Sinaloa, the traditional home and stronghold of the Sinaloa cartel, reportedly the oldest and most powerful drug cartel in Mexico, has seen a frightening increase in the level of violence in 2010. Rival criminal bands associated with other cartels have been active in the northern and southern areas of the state.
Criminal bands such as los Mazatlecos and Isidro “Chapito” Meza Flores who are loyal to Alfredo Beltran Leyva “el Mochomo”, under arrest since 2008, and hostile to “el Chapo Guzman” continue to control parts of northern Sinaloa.
In the south around Mazatlan, other bands loyal to the Carrillo Fuentes family are in conflict with the Sinaloa cartel. Among these are Zeta and La Linea cells that are in a permanent state of disrupting Sinaloa cartel territory, “calentando la plaza”.
Even Culiacan has seen “narco” banners hung by La Linea. Sinaloa may no longer be the comfortable home base that the Sinaloa cartel took for granted. Los Zetas are active in parts of Jalisco and Durango, two states that border Sinaloa.
Recently, a Los Zetas group has been particularly active in the port and tourist city of Mazatlan, considered the most dangerous municipality in Sinaloa.
A state of terror has been imposed on the city in recent days by actions that authorities have attributed to Los Zetas,
On Monday evening, November 29th at 6:40 PM, The head investigator for the state prosecutor’s office in the southern sector of Sinaloa, María Guadalupe Guzman Ramirez, was shot dead as she drove on Avenida de los deportes in Mazatlan by two gunmen aboard a motorcycle.
According to what officials at the scene, Guzmán Ramírez, had just left work and was travelling alone, without bodyguards, in a Ford pickup.
The state prosecutor’s staff (PGJE) in Mazatlan took this murder as an ultimatum from the criminal gangs that have taken hold in southern Sinaloa. In a document they conveyed to the state Attorney General, they stated that law enforcement lacks the proper security and conditions due to the power of organized crime.
"Many public servants have fallen because they have fulfilled their duty without the minimal conditions of security, and knowing that different areas of the Attorney General’s Office have been infiltrated and that knowledge of who is involved in various investigations is known to organized crime."
Among the investigations that Guzman Ramirez was heading was the murder of 28 Zeta inmates at the Mazatlan federal prison at the hands of a rival organized crime group.
The executions aimed at authorities continued the next morning.
On Tuesday, November 30th, at 1:30AM approximately twenty gunmen opened fire on the policemen as they arrived at the Soriana Santa Rosa center, shooting hundreds of rounds from assault rifles including a Barrett .50cal rifle.
The two police were answering an alarm tripped by the gunmen who were attempting to steal 3 ATM machines from the shopping center
The two police officers were identified as Jesús Hernández Aguirre, 36, and Héctor Hugo Guerrero Durán, 42.
Then on Sunday night, December 5th, two men were shot dead by an armed group inside a Juanelos beer distributership located on the Avenida Insurgentes. Killed in the attack were Daniel Villa Edson Hernández and Alejandro Martinez Alvarez.
The gunmen arrived at 8:30 PM immidiately after musicians had left the establishment and opened fire on both men and fled afterwards in two vehicles.
Before they left the threw two human heads, a leg and an eye of the sidewalk in front of the building. Witnesses reported the heads had the letter Z carved on their foreheads. Four “narco” banners signed by Los Zetas were placed at the scene.
The identity of the two beheaded victims remains unknown.
More Zeta attacks are expected in Mazatlan.