Friday, February 8, 2013

Luvianos: the bloody battle that was covered up

Proceso (2-6-13)

Translated by un vato for Borderland Beat

MEXICO, D.F. (Proceso).-- Last year, on August 23, residents of the Mexico State municipality of Luvianos noticed suspicious activities that were a prelude to a new confrontation between groups of drug traffickers disputing the plaza.
 
"On the main entrance to the town that comes from the turn off from the road to Bejucos, on the exit towards Zacazonapan and in downtown streets, several pickups with tinted windows started to circulate, and, acting as if they were police, would stop cars that they thought looked suspicious to inspect them," says a resident who asked not to be identified.
 
A cab driver also commented that in the ranching community El Estanco, three miles east of the main entrance to Luvianos, a group of unknown individuals arrived in pickups with tinted windows and installed roadblocks on the roads, where they remained for more than two hours: "They were stopping everybody, those who were going to, and those that were coming out of, Luvianos."
 
Because they have lived through prior confrontations, the residents of Luvianos dug in inside their homes and closed their businesses. There was a rumor going around that members of La Familia Michoacana were looking for  gunmen from Los Caballeros Templarios who had managed to infiltrate their territory to try to take over.
click on image to enlarge
On Friday, the 24th, the number of clandestine roadblocks around Luvianos increased, and with that, the tension. Local authorities did not get involved.
 
The morning of the 25th  (of August) began peacefully, as if the residents of Luvianos and the surrounding area had gotten used to the constant traffic of pickups with tinted windows. After midday, on the road that goes over the river and across the Barranca del Gato, about two miles east of Luvianos, the persons on one of those vehicles opened fire on a car.
 
"They wounded a woman on the arm; she was driving a car that a relative had loaned her and they said that people with La Familia were looking for that relative, that's why the fighting started," says one of the residents, who also asks to remain anonymous.
 
It was on the 26th at dawn that another group, in retaliation for the attack on the woman, went over to Barranca del Gato to attack the people at the roadblock. According to area residents, the first "big shootout" took place between Barranca del Gato and the ranch quarters at Cruz de Piedra, which are located about a half mile from Cerro de la Culebra (Culebra Hill).
"The shots could be heard from a long ways off. Those people use only cuernos de chivo (AK-47s) and AR-15s. They hit each other with everything they had, there were a lot of shots fired -- says one of the witnesses --; the shooting lasted more than 30 minutes, and, of course, there were deaths, everybody around here saw that.

But it's also the practice with those killers for each side to pick up their dead and all the fired cases. They do this so they won't leave evidence for the "greens" or the "blacks" (soldiers and federal or state police)."

The residents in the municipality believe that "somebody important" in one of the groups must have fallen in the first shootout because about 40 minutes after the shooting, there were pickups and cars chasing each other on the flanks of the Cerro de la Culebra (Culebra Hill), about two miles from the municipal seat.
 
Information gathered at the ranch houses and ranches adjacent to Luvianos tell of at least eight shooting skirmishes. The second confrontation, "for certain" -- says a witness --, was near the turn from Luvianos to Caja de Agua, where "the shooting was intense." Minutes later there was another volley of shots "with high powered weapons" at the ranch houses in La Toma de Agua, where the residents say "there were casualties on both sides."
The fighting between suspected gunmen with La Familia Michoacana and Los Caballeros Templarios reached all the way to El Pueblito and Acatitlan, about 10 miles from Luvianos. The chase extended to just past the Acatitlan River, towards the west and in the direction of La Estancia, where the road joins with the intersection that goes to Zacazonapan. 
Some residents say that the final confrontation took place in the outskirts of La Estancia, hours after the slaughter on the river crossing at Barranca del Gato.

Adding up the testimony, it's calculated there were between 27 and 32 (persons) killed, and dozens of wounded. "They picked up their dead and took them away on canvas covered trucks; that's what they always do," says a local.
 
Along with their casualties, both sides carried away the evidence: they didn't leave any cartridge cases and they swept the roads with tires tied to the rear bumpers of the pickup trucks.

