Friday, July 2, 2010
Days of Rage in Sinaloa
Thursday July 1,
The bodies of 3 men abducted the night before are found abandoned on a dirt road outside of the town of Juan Jose Rios this morning. All three are victims of multiple gunshot wounds.
When the police arrive they realize that one of the victims is still alive. He is a young man who police did not identify but is expected to recover from his wounds.
He has cheated death but his executioner may not be so lucky. The usual penalty is death for a low level “sicario” who has been so careless as to fail and leave someone alive who may exact revenge.
Wednesday June 30. Culiacan, Sinaloa
A mother, Rosa Cruz Rios, and Perla, her 6 year old daughter were killed and another daughter, age 10, was wounded when the pick-up truck in which they were riding was attacked at a gasoline station by an armed group of men. Two other women riding in the truck, neighbors of Mrs Cruz, were also wounded.
The driver of the truck, the children’s father, returned fire and repelled the attack.
It was not known if the attackers suffered any casualties.
Wednesday June 30. Sinaloa de Leyva, Sinaloa
Wednesday morning the bodies of 6 men from El Tarraizal, a village high in the Sierra Madre mountains, are located by authorities. Dozens of 7.62mm AK-47 shell casings littered the area where 5 bodies were abandoned. Another body, with it’s head crushed, was found on the bed of a pickup belong to one of the victims.
Some of the men displayed severe machete wounds.
A narcomensage (message on a placard) was left behind stating that everyone who supported “El Chuyiyo” would meet the same fate and was signed by “los de arriba”, the people from above.
The 6 men had been abducted Tuesday evening by a group of armed men dressed in black and claiming to be state judicial police who walked into El Tarraizal and drove the population away from their homes. The gunmen and their victims left on several vehicles that were robbed from villagers.
Tuesday June 29. La Vainilla, Sinaloa
A group of up to 60 gunmen dressed in black and armed with assault weapons and RPG launchers attack and occupy the two mountain villages of La Vainilla and El Opochi. They are believed to be part of the same group that attacked El Tarraizal earlier the same evening.
All three villages are within the same municipality of Sinaloa de Leyva in the northern area of the state.
In a night filled with hysteria and terror the gunman fired into the homes of the villagers who lay on the floor of their homes as bullets penetrated doors and walls. The yelled “where is Chuyiyo cabezon” as the kicked down doors in search of men on a hit list.
Most of the villagers including all of the men had fled their homes into the mountains and only the old and some women and young children were left to sob and plea for their lives.
Before the gunmen left they torched at least 10 homes and vehicles. No fatalities were reported by the villagers.
“We live in hell," said some of the victims "the authorities were already warned that this could happen, we asked for help and they ignored us,"
Six hours after the attack around 10 soldiers and several municipal police arrived but retreated after inspecting the site according to the villagers
“We were questioned, we went from victim to being held responsible”
On June 9 of this year the town of Baburia lived through a similar assault and occupation by gunmen who abducted six men and burned down several houses and vehicles.
The six men were found executed the next day.
The inhabitants of La Vainilla, El Opochi, El Tarraizal and Baburia are mostly poor marijuana growers who live at the mercy of the traffickers and the military. They are expendable.
Tuesday June 29. Los Mochis, Sinaloa
A campaign closing event for the PRI candidate for governor, Jesus Vizcarra Calderon, was disrupted as a portion of the crowd of sympathizers stampeded after hearing gunshots. According to some witnesses several masked gunmen fired into the air after failing to abduct an individual who escaped and fled into the crowd.
Other witness claimed it opposition PAN supporters who disrupted the rally. Whatever the cause of the stampede, it is not lost on the attendees that even political rallies are no longer safe.
Both candidates, Jesus Vizcarra of the PRI and Mario Lopez Valdez of the PAN, are reputed to be “narcopoliticos” with connections to drug traffickers. Jesus Vizcarra has been photographed with Ismael “El Mayo” Zambada, one of the leaders of the Sinaloa Cartel.
Sinaloa is a small agricultural state with a population of only 2 and a half million people that is known as the baseball capital of Mexico. The state is also infamous for its violent outlaw history.
Sinaloa is the state with the highest concentration of marijuana and opium under cultivation in Mexico. Its highlands produce some of the most potent pot in North America.
It is the birthplace of most of Mexico’s drug kingpins. Miguel Angel Felix Gallardo “The Godfather” who was Mexico’s top trafficker in the 1980’s, the Caro Quintero, Arellano Felix, Carrillo Fuentes, Beltran Leyva and Zambada clans, and Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman and Hector “El Guero” Palma all call Sinaloa their birthplace.
The state also supplies a majority of the deadly “sicarios”, or assassins, that serve as killers for the Sinaloa and other cartels. The names of paramilitary hit squads originating in Sinaloa such as “los Pelones” and “los Negros” are feared throughout Mexico.
The violence in Sinaloa is unstoppable. No authority, at any level of government has been able to stop the terrorism of organized crime and its breakdown of civil society and state institutions
Official numbers show that the government strategy has brought a resurgence of homicides to Sinaloa. June 2010 was the most violent month in the history of the state with 226 drug cartel related murders.
Sinaloa has suffered 1,202 murders for the first 6 months of 2010. For 2009 the number of murders for the whole year was 1,243. Sinaloa now has the highest murder rate of any state in Mexico.
June 2010 was in fact the deadliest month of President Calderon’s term for the entire country of Mexico. This month there were 1,200 murders linked to organized crime. Sinaloa and Chihuahua accounted for almost half of these murders. 103 of these victims were soldiers and police. The number of innocent civilians is unknown.