México, DF. The third quarter of 2010 marked the beginning of a new wave of violence that was headed towards the states of Jalisco, Nayarit and Colima, provicated by a dispute between two sides: The alliance of a group of Zetas and a faction of the fractured Beltrán Leyva Organization, are fighting against a coalition of the Sinaloa, los Valencia, La Familia and Gulf cartels.
The escalation of this troubling situation has caused the government of Jalisco to elaborate on its new strategy to combat organized crime. This includes setting up police checkpoints at important avenues and streets in Guadalajara to look for, and inspect cars with out of state license plate, particularly those from Tamaulipas and Michoacán.
They are also looking into building more military outposts in the areas were official and military traffic share the roads between the rural zone of Jalisco and Michoacán, this is in accordance to official statements released this past week and obtained by La Jornada.
Criminal groups consider the zone to one of the most important points of reception of precursor chemicals from Asia that are used to manufacture synthetic drugs, (mostly crystal meth). Often, cocaine shipments from Central and South American nations make there way through the area as well. Overall, the metropolitan zone of Guadalajara was considered a sanctuary city for major narcotics traffickers and their families until about one year ago, according to officials present at a meeting of the National Security Cabinet (el Gabinete de Seguridad Nacional y del Sistema Nacional de Seguridad Pública).
The initial cause of the violence (according to information obtained by La Jornada) was the execution of Alejandro Coronel at the hands of Los Zetas, which happened early in April of 2010. His father, the infamous capo Ignacio 'Nacho' Coronel Villarreal, died on the 31rst of July that same year, he was killed by gunshot wounds sustained during a lone confrontation with elements from the Mexican Army.
|Ignacio "Nacho" Coronel, Jefe of the Jalisco Plaza (deceased)|
According to the numbers from the national homicide database, the murders that are associate with organized crime have multiplied in the three southern states. In 2009 there were 37 murders in Nayarit, the following year, that number rose dramatically to 377; in Colima 33 murders were reported in 2009 and in 2010, the number rose to 101.
As for Jalisco, the level of violence in major: 2009 seaw 261 murders while the following year 593 homicides were attributed to organized crime groups. In one month, January has seen 72 homicide opened in Jalisco.
Death Arrives as Alliances are Made and Broken.
October 28, 2009 - Orlando Nava, 'El Lobo Valencia' (recently extradited to the U.S.) was arrest. He was the principal operator for Nacho Coronel. According to the Secretary of Public Security (SSP) of Jalisco, that was the beginning of the fracture in the group led by Coronel Villarreal which maintained control of all the state of Nayarit, Colima and Jalisco.
El Lobo Valencia, Leader of los Valencia / Milenio cartel
After the capture of El Lobo Valencia, federal authorities say Guzmán Loera was looking for a way to boost his organizations presence in the zone occupied by his colleague 'Nacho' Coronel, and he began to plot against him. Chapo began to send his own people into the plaza's of Jalisco, this action cause territorial disputes to arise between the two capo's sicario cells. The confrontations generated a major number of violent executions, jumping from from148 in 2008 to 261 in 2009, figures backed up by official government statistics and studies.
April 7th, 2010 - At the luxurious tourist destination called Paradise Village, located in Nuevo Vallarta, Alejandro Coronel – who was allegedly wround17 years old– was abducted along with two of his friends while Fernando Gurrola Coronado, ex president of the Student Council of Guadalajara, was simultaniously executed on the spot at the Vallarta campus.
Official accounts say that these deaths were committed by members of the Zeta organization, however it is a well known rumor that it was actually Joaquín 'El Chapo' Guzmán who was behind the killings.
Days later, Nacho Coronel group gave authorities the location of the body belonging to Santiago Lizárraga, El Chaguín, principal operator for the Beltrán Leyva organization in Nayarit, in fact 12 more sicarios were subsequently killed and their bodies were incinerated in response to the killing of Nacho's son.
State and federal authorities agree that after the death of his son, Nacho Coronel began to lose control of his zone of operation, inparticular the strategic entrance into Jalisco from Michoacan was quickly taken by members of La Familia, los Valencia and the Gulf cartel, with the full support of Guzmán Loera.
"We are going to teach you how to be a man and to respect family, murderer of children. Here is your wife, which you refused to answer for. I hand her back to you healthy and safe so you can see and learn that for us family is sacred. We do not kill women or children, we are only going after `El Hache´ y `El Dos Mil,´ as well as several police officers working for Hector Beltran Leyva and Francisco Hernandez Garcia."
July 31rst 2010 - The Mexican Army conducts an operation in Colinas de San Javier, where Ignacio Coronel Villarreal was eventually gunned down by army elements. In Jalisco's upper echelon of government, it is said the Don Nacho's position was betrayed by his former associates in the Sinaloa cartel. 5 days after his death, The CNGN announces they are operating independently in the region through a video released on YouTube, they also say the state is off limits to outside groups and organizations.
Local authorites say this organization is a collection of former operators, distributors and sicarios who are native born to Jalisco and once loyal to Ignacio Coronel and his son.
Their principal rival is a group calling themselves La Resistencia, they are supported by the Sinaloa, La Familia, Gulf and los Valencia (a.k.a. Milenio) cartels. LR is composed mostly of people born in Durango, Sinaloa, Tamaulipas, Michoacán and the state of México,indicated SSP officials working in Jalisco. After the death of Nacho Coronel, the Sinaloa cartel was left with three leaders: Joaquín Guzmán Loera, Ismael 'El Mayo' Zambada and Juan José Esparragoza Moreno, 'El Azul'.
Authorities in Nayarit, Colima and Jalisco say that the CJGN is made up of 25-30 year olds with maintain residence in Guadalajara, Zapopan, Tlajomulco, Tlaquepaque, Tonalá, Juanacatlán y El Salto.
In recent days, the state administration has said that intelligence reports it has received indicate that La Resistencia is estimated to have about 200 members, mostly men who are very well trained in military tactics and can use their skills to great operational capacity.
This group –according to local authorities– is led by high ranking members of the Gulf and La Familia Michoacana, and this coalition has taken over territories in Jalisco that were formally under Sinaloa control. Experts agree that it would be likely to see an implosion of La Resistencia, infighting between those who wish to stay under the auspice of the Sinaloa cartel and those who wish to have complete control of key plazas in Jalisco and are mostly loyal to the LFM, Gulf, or Milenio cartels.
Attacks and Narcoblockades
Armed confrontations between Jalisco Nueva Generación and La Resistencia provoked fretful days of tension in January and early February of this year. Most of the violence was reported in municipalities of metropolitan area of Guadalajara. Various narcoblockades were reported, along with attacks on police stations and officers which included grenade attacks against elements of the Mexican Army and various local law enforcement institutions.
In response to a recent warning isued by the U.S. consulate office to all its employees that the city of Guadalajara is unsafe to walk through at night, the governor of Jalisco has announce an increase of night-time street patrols and vows to crack down on the violence afflicting his state.