So, who is in charge of Mexico?

❝ In a low voice, Mexico has been talking, for a long time, about the peculiar relationship of the Government of President López Obrador with the drug cartels, particularly with the one headed by Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán (now imprisoned for life and convicted in the United States), the Sinaloa Cartel. The comments rose in tone after the serious incidents of last Thursday, when the city of Culiacán was held by the cartel for several hours and subtracted authority of the Mexican State…

❝ The city of Culiacán, Sinaloa was taken hostage by the Sinaloa Cartel, last Thursday, October 17, in order to achieve the release of the son of “El Chapo”, Ovidio Guzman, apparently arrested by the Mexican Government in an operation at his girlfriend’s house to complete an extradition request from the United States Government…

❝ In response, it only took the cartel 15 minutes to change to a small but fearfully armed army, surround the National Guard, control the city through blockades and threaten the housing unit where the families of soldiers from the military headquarters in the region live. In the end, after a few hours, López Obrador’s government had to hand over Ovidio Guzmán to them, to restore order in the city and cease the threats of the cartel.

In this manner, the Cartel demonstrated to his own and strangers that it can easily destabilize the Mexican Government, paralyze and kidnap any city in the country, attack the Army with impunity in their own homes and subject the population at will through terror and blackmail. In view of the ease and its results, it would not be uncommon to see other similar cases soon.

RTFA. Not exactly inspiring a lot of confidence here in a border state.

23 thoughts on “So, who is in charge of Mexico?

  1. Encobijado says:

    “How Mexico became a failed state : Manuel Suárez-Mier’s series on the demolition of Mexico’s economy and democracy ran May 28 and May 29 [see links].” This article is a continuation
    See also “Is Mexico a Failing State?”
    See also US Joint Forces Command (USJFCOM) Joint Operating Environment 2008 (JOE 2008),

  2. Vecino says:

    Mexico continues to be one of the worst countries in the world when it comes to prosecuting the murder of journalists, according to a list released Tuesday by the Committee to Protect Journalists.
    “The long-term effect of this impunity has been that large swaths of Mexico have become “silence zones,” said Jan-Albert Hootson, Mexico representative of the nonprofit Committee to Protect Journalists.
    In those areas — which include the states of Tamaulipas and Chihuahua along the Texas border, Veracruz on the gulf coast, and Guerrero along the Pacific — journalists no longer report on abuse of power, human rights violations, organized crime or corruption, he said.
    “Those journalists stick to unwritten rules,” Hootsen said. “You can write this, and you won’t be attacked, or you can write that and you will be attacked.”
    As impunity worsens, more journalists will censor themselves, Hootsen said. He adds that Mexico, at least on paper, has the federal and local institutions to prosecute the murder of journalists.”
    See also “What it’s like reporting in one of the world’s deadliest places for journalists”

  3. Cassandra says:

    “The Brutal Murder of the Mormon Family in Mexico Was Almost Inevitable”
    Julián LeBarón’s account of the events that happened (English translation):
    Meanwhile: in Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua: Code Red. All Police Under Orders To Stay Inside [“Cd. Juarez: More than 10 Murdered, 16 Trucks and 9 Humans Burned in 10 Hours”]

    • Malverde says:

      (El Paso Times) “Juárez gang members were allegedly paid in crystal methamphetamine to carry out Tuesday night’s rash of arson attacks on public transportation buses.” “Juárez police arrested four alleged Mexicles gang members accused of setting fires in a night of violence that left 10 people dead and set aflame 10 buses and five cars.
      The bloodshed has continued with at least seven more people, including some who were set on fire, killed Wednesday, the Norte Digital news website reported.
      On Thursday, gunmen killed a man by firing about 100 shots at a pickup at a traffic light, reported Channel 44-XHIJ. A bus and the cab of an 18-wheeler were set on fire at other locations.
      There have been more than 1,200 murders in Juárez this year as criminal groups fight for control of local drug markets.
      …Mexican officials said the outbreak of violence and arson rampage on Tuesday in various parts of the city was ordered by the Mexicles gang in an attempt to prevent a major law enforcement search planned for that night at Cereso No. 3 prison in Juárez.”
      Los Mexicles is a Mexican street gang based in Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua. It is allied to the Sinaloa Cartel, a criminal group based in Sinaloa. See

  4. Gene Gadera says:

    ‘US creates monsters’: Trump talk of war on Mexico cartels echoes past failures (Guardian UK) “…Mónica Serrano, a security expert from the Colmex thinktank, argues that if Trump really wants to help, his priorities should be “more enlightened” drug policies that slash cartel profits, and new gun laws that restrict their ability to build up terrifying arsenals.
    “Without in any way understating the policy failures in Mexico that have aggravated and exacerbated the situation, the truth is that it is the US that creates the monsters.” she says. “And monstrous situations.”

  5. Vecino says:

    Pirates attacked an Italy-flagged offshore supply vessel in the southern Gulf of Mexico, injuring two crew members, the Mexican Navy said on Tuesday, in the latest outbreak of robbery and piracy to hit oil platforms and infrastructure in the area.
    One of the crew members of the boat, “Remas,” received a bullet wound, and the other suffered a concussion, and both were transferred to a nearby hospital, the Navy said in a statement.
    Owned by Italian offshore contractor Micoperi, the boat is a supply vessel for Mexico’s oil industry.

