Wednesday, July 24, 2013

More narco butchery in impoverished Guadalupe y Calvo

In default of a military presence, mayor solicits God's protection

Guadalajara -
Guadalupe y Calvo is a county in the northern Mexican state of Chihuahua. The county seat of the same name is home to about 6,000 persons.

There is no industry or commerce in the rural region, apart from raising marijuana and opium poppy. Those operations are controlled by competing drug cartels, which pay local workers $12-$15 dollars a day to till the land, bring in the harvest and pack the products for shipment north, to the U.S. border. No other economic livelihood is available for many, and there are mouths to feed.

Traffickers are prepared to wage a war to the death for the land in this area. Not only is it tillable for their purposes, but it's only a few hours from the vast Texas borderlands, where drug mules are ready and waiting to move the merchandise to 1,286 American markets.

Guadalupe continues to be an epicenter of narco violence, with innocent residents sometimes caught in the crossfire. Last Dec. 7 a still unidentified commando team entered the town and occupied it for hours, setting fire to homes, businesses and vehicles, and executing 11 persons who may have had nothing to do with the narcotics industry. No one has ever been arrested, and the town mayor said at the time, "We can only commend ourselves to God, and ask that He protect us all." In the hard, cold land of the Sierra Tarahumara, narco traffickers wage open war against the poorest of the poor.

Last month an Institutional Revolutionary Party mayoral candidate was kidnapped near Guadalupe y Calvo. No ransom demand was received by his family, but his bullet ridden body turned up several days later. That case, too, remains unsolved. PRI mayoral candidate assassinated in Chihuahua.

Now an entire village two hours outside of town has been virtually razed by drug traffickers.

Near a tiny poblado called Mesa de la Reforma, state police found hundreds of ejected 7.62 mm caliber shells Monday afternoon, together with the burned out hulks of seven vehicles and the charred remains of a half dozen humble houses. But not a single living soul was present to answer questions about what had happened - just the ravaged bodies of six persons, one decapitated by the massive firepower.

The rest of the 200 residents of the settlement abandoned it, investigators concluded, either before or right after the terror. The 389 cartridges which littered the dirt roads are used in the AK-47, standard issue among Mexican drug cartels and aptly known here as the cuerno de chivo, or "goat horn," for the shape of the weapon's magazine.

Some of the victims were dressed in military camouflage and wore flak jackets. The men, who ranged in age from 19 to 37, were caught in a skirmish between warring traffickers in the region and no one was around to stop it. There is no significant federal troop presence in the remote area. Army units are far too busy addressing security issues elsewhere in Mexico, such as Michoacán and Guerrero.

For the last three months the new Institutional Revolutionary Party administration has been publicly proclaiming that drug war deaths are falling precipitously, while showcasing the decommissions of narco kingpins (two of which, to be sure, were very significant victories).

But for the average Mexican, the drug war continues. On August 11, it will enter its 80th month. In Guadalupe y Calvo and surrounding communities, the cartels and traffickers unquestionably still rule.

The December 2012 attack on residents of Guadalupe y Calvo

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

No comments:

Post a Comment