Law enforcement; not involved

The majority of the accounts agree that the municipal authorities and the state and federal police detachments assigned to Luvianos remained totally quiet during the gunfights. "They've paid them off," says a woman. "All of us who live around here  already know that when the shooting starts the only thing we can do is hide because the police and the military are good for nothing," she adds, then she begs us not to publish her name.
 
Nobody in Luvianos can say with certainty which groups fought each other on August 26. The majority believes they were different groups from La Familia Michoacana who split up and are fighting to control the plaza. Others argue that Los Caballeros Templarios want to take the plaza from La Familia Michoacana, controlled around here by "El Faraon" and "La Marrana."  The first individual is an alleged friend and protege of President Enrique Pena Nieto, former governor of Mexico State.
 
Another allegation is that it was a battle between the groups that La Familia Michoacana and the Zetas have put together and Los Caballeros Templarios and La Mano.
 
Some residents say that about seven young men from that area died in the shootout, but others state that the criminal groups won't touch people from the municipality. The first witnesses recount that they saw several young men run into the cornfields, some of them wounded. They say they went up to the houses to ask for clean clothes to change their bloody ones.
 
Despite this, another local says that: "Many of the young men who took off running and the ones they picked up (dead) looked like Central Americans, because of the way they talked when they knocked on doors and because of the features of those that were killed. They were between 17 and 30 years old. It's very common now for the people who work for the Luvianos criminal groups to be Central Americans".
 
The authorities of the State of Mexico and of the Luvianos  municipality declared that on August 26 there was no slaughter nor any high intensity confrontation among suspected drug trafficking groups.

However, after that, beginning that afternoon dozens of federal and state police officers, in addition to several Army squadrons (sic), arrived at the municipal seat. They patrolled the battlefield hours after the shootouts but did not find bodies nor any cartridge cases.
 
They told the people here not to leave their homes during the next few days; the businesses closed down and classes were suspended from Monday through Wednesday in all of the Luvianos schools," a woman says.

23 comments:

  1. Bring on the drones they r nasty little things that would take out whole convoys and then some and are unmanned bad news for the bad guys just ask pakistan.believe me those cartels do not want those things anywhere near them

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  2. as long as they keep away from innocent citizens and clean up after each gun fight....why need drones?

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  3. shut up 1244 am its a mexican problem if usa comes mexico will really get nasty, mexico dont want that mexico will fight alot more then other cartels

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  4. Drones sound a great idea. How on earth do the cops there allow illegal roadblocks, are they all on the cartels payroll?

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  5. drones? this is mexico dumb ass.
    why dont you bring superman!!

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  6. Who's going to operate the drones? The same Mexican military and police that are already in league with the cartels? Yeah that's going to work.

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  7. Notwithstanding the elementary mental level of the first post and others to come in this and other reports...The title is a little off.

    The title should read "battles" because there have been atleast a half dozen prior to an subsequent to this battle that the report is based on. practically all of southwestern mexico state is a low intensity battle zone in a rural setting, unlike the battles taking place in the Valley of Mexico.

    Not sure if it has come up on the reports you all translate here, but LFM has moved its home territory to the land known tierra caliente, consisting of southwestern Mexico State, Northern Guerrero, and Souteastern Michoacan. This is were they have their growing areas for MJ and Opium poppies.

    They also have the largest presence in the Toluca Valley and surrounding communities to the south and west of Toluca, and this goes a long way in creating a buffer zone through which the CT are held a bay from incurring through eastern Michoacan and the Guerreros Unidos from invading through the Morelos Mex St border. Additionally the mountains in central Guerrero are a natural barrier that goes a long way in preventing territorial diputes with other guerrero based Cartels.

