The army and marines have sent 300 soldiers to aid in the search, this brings the total to over 600 federal elements, including 350 police officers who are desperately looking for the body of 'El Chayo'
“The federal government has reinforced the operation that is being coordinated in Michoacan, the objective of which is to protect the citizens of the statefrom the violent acts committed by the La Familia cartel in the past few days," said a message from the office of the Secretary of Public Security (SSP) Genaro García Luna.
The intelligence and anti-drug operations by the federal and military forces were reinforced this Saturday in Michoacan, one of the poorest states in Mexico and an important producer of Marijuana and the home of La Familia.
Various vehicles were still burning and blocked the entrances of the city of Apatizingán this Saturday, located in the southern part of the state. The gun battles began to be reported on Wednesday, and according to the government Nazario Moreno, capo of the cártel had died.
“What remains clear: We will not retreat,” said SSP Genaro García Luna during a ceremony for the five fallen officers whose lost their lives during the operations.
The SSP began an operation last wednesday against LFM when they obtianed information that ‘El Chayo’ was attending a religious ceremony in Apatzingán, according to various Mexican news sources.
The police convoy alerted the sicarios of the federal presence and they initiated an attack that would last all day into Thursday evening. The fight between uniformed officers and gang members ended with the official death toll of 11. among the victims, an 8 month old baby, a 17 year old, and five police officers.
According to La Jornada, the body of ‘El Chayo’, was guarded by over 400 fighters, who fled with his body into the Sierra.
During the first hours on Friday, the military has been searching the mountain in southern Michoacan and the surrounding towns, looking for members of La Familia.Feds deny a split with State Authorities
Press Secretary Alejandro Poiré, denied that there was any lack of confidence between the Calederon administration and the state goverment of Michoacán, lead by governor Leonel Godoy.
“Because everything has happened so quickly, there is the perception that this was done without the proper communication between us and the state: not so. We maintained contact during the operation with Michoacan government” Poiré assured.
To this respect, Leonel Godoy reiterated the federal government had not advised him of their operation and was furious that his administration was not enlisted to help or assist the population during "an onslaught by federal forces, whom they (Michoacan citizens) didn't ask to have this done."
“This should have been planned out and coordinated with us, so that the citizens would be shielded from harm and given emergency service. But most of all to instill calm and order during the operation."
He went further to deny any connection between La Familia and members of his government, saying that they had increased the number of yearly state police evaluations, and "we remain vigilant of any influence of criminal organizations within our ranks."
Banner claims support for El Chayo's successor
A "narcomanta" appeared that stated support for La Familia in the historic center of Morelia.
"Señor Chango Méndez, Give the Federal Government Hell, But please don't involve civilians, and don't burn cars, they have nothing to do with any of this."
The message was removed by state police. There was no signature of any individual or group.