Conflict in Mexico’s Heroin Heartland as Self-Defense Groups Cry ‘Narco’

11/14/16 InSightCrime

download-7Two self-defense groups in Mexico‘s troubled state of Guerrero have accused each other of involvement in organized crime, illustrating the complexity of the criminal landscape in the country’s heroin epicenter.

 

The Union of Peoples and Organizations of the State of Guerrero (Union de Pueblos y Organizaciones del Estado de Guerrero – UPOEG) and the United Front for the Security and Development of the State of Guerrero (Frente Unido por la Seguridad y Desarrollo del Estado de Guerrero – FUSDEG) have long been rivals in the southern state, but their relationship is in its “tensest moments yet” according to the newspaper Milenio.

The two groups are allegedly fighting over control of part of the federal highway 95, also known as the Heroin Highway, which connects the violent seaside resort town of Acapulco with the state capital Chilpancingo, and eventually, Mexico City. Both groups maintain checkpoints along the part of the highway that runs between Petaquillas and Xaltianguis, Milenio reports.

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In Mexico’s Murder Capital, Signs of Gold Rush Are Emerging

10/18/16 Bloomberg

guerreroIn Mexico’s Guerrero state, a lot is hidden in the dirt, secrets both gruesome and wonderful. The unmarked graves that dot the rolling hillsides give Guerrero its moniker as Mexico’s murder capital. But there’s gold here, too — lots of gold.

Toronto-based Torex Gold Resources Inc. opened its first mine earlier this year, representing a rare victory in Mexico’s efforts to fuel economic growth in a state ravaged by drug gangs fighting over the opium crops that feed U.S. heroin habits.

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Priest reported kidnapped found dead, 3rd slain in Mexico in last week

09/25/16 CBS News

16351122146_4433fe03f6_mMEXICO CITY — A missing Mexican priest was found shot dead off the side of a highway in western Mexico days after he was kidnapped from his parish residence, state prosecutors said Sunday. He was the third Roman Catholic priest to be slain in Mexico in the last week.

The Michoacan state Attorney General’s Office said in a statement that the Rev. Jose Alfredo Lopez Guillen’s body was found Saturday night in an area called Las Guayabas on the highway between Puruandiro and Zinaparo.

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Mexico Can’t Stop Lying About a Massacre

09/26/16 The Daily Beast

16755068770_143d2d4146_oMEXICO — The lives of dozens of Mexican families were forever altered when bullets rained down on their sons, rural college students who dreamed of one day becoming teachers.

Two years ago this Monday, a convoy of corrupt police ambushed students traveling to the city of Iguala, from the underfunded, all-male Raul Isidro Burgos Rural Normal School in the impoverished state of Guerrero. The hours-long encounter, often referred to as “the night of terror,” left six people dead—both students and passersby.

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Mexico drug violence: State police chief found stabbed to death in Acapulco home

09/20/16 The Indian Express 

CrossAuthorities in the southern Mexico state of Guerrero say the head of the state police has been stabbed to death.

The state public safety department said state police director Tomas Hernandez Martínez was found dead Monday in his home in the resort city of Acapulco. Acapulco has been hit by a wave of drug gang violence.

In another part of Guerrero, the state prosecutor’s office said members of a drug cartel had freed six employees of a gold and silver mining plant who were kidnapped.

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Farmers Switching from Coffee to Poppy in Mexico’s Heroin Hub

09/16/16 InSight Crime

download.jpgFalling coffee production in Mexico‘s Guerrero state, in part due to a devastating plant fungus, has reportedly contributed to rising poppy cultivation, in turn facilitating the state’s transition into a battleground for competing drug groups.

Coffee production in Guerrero fell 88 percent between 2003 and 2016, from 4,638 tons to 552 tons, reported El Universal. This decline came on top of an over 13,000-ton drop in production following the 1992-93 coffee cycle, which produced an estimated 17,572 tons.

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Massive Shootout Shakes Mexico’s Epicenter of Violence

08/26/16 InSight Crime

Guerrero, MExicoA prolonged shootout between over 100 armed civilians and a dozen police officers in Guerrero, Mexico, has left six dead, another example of how the state’s complicated criminal dynamics have helped turn it into the country’s epicenter of violence.

On August 23, there was a four-hour confrontation between as many as 150 armed men that authorities said belonged to a criminal group and 12 police officers, reported Milenio. Three gunmen and three police were killed, while two other officers were injured.

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