    At least 21 people died Monday afternoon and nine were injured after a nearly one-hour confrontation between alleged members of the Sinaloa cartel against members of the Jalisco and Gulf cartels, allies in this region of the country, in the community of Tlachichila , located between the municipal capitals of Nochistlán and Jalpa.
    The state government and the Secretariat of Public Security of Zacatecas remained silent about armed clashes, despite the fact that versions and testimonies were disseminated on social networks about the magnitude of the confrontation.
    It is presumed that the gunmen took away more bodies.

  6. Passé says:

    “16 Criminal Narco Cells Sink Acapulco with a Wave of Violence” [translation from the Sunday edition of Reforma ]
    Acapulco, Guerrero: At least 16 criminal cells have plunged Acapulco into a wave of violence.
    In the last 21 months, according to the Executive Secretariat of the National Public Security System, there have been more than 1,300 deaths in the city that were once considered a tourist paradise.

  7. Cassandra says:

    Louisville Courier Journal (Nov. 26, 2019): “A ruthless Mexican drug lord’s empire is devastating families with its grip on small-town USA
    With unparalleled speed, the Cártel Jalisco Nueva Generación, or CJNG, has set up shop in cities, towns and unsuspecting communities across America.”
    See also: “El Mencho documentary: How CJNG Mexican cartel boss is infiltrating US
    This short film details how The Courier Journal’s investigation into CJNG and its leader, El Mencho, began in early 2019 and what was uncovered.”

  8. ¡Bienvenido! says:

    United States State Department: Mexico Travel Alert [December 17, 2019]
    See also the Safety and Security section on the country information page. (scroll down) “Crime in Mexico occurs at a high rate and can be violent, from random street crime to cartel-related attacks. Over the past year, Mission Mexico has assisted U.S. citizens who were victims of armed robbery, carjacking, extortion, kidnapping, pick-pocketing, and sexual assault. Mexico’s murder rate for the first nine months of 2019 increased by nearly 3 percent over the same period in 2018. Increased levels of cartel-related violence have resulted in turf battles and targeted killings, injuring or killing innocent bystanders. Travelers who find themselves in an active shooter scenario should flee in the opposite direction, if possible, or drop to the ground, preferably behind a hard barrier.”

  9. Duende says:

    (NYT): Mexico’s top financial investigator on Friday reported on the webs of corruption and money laundering that thieves, traffickers and political figures have used to hide their wealth.
    Santiago Nieto, the head of Mexico’s Financial Intelligence Unit, said a federal judge took bribes to rule in favor of the violent Jalisco cartel, and then used a lawyer’s office to buy vehicles and send as much as $2 million to the United States.
    (Dec 11, 2019): “Arrest of Top Crime Fighter Stuns Mexico, Where Corruption Is All Too Routine : The news shocked even a country grown used to graft: The man who for years led Mexico’s war against drug traffickers was accused of taking millions in bribes from the Sinaloa Cartel.”

    Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador declared an end to his country’s war on drugs January 31, 2019.

  10. Vecino says:

    “Mexico’s coronavirus-skeptical president is setting up his country for a health crisis : Some doctors say Mexico could become the new Italy — or worse.”
    “Coronavirus: Mexicans demand crackdown on Americans crossing the border : Mexican protesters have shut a US southern border crossing amid fears that untested American travellers will spread coronavirus.”
    Gangsters from La Unión de Tepito, a Mexico City criminal group headed by Alberto Fuentes Castro (“El Elvis”), warned merchants that they will continue requesting protection racket payments from businesses during the coronavirus outbreak. Many of the businesses in these areas are temporarily closed and have suffered economic losses during the coronavirus outbreak.

  11. Plata o plomo says:

    “Murders, megaprojects and a ‘new Panama Canal’ in Mexico : Activists suspect murders of 15 Indigenous community members are linked to their opposition to a proposed megaproject.”
    “Mexican State of Oaxaca to Build its Own “Panama Canal”” (7/17/17)

  12. Old gringo says:

    Querétaro, Mexico: A Component for Making a Dirty Bomb Has Been Stolen (4/12/21)
    Children in Guerrero Arm Themselves Against Cartels
    Los Ardillos Continue Terrorizing Indigenous Communities of Guerrero, Mexico (Feb 2020)

  13. Jefe says:

    Aguililla: The Mexican town in the crossfires of a cartel war
    Located in the state of Michoacan, the town has been consumed by a bloody turf war between rival cartels.
    For weeks, the Jalisco New Generation cartel, Mexican officials say, have been battling for control with the rival United Cartels. And during the past several weeks, they have closed off the main roads and laid siege to the town.

    • Update says:

      “With Days Left Before Election, Political Violence In Mexico Worse Than 2018”
      “Mexico’s deadly elections: Crime groups target candidates in a fight for turf”
      Mexico is in the final days of one of its most violent electoral campaigns in modern times. Eighty-nine politicians have been killed since September, according to the security consulting firm Etellekt. Scores more have been wounded or threatened. The campaign has become a stark illustration of crime organizations’ quest to expand their control of Mexico’s territory, a rising threat to this young democracy.
      Sunday’s midterm elections will determine the makeup of the lower house of Mexico’s Congress and most state legislatures, as well as nearly half the 31 governorships. But the violence has focused largely on thousands of races for mayor and other local government posts.
      “This is a struggle for municipal power,” said Notre Dame political scientist Guillermo Trejo, who studies political violence in Latin America. Crime groups “have discovered that gaining control over municipal governments and local economies and populations and territories is crucial if they want to survive in the very fierce struggles for drug-trafficking routes.”

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