Does ‘cutting off the heads’ of Mexico’s cartels really work?

May 7, 2015

05/06/15 The Christian Science Monitor 

machine gunMexico has scored dozens of drug-war “wins” over the past several years, with cartel kingpins apprehended anywhere from secret tunnels to bustling restaurants, and paraded in front of news cameras as a sign of progress. But a confrontation that unfolded in and around the western state of Jalisco last weekend – complete with cartel-manned rocket-propelled grenades and a felled military helicopter – shows that the battle against drug traffickers here is far from won. Violence erupted in 20 municipalities and spilled into four states, killing at least seven people. The recent ascendance of the New Generation Jalisco Cartel (CJNG), which orchestrated the weekend mayhem, has some questioning the strategy President Enrique Peña Nieto inherited from his predecessor Felipe Calderon: Sending in federal troops to cut off the head of a cartel and hoping that the rest of the organization dies.

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Washington Toughens Warning For Jalisco, Home To Thousands Of Americans, As Mexico Fights Cartel

May 7, 2015

05/06/15 Forbes 

jaliscoThe unprecedented level of violence last week that struck parts of the Mexican state of Jalisco, home to the largest resident population of Americans outside the U.S., persuaded the Obama Administration to update its Travel Warning for Mexico just three weeks after issuing its previous warning. Without naming the Jalisco Nueva Generación (New Generation) cartel, a powerful criminal group responsible for shooting down a military helicopter with RPGs on May 1, the State Department warns that “violent clashes between criminal organizations and government authorities, and related disturbances including barricades of burning vehicles blocking major roads and highways, are ongoing concerns that typically occur without notice.”

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Violent new drug cartel alarming authorities in Mexico

May 4, 2015

ABC News, 5/2/2015

mexican flagAn increasingly strong drug cartel known as Jalisco New Generation was showing off its power with a spasm of violence that killed seven people and forced down a military helicopter in western Mexico, analysts said Saturday.

Jalisco state was relatively calm the day after gunmen set fire to cars, buses, banks and gasoline stations and trade gunfire with soldiers and police. The violence erupted after security forces launched a campaign against the cartel Friday.

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Suspected ‘narco blockades’ close roads in Guadalajara, Mexico with burning vehicles

May 1, 2015

Fox News, 5/1/2015

jaliscoAuthorities in western Mexico are asking residents to stay at home as they scramble to extinguish burning vehicles blocking roads in various parts of Guadalajara.

The prosecutor’s office in the western state of Jalisco used its Twitter account to ask residents of Guadalajara to remain calm Friday morning as authorities responded to the suspected blockades ignited by a drug cartel.

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Attack in Western Mexico Leaves Police Officers Wounded

April 7, 2015

ABC News, 4/7/2015

gun - crime sceneAn attack on a police convoy in the western Mexico state of Jalisco has left at least some officers wounded, marking the latest in a growing series of confrontations between law enforcement and criminal gangs.

The Jalisco state prosecutors’ office did not say how many officers were wounded in the shootout late Monday in a rural area.

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Mexico: Elite Police Officers Slain

March 24, 2015

By Paulina Villegas, New York Times, 3/20/2015

gun - crime sceneA new, elite federal police unit intended to be a premiere force against drug gangs suffered its biggest loss this week when five members were killed in an ambush, federal officials said Friday, raising questions among analysts about the unit’s training. The ambush, in Jalisco State on Thursday, left five other people dead, including two civilian bystanders and three of the presumed attackers, officials said. The officers belonged to the Gendarmerie, a 5,000-officer division of the federal police formed last year by President Enrique Peña Nieto to go after organized-crime groups hurting economic interests in various trouble spots in an effort to ease foreign investors’ concerns about safety. The officers were in a convoy patrolling an industrial corridor in Ocotlan when they came under gunfire from more than a dozen vehicles. It was unclear what prompted the attack.

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Mexico arrests four over congressman Gomez Michel murder

October 6, 2014

10/05/14 BBC News

jaliscoPolice in Mexico have arrested four men in connection with the recent killing of governing PRI party congressman Gabriel Gomez Michel. The men were arrested in the western state of Jalisco. Police released no further details. Mr. Gomez Michel, 49, and his driver were abducted in broad daylight on a motorway leading to Jalisco airport on 22 September. Their bodies were found a day later in the boot of their burnt car. The authorities have so far not established a motive for the killings. Politicians from his party said they suspected a criminal gang was behind the murder.

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