    If I am not mistaken, LFM must have accords with other cartels based out of Guerrero because in the northern regions, were conflict should be prevalent, it is tensely calm around the Taxco Iguala corridor, save for a few ajustes and the more noticable attacks on authorities, which I suspect is a tactic used to put the authorities in their place and respect accords established. As you are well aware that there has been documented evidence of the level of local infiltration that the LFM has acheived with the video showing a mayor in northern Guerrero reaching an agreement with LFM. To my knowledge of the situation here, outright pago the piso is non existent in the coummunities surrounding toluca so that goes a long way in showing that LFM doesnt rely in large part on extorting the general populace, instead relying on kidnapping and telephone extortion of the well of to wealthy population. In a sense, relative security exists in the Toluca Valley and surrounding areas because widespread cuotas are not LFM MO.

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  8. The true statistics of how many people have been killed in the drug war will never be known. With many of the people killed being from South of the Mexican border. People being taken off and buried with no trace. Who really knows. It could be double. A lot of times people go missing and the families do not even report it, because they are afraid of the police and the Narco's. Many times one and the same. How about the Federal police commandants that do not even report their men as missing or killed. Add all these things up and the numbers that have been reported that have died would be small in comparison I believe.

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  9. How about support the legalization of cannabiss bill beong proposed in congress npw. Prohibition lead tp mafias from alcapone to tdays chapo. stop asking for violence. It will only make them xpand

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  10. puro mierda... "On Friday, the 24th, the number of clandestine roadblocks around Luvianos increased, and with that, the tension. Local authorities did not get involved." FAILED STATE

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  11. Drones will create even more civilian casualtys! Build armed forces and police that actually do there job and want to protect the people not weak men who are paid off to look the othr way! Men who are tired of the narcos destroying families on both sides of the border!

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  12. Its family-tradition to become involve with organized crime around Luvianos, Est. de Mexico. I've meet various families from that border area of Mich /Est.de MEX and one thing I know for sure they like to make that easy money.

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  13. La Mano? Is this the same as La mano con ojos? or is it a different group i hadnt heard about..

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  14. Chivis et al

    Thank you for the service you provide. As a born Mexican national currently living elsewhere it is good to know information about my country.

    Exiliado

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  15. Drones are great for taking out children. UN says drones have killed the evivalent of 15 sandy hooks. Good job.

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  16. Exiliado...

    thank you for the appreciation, but this post is the work of my friend Vato, also an exiliado and a much better translator than me.
    thanks again....Paz, Chivis

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  17. You mean to say criminal activity was NOT reported by Anybody in Mexico Damn thats strange!!

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  18. Thank you for the quick response Chivis. I've been wondering, what happened to the guy that was arrested as being Chapo's son? Can you find out more information about that? I've searching on the net but can't find anything.

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  19. those drones are going to be turned on U.S.A. citizens that don't turn in their guns when ordered by obama to do so.

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  20. They're some bad motherfuckers! Not only do they never leave a fallen comrade but They police their brass after a firefight!!!!

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  21. Good info, its all correct except that the reason for the whole battle was that the leader of la familia el pony was not paying his due quota and was laying about how much money the kidnapping business was bringing in. Several members from la familia split from after el pony order the killing of a cousin of ...... shortly after el pony el negro and la marrana the last 3 major familia leaders decided to fortified luvianos because most of the familia members that left the organization are from this municipality. The battle was mostly between this ex members and current members of la familia. Los caballeros only came in at the of the gun fight to cover the retreat and make sure that the ex member s didn't get slaughter. The enemy of my enemy is my friend type deal. Well this goes with out saying but after the split el pony and la familia lost vital connections in government that they previously had. Since the split almost all familia leaders have been killed or arrested including low level plaza leaders. The last big fish el pony is still a live but looking for away out of this big mess. He has left the local area for sinaloa or so he said to see if he can renew the alliance with .... but hopefully that fails and comes back empty handed. Or maybe he will just dissappear he has no family ties this area. The way the public will know that la familia is finally done is when the municipal president of luvianos mr.benitez is killed, he is a current member of la familia and contributes about 10k a month to the organization for the hiring of gun men. The local population is kept in checked by rape and torture. The only virgin left in luvianos is located inside the local church.

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