Why Is Mexico’s Security Strategy Failing?

Source: Forbes

9/27/2022

During the administration of President Andres Manuel López Obrador, Mexico has struggled with historically high levels of homicides. On September 22, 2022 during a morning press conference López Obrador faced off with journalist Jorge Ramos over his government’s track record of dealing with violence. Ramos held up a placard showing that AMLO’s government has overseen more murders than any other administration in modern Mexican history. López Obrador chose to deny and deflect. “I don’t agree with you,” he countered. López Obrador continues to remind voters about the violence Mexico experienced during the presidency of Felipe Calderon (2006-2012.) He does not mention, however, that his own government has overseen a significantly higher level of violence. According to data from Mexico’s National Institute of Statistics and Geography (INEGI), the country recorded 42,676 murders during the first three years of Calderon’s government, a time when Mexico was considered to be “at war” with its drug cartels. Under López Obrador, the government has promoted the slogan “hugs not bullets” and also embraced a massive expansion of Calderon’s militarized security strategy. What has not disappeared, however, is the violence. Mexico has recorded 109,059 murders between 2019 and the end of 2021, during the first half of López Obrador’s sexenio. In order to discuss the issue of violent crime in Mexico, I reached out to Vanda Felbab-Brown, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, a Washington D.C.-based think tank.

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Gunmen kill 10 people at pool hall in central Mexico

09/23/2022

Source: CBS News

Armed attackers killed 10 people in a pool hall in an industrial region of central Mexico plagued by drug cartel-related violence, authorities said Thursday. The massacre happened on Wednesday night in the municipality of Tarimoro in Guanajuato state, according to the regional prosecutor’s office.

The bodies of nine men were found at the scene and another man died in hospital, it said.

The governor of Guanajuato, Diego Sinhue Rodriguez, condemned what he called a “cowardly attack” and vowed to restore order.

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The Empire of Los Chapitos

A postcard from Culiacán

Source: Ioan Grillo Substack, Narco Politics

We run into the punteros by the tollbooth on the road from Mazatlán into Sinaloa’s colorful state capital of Culiacán. They are operating so brazenly they have even put up a tarp to shield themselves from the punishing sun. An older guy with a baseball cap and mustache stands under the tarp with his open palm above his belt buckle in the pistol-packing pose. A younger guy with a mop of black hair buzzes over to us on his motorbike and asks what we are up to. 

Punteros is a term you hear more in Sinaloa, the cradle of Mexican drug trafficking, than in other states. It is often used in place of halcones, the lookouts for the cartels, but the punteros of Culiacán are a little different. Halcones in other Mexican cities usually adopt a low profile as they keep their eyes open for anything that moves and report it up the chain by cellphone or radio. The punteros in Culiacán can be more overt, so marking the territory, or el punto. They usually have motorbikes and are often armed. And they frequently sell drugs at their point as well as providing eyes.

We are filming a shot of the highway with a drone, which is grabbing their attention. When the puntero comes over, I explain we are making a documentary series which is just about music and he looks over the shoulder of the cameraman at the images from the sky. Our local producer gives the puntero a fist bump and asks what he is selling. The puntero flashes bags of weed and wraps of cocaine and asks if we want to buy. 

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“Tengo cáncer, pero no me cansaré de buscar a mi Lalito”: el drama de los desaparecidos en México

Fuente: La Silla Rota

31/08/2022

licia Guillén se siente triste e incluso cansada, pues desde hace una década ha buscado sin cesar a su hijo Eduardo Meza Guillén, “Lalito”. Tenía 6 años cuando “desapareció” en la colonia Francisco I. Madero, en Tuxtla Gutiérrez, Chiapas.

Pese al panorama adverso y al detrimento de su salud, ella ha recorrido casi todo el país para encontrarlo, sin éxito. En compañía de cientos de madres, ha pisado morgues, fosas comunes y clandestinas, así como hospitales.

También ha pegado volantes o carteles en postes y paredes, pero no ha tenido éxito. Por el contrario -según narra- lo que ha recibido son amenazas, humillaciones y el desdén de las autoridades, principalmente las de Chiapas.

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US tourists beware: Popular Mexico getaway plagued by drug cartel intimidation and violence

08/25/2022

Source: Courier Journal

TULUM, México – With its turquoise waters, white sand and ancient ruins, this city has become an increasingly popular spot for tourists seeking a getaway along the Caribbean coastline.

Its raves, nightclubs and exclusive resorts and restaurants offer a more tranquil getaway than Cancun, its more well-known neighbor 81 miles to the north.

But the increasing threats of violence pervading Mexico have made their way here, as well as the surrounding state of Quintana Roo. U.S. State Department officials issued a warning Aug. 17 of a heightened risk of violence to Americans traveling there.

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Declaring Mexico safe: the week at the morning news conferences

08/28/2022

Source: Mexico News Daily

The president insisted his rivals had conspired to falsely paint Mexico as a dangerous place.

Bullets flew, highways were blocked and convenience stores burned on a busy weekend for cartel members. Meanwhile, President López Obrador was in Nuevo León, attending to the water crisis. Attention is required: in Monterrey water has only been running for 6 hours/day since early June.

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Sector empresarial preocupado por violencia en México: “Matar niños y civiles rebasó todo”

19/08/2022

Source: Infobae

El Consejo Coordinador Empresarial hizo pública su preocupación acerca de los recientes hechos de violencia que se suscitaron en estados como Jalisco, Guanajuato, Chihuahua y Baja California, en donde población civil fue directamente atacada por grupos dedicados al crimen organizado. Además, mediante su presidente Francisco Cervantes, el organismo reconoció los actos como formas de terrorismo en contraposición con el discurso que ha sostenido el mandatario López Obrador.

Y es que, luego de que Cervantes se reunió con el embajador de los Estados Unidos en México, Ken Salazar, el empresario fue cuestionado por la prensa sobre cuál era la postura del CCE respecto a la inseguridad en el país y si esta era considerada como terrorismo, a lo que contestó: “Es que como tal, fue tal. Eso de matar niños y civiles ya rebasó todo”.

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Journalist found dead near U.S. border in Mexico, the 14th media worker killed in the country this year

Source: CBS News

8/17/2022

An independent journalist found dead in northern Mexico was killed by a blow to the head, authorities said Tuesday, reporting the latest in 14 slayings of Mexican reporters and media workers so far this year, the deadliest in recent memory for the profession.

Prosecutors in the border state of Sonora announced earlier that the body of Juan Arjón López had been found in the border city of San Luis Rio Colorado. They said the journalist, who had been reported missing Aug. 9, was identified from the tattoos on his body.

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El narco se ensaña contra la población en México

16/08/2022

La masacre del jueves contra civiles en Juárez no fue, como explicó el viernes el presidente Andrés Manuel López Obrador, un caso inédito de ensañamiento contra la población. Se ha sucedido en los últimos años en diferentes puntos del país con la misma voracidad: Reynosa, Fresnillo, Aguililla, Caborca… El viernes por la tarde, en un ataque coordinado, el crimen organizado incendiaba vehículos y cortaba carreteras en las principales ciudades de Baja California, Tijuana, Tecate y Mexicali.

Una escena similar a la que vivió el jueves Ciudad Juárez y dos días antes, en Guanajuato y Jalisco. Lo que parece insólito es la cantidad de hechos violentos del narco que han incendiado cinco rincones del país en menos de una semana. Las portadas de la prensa nacional llegaron a abrir tres días seguidos con las llamas consumiendo negocios, gasolineras, camiones, pueblos rendidos a su poder. Y con muertos.

LEA MÁS 

earthquake

Mexico’s week of drug violence shakes administration

08/16/2022

Source: ABC News

Days of widespread drug cartel arson and shootings in four states last week have left Mexicans asking why the drug cartels exploded and what do they want. The attacks killed 11 people, including a young boy and four radio station employees who were randomly shot on the streets of the border city of Ciudad Juarez, across from El Paso, Texas, on Thursday.

The federal government deployed soldiers and National Guard troops to calm residents’ fears, but the outbursts of violence raised questions about President Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s approach of putting all responsibility for security in the hands of the military rather than civilian police forces.

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