Mexico’s bloody week: 36 dead in three massacres in less than five days

Violence took over the country with three armed clashes in the states of Michoacán, Guerrero and Sinaloa. 

Five days. Three massacres. 36 dead. Dozens of wounded. This week in Mexico was particularly bloody after three major clashes between security forces and armed groups. The most shocking of these clashes occurred Thursday in the state of Sinaloa, in a failed attempt to arrest Ovidio Guzmán, son of U.S.-arrested drug trafficker Joaquín ‘El Chapo’ Guzmán.

Ironically, at the beginning of this particularly violent week, López Obrador´s government presented on Monday its results in terms of security, saying that there was a positive “inflection in the growth trend” in the murder figures. In other words, crimes continue to increase but at a slower pace.

This week’s three massacres were the result of clashes between Mexican security forces and criminal bands, evidence that organized crime controls a lot of territory and actually has more firepower than the local authorities have.

This is a brief account.

Violent Mexico
Numbers of the Executive Secretariat of Public Security indicate that in August, 3,054 people were murdered in Mexico, a figure that brings to more than 23,000 the number of victims so far in 2019, something that is a record level of homicidal violence in Mexico´s history.

According to some Mexicans, López Obrador’s violence prevention strategy is positive. These people claim the most essential is to strengthen municipal and state police and reform the judicial system. Unfortunately, that will not happen any time soon. Municipal and state police are extremely corrupted by the narcos and a reform the judicial system is something not contemplated by the legislative branches.

In the case of Michoacán, the wave of violence with Monday’s collision only added to another brutal event on Aug. 8, when 19 bodies were found in Uruapan, several of them hanging from a bridge.

AMLO’s government just this past week presented the report on the security situation in the country trying to show ‘positive’ indices. The Secretary of Public Security, Alfonso Durazo, stated the already old excuse that “the current government inherited a chronic insecurity crisis of decades”.

To face this reality, he said, the new administration has a security plan based on the fundamental premise that “peace and tranquillity are the fruit of justice” and that the strategy includes “the substitution of the use of force (…) by a broad vision that goes to the root causes”.

AMLO’s government, which in a few weeks will celebrate a year in power, created the National Guard as a new military-police security corps, and “an unprecedented social policy” that includes employment programs and a strategy against addictions that tackles the drug problem from a health standpoint. The minister assured that the first results have already been achieved, among which was the reduction in the annual rate of murders from 0.8% in 2018 to 0.4% from December to date. “We have reached a turning point in the growth trend of intentional homicides,” Durazo said.

After the failed capture of Ovidio Guzmán, the son of drug trafficker ‘El Chapo’, the president justified not arresting him because “the most important thing is that there are no deaths, it is peace”. AMLO continued: “The decision was taken jointly by the security cabinet (…) I supported this position because I considered that the most important thing is the protection of people (…) it was decided to protect people’s lives”.

Millions of citizens were against the presidential order, claiming the AMLO opened the door to what Mexicans call a “narco-state”. People like Jack Riley, the former head of intelligence operations at the DEA in Mexico, who devoted much of his career pursuing the Sinaloa drug trafficker and people from the U.S. Justice Department in charge of the cooperation with Mexico, agree and wonder why Ovidio Guzmán was released.

 

The Yucatan Times
Newsroom

 



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