartel:
To carry out the assassination, the drug cartel hired the services of a Colombian mercenary killer who specializes in security analysis, intelligence gathering and attacking convoys. Three weeks before the day of execution, about 30 assassins were assigned to the mission, each of whom received one intersection from which the police chief’s security guards could choose to leave on the morning of the assassination.
For the purpose of carrying out the ambush, commercial vehicles were rented disguised as construction company vehicles of a company that worked on a regular basis in the neighborhood, these vehicles have a rear opening that allows a relatively large number of assassins to be transported in a hidden manner.
Image of a company vehicle:
As far as the drug cartel is concerned, this is a complex operation that requires a high level of command and a precise level of execution that is based on and depends on the unambiguous identification of a police chief’s vehicle and the route chosen from the moment he leaves home in the prestigious Chapultepec neighborhood.
To reach the information, the drug cartel is required to use all its capabilities and means at its disposal otherwise there is no chance that it will be able to give the order to the correct squad out of the four squads when to execute the roadblock on the travel path. The drug cartel’s action plan indicates that there are several options for a mounted exit from the police chief’s home and there is no path defined as a necessary path.
To my understanding, following the media reports, the police chief lives on or near Explanada street, from which it is indeed possible to choose a number of exit routes.
The neighborhood with street names (Explanada street is in the center):
As mentioned, at 6:35 am, the police chief’s security team is ready to leave the house. The armored Chevrolet Suburban is ready for travel. The security guards chose to exit on Explanada Street to the west. It can be understood from the incident that at this time the security forces had close protection operatives and a team to secure the house or to reinforce the exit.
The police chief leaves his house and gets into the armored vehicle, which is one of a convoy of armored vehicles and begins his trip west on Explanada street. Just before the vehicle arrives at the intersection of Explanada and Monte Blanco streets, a white commercial vehicle emerges in front and on the right that manages to block the continuation of the drive forward and from behind a number of armed assassins opened fire at the police chief’s armored vehicle. According to one of the reconstructions of the incident, it was alleged that a second vehicle blocked the possibility of continuing on the forward travel route and a third vehicle blocked the convoy from behind so that it was difficult for the driver to take actions to escape and escape the fatal ambush. According to testimony, the shooting lasted several minutes (over 3 minutes) as some of the police chief’s bodyguards exited the vehicles and responded to the fighting, and within a relatively short time, the police forces who joined in the fight also escalated until some assassins were rescued from the scene and some surrendered and were captured. From the shooting, the police chief was injured by three bullets, two of his security guards were killed and an innocent civilian who was riding in the vehicle was also killed.
Location of the assassination:
The security cameras deployed in the neighborhood were able to document the moments of execution of the blockade and the shooting:
Documentation of gunshots by civilians who were in the area:
Preliminary record of the assassin’s vehicles on their way to the ambush point:
A reportage that presents a simulation of assassination moments:
Picture of the truck with the weapons found on it:
Picture of the armored vehicle that absorbed the shooting:
Mexico City Police Chief Omar Garcia Harfuch survived the assassination attempt and will likely continue to fight the drug cartel while he and his subordinates take into account that a rival has the resources, means, and capabilities that do not shame a professional state organization.
Marks the target for assassination.
Performs an intelligence-gathering phase with the main goal of searching for habits (repetitive activities) in the daily routine of the police chief – the location of the house, the home environment including possible travel routes, the level of security, security operations, the location of the office, etc.
Based on the intelligence gathered, he will decide on the location of the assassination and the chosen course of action – the drug cartel decided to try to assassinate the police chief in his residential neighborhood and when he is driven with the armored vehicle in his possession, which obliges the assassins to be equipped with weapons capable of penetrating the vehicle’s level of protection. The location of the assassination may have been chosen by the drug cartel to convey to the police chief and other persons a message that they could harm them anywhere, anytime, and in any way.
The course of action chosen in this assassination reveals the high capability of the drug cartel which includes professional field analysis, recruiting many assassins, ambushing several points simultaneously, a high level of command and control, using environmental assimilation and camouflage, using many different weapons and finally scheduling assistance in real-time.
The assassins sent by the drug cartel to carry out the mission are disciplined soldiers (by choice or not) who are ready to be captured and even die for the organization and its leaders.
In the manner of action chosen in this assassination, it is clear that every squad had to be located within the neighborhood, relatively close to the intersection where the blockade was made shortly before the actual execution otherwise there was no chance that they would be able to schedule the blockade with such accurate timing.
A professional and skilled security array must take precautionary actions before the principal leaves, including a patrol to locate unusual persons and vehicles in pre-marked locations as options for opponents to organize in preparation for assassinations – if the drug cartel squads did wait to do the blockade at a relatively short distance from the intersections, the security guards had to locate them ahead of time.
According to reports, the drug cartel threatened the police chief about a month before the day of the assassination – information of this kind requires the security system to carry out unique actions as a dedicated response to the threat.
Armored vehicle – this proves that an armored vehicle is a strong and important security ring in the field of personal security that saves lives.
The driver must be a professional driver trained in routine and operational driving. In past assassination attempts, the driver of the personality vehicle rescued and saved the principal with his actions. The Suburban vehicle is strong enough to be successful and hit a vehicle of its size in its front or rear. A driver is required to be able to operate in an emergency.
Vary routines and deceptions – Integrating breaking routines and deception into security operations can make a difference in favor of the security system vis-à-vis the opponent. The security array must take action to prevent creating habits when leaving and returning to the principal’s residence at the beginning and end of each day, using all possible routes with managerial oversight, as well as using several vehicles when leaving or returning.
With regard to the situation in Mexico City, I think that a security system must take into account that there are persons in or around it that convey information to an opponent and therefore must regularly carry out prevention and identification activities.