Tuesday, January 25, 2022

The Border Crisis Is Bad, But In Mexico A Larger Crisis Looms: Most Americans don’t realize it but the Mexican state is in serious trouble, and we won’t be able to ignore it for much longer

John Daniel Davidson
The Border Crisis Is Bad, But In Mexico A Larger Crisis Looms
Most Americans don’t realize it but the Mexican state is in serious trouble, and we won’t be able to ignore it for much longer.
Video footage recently surfaced on Twitter showing C4 explosives being dropped by a drone near a town in Michoacán, Mexico, reportedly by members of the Jalisco New Generation Cartel, following hours of clashes between armed groups.
In the video, a small explosion hits a woodland camp, a cluster of tents amid dense trees and dirt roads. Men scatter, running for cover. Another volley of explosives is released. When it hits, the camp erupts in flames. The drone lingers, its camera darting around, zooming in and out over the camp as it burns, like it’s looking for something. Seconds later, the drone is shot out of the sky.
It’s the kind of video clip that surfaces on social media now and then, offering a glimpse of outlandish happenings in Mexico. Most Americans have no way of making sense of these videos, or imagining what they portend.
The easy conclusion to draw is that Mexico has serious problems with organized crime, as it has for decades. But armed drones are something new, part of what some security experts have called an “arms races between the various belligerent criminal organizations” in Mexico’s multi-decade drug wars.
In this particular case, narco-drones are being deployed in a turf war in and around the city of Tepalcatepec, which sits on the border of the states of Michoacán and Jalisco, about 350 miles west of Mexico City. Local news reports indicate the Jalisco New Generation Cartel, commonly known by its Mexican acronym, CJNG, has launched multiple drone strikes in the area in recent weeks, escalating months of intermittent gunfights and ambushes.
CJNG is one of the most powerful and ambitious cartels in Mexico, and it appears determined to take control of the state of Michoacán. Since 2019, the cartel has been battling a loose confederation of other armed groups collectively known as the United Cartels, as well as the Mexican National Guard.
Many of these other groups began as autodefensas, or self-defense militias, whose purpose was to resist the encroachment of cartels like CJNG. But many of them, including those in Tepalcatepec, eventually got involved in drug trafficking. They became little cartels.
It’s Not Cartels vs. The Government
This is just one of many ongoing narco conflicts in Mexico. In America, awareness of it amounts to a disturbing 35-second clip on Twitter of a drone bombing a camp. But that one clip represents a depth of violence and corruption in the state of Michoacán that’s endemic to nearly all of Mexico, from rural backwaters to the heart of Mexico City.
And it’s not as simple as cartels versus the government because the two groups often overlap. Last March, a former mayor of the town of Aguililla, about 50 miles south of Tepalcatepec, was arrested in Guatemala on a U.S. warrant for allegedly brokering a $4 million deal on behalf of the United Cartels. The plan was to ship a half-ton of methamphetamine to Florida, hidden in concrete tiles and house paint. --->
Read the rest from John Daniel Davidson HERE

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