Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Mexican army units fortify Jalisco-Michoacán border

Guadalajara -
In the wake of multiple attacks against Mexican Federal Police units in Michoacán on Tuesday, the commander of the Fifth District Military Region, Gen. Daniel Velasco Ramírez, announced today that the state border with Jalisco has been sealed by army units. Michoacán erupts; 22 dead as regional violence escalates.

Major roads will remain open to traffic, but military checkpoints have been set up at many locations, to prevent violence from spilling over into Jalisco and to watch for persons who might have participated in the guerrilla style assaults. The porous border between the two states has been the scene of periodic drug war hostilities since late last year. Death toll in Jalisco-Michoacán violence rises to 28.

Troops will man posts in roads throughout the border counties of Pihuamo, Tecalitlán, Jilotlán de los Dolores, Santa María del Oro, Quitupan, Valle de Juárez, Manzanilla de Paz, Tizapán el Alto, Jamay, La Barca, and Degollado.

"We're not looking for anything in particular," said Velasco Ramírez. "This is a preventive measure."

Four more Federal Police officers died today from wounds they sustained in the sudden ambushes in Michoacán, bringing the total death total to 26. All six victims were part of a patrolling police convoy.

The government has not offered a theory on who the attackers may have been. The prime suspects are drug cartel operatives or citizen militias hostile to the presence of federal forces. Civilian militias stop Mexican army near Acapulco.

The main cartels operating in Michoacán are Los Caballeros Templarios and the Cártel Jalisco Nueva Generación (CJNG), also known as Los Matazetas, or "Zeta Killers."

July 28 - Mexican vice admiral killed in further Michoacán violence
July 25 - Federals will remain in Michoacán, promises Peña Nieto
May 23 - Fiasco in Michoacán suggests little has changed under new government
Apr. 11 - Mexico's "policías comunitarias" will prompt some to argue Failed State theories

Guadalajara residents woke up to this headline on Thursday, July 25. The men in the photo are part of the self-appointed civilian police force in the town of Aquila, Michoacán. The PRI government wants to dismantle all such policias comunitarias, but the task is proving extremely difficult, with the threat of violence constantly in the air. Some say the autodefensas have cartel links, but most regard them as the only local authority which can be trusted.

© 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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