Wednesday, January 17, 2018

The bloody battle for the Veracruz Plaza

Translated by Otis B Fly-Wheel for Borderland Beat from a Proceso article

Subject Matter: Veracruz, Los Zetas, CJNG
Recommendation: Read this article by BB forum contributor Mica

Reporter: Noe Zavaleta
In the first 12 days of January, a dozen human heads were abandoned in the insides of four vehicles, with the advertisement that a " criminal cleaning" was going on in the southern zone of the State. The dismembered corpses of the victims, alleged criminals, according to the governor Miguel Angel Yunes Lineares - were left in black garbage bags, the same were found inside of cars in Tlacotalpan, with five bodies, Sayula de Aleman with four bodies, Minatitlan two bodies, and Cosoleacaque with one. The macabre photos from the scenes were circulated in national and international media.

The capital saw a night of terror this past Saturday the 13th, when alleged sicarios of Z-35 ( old school zetas) left nine dