Friday, September 27, 2013

Soldiers kidnapped near Guadalajara

Covert mission wasn't covert enough

Guadalajara -
Four soldiers assigned to undercover duties were kidnapped late last night in the municipality of Magdalena, northwest of Guadalajara, a national news source reported early today.

The kidnappers seized the soldiers and spirited them away in a taxi, according to witnesses in the area. A municipality is the equivalent of a U.S. county. Magdalena's county seat is a town of the same name, and is home to over 20,000 people.

Officials of Mexico's department of defense have requested assistance from federal, state and local authorities.

Government sources say Magdalena is an important marijuana growing region, and is home to many narco laboratories where methamphetamine and other synthetic drugs are manufactured. Major drug cartels and regional gangs are struggling for "control of the plaza" throughout Jalisco state, including Los Zetas, the Cártel Jalisco Nueva Generación (also known as Los Matazetas), the Cártel del Golfo and La Corona. The latter has been responsible for considerable violence in Guadalajara this year. Jalisco prosecutor announces arrest of La Corona gang members who killed American in bar attacks.

The four soldiers were in the area on a covert mission, but their identities were apparently discovered.

Local officials in Magdalena have found themselves caught in the crossfire between warring traffickers. On Aug. 23, 2012 the town's police chief was killed. On Nov. 27, a senior police official in Magdalena was attacked while in the town of Tlaquepaque, just outside of Guadalajara proper. He survived, but his personal escort was killed. The assailants arrived on motorcycles.

More than a year ago private security consultants in both the United States and Mexico predicted that Guadalajara and Jalisco would become new drug war battlegrounds, as the nation's 60-80 cartels splinter into regional and local gangs determined to stake their own claim to the huge profits earned from narcotics trafficking. The predictions have proven accurate. More attacks on Jalisco police; state homicides increase.

On Jan. 29 the police chief of Hostotipaquillo, Jalisco, northwest of Guadalajara, was shot to death by an execution team. One of the chief's two escorts was also killed, as was an attacker. The chief's wife and a bystander were badly wounded.

Organized crime violence is common all around the Guadalajara metro periphery, including near Lake Chapala southwest of the city, where there is a large community of Americans in the town of Ajijic.

July 18 - Matazeta boss arrested in Guadalajara ordered 2008 Mérida decapitations
Apr. 24 - Six Lake Chapala police officers ordered to stand trial for kidnapping, attempted murder
Jan. 20 - Narco executions continue in the heart of Guadalajara, and near Lake Chapala
Nov. 30 - Commando squad attacks police near Lake Chapala

© 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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