Thursday, July 25, 2013

Federals will remain in Michoacán, promises Peña Nieto

"Regrettably, parts of the state have passed into the hands of organized crime" - Enrique Peña Nieto

Heroica Veracruz, Veracruz -
Speaking at a graduation ceremony for Mexican naval cadets, president Enrique Peña Nieto said today his government is working hard to restore peace in violent Michoacán state, where six Federal Police officers were killed in an ambush by unidentified gunmen on Tuesday.

"Michoacán has the full backing of the federal government, as we return the rule of law to every region of the state," he said. Yesterday Peña Nieto called an emergency meeting of his cabinet to deal with chronic instability in the area, which has plagued the new PRI administration since last spring.

He promised Federal Police and Mexican army units would remain deployed throughout Michoacán until order is restored. Some citizen militias said they welcomed the news, where three major cartels are locked in a struggle for control of drug trafficking and other criminal enterprises. At least 2,500 heavily armed federal personnel are already in the state, and more are likely to be dispatched soon.

But in neighboring Guerrero state, where similar problems prevail, the so-called policias comunitarias are violently opposed to the army's presence. Yesterday they blockaded roads to prevent the advance of federal troops, and took a handful of soldiers into custody. Civilian militias stop Mexican army near Acapulco.

On his return to Mexico City from Veracruz this afternoon, Peña Nieto candidly told journalists on the presidential aircraft, "Unfortunately, some parts of Michoacán are now under the control of organized crime forces." But the president, who campaigned last year on a pledge to reduce violence, insisted that things are getting better. "I believe we're advancing in that direction."

"I asked for a reasonable time. For a year. In states like Chihuahua and Nuevo Leon, there has been a significant reduction of violence. In the case of Michoacán, we're giving priority to its problems."

Despite Peña Nieto's comments to the press today, recent events suggest Chihuahua state in northern Mexico is far from secure, especially in rural communities where local law enforcement ranges from weak to nonexistent. More narco butchery in impoverished Guadalupe y Calvo.

The president said the Mexican attorney general's office would prosecute those responsible for the violence in Michoacán. But as of today, no one is in custody and no suspects have been identified.

July 28 - Mexican vice admiral killed in further Michoacán violence
Feb. 19 - NY Times finally figures it out: in Mexican drug war, Enrique Peña Nieto = Felipe Calderón

May 23 - Fiasco in Michoacán suggests little has changed under new government
July 24 - "¿Por qué deberíamos preocuparnos?"
July 24 - Mexican army units fortify Jalisco-Michoacán border
July 25 - A black week in Michoacán: 36 dead, an invisible governor and a failed security plan
Aug. 16 - Autodefensas y autoaniquilación del Estado (El Informador)

© MGRR 2013. All rights reserved. This article may be cited or briefly quoted with proper attribution or a hyperlink, but not reproduced without permission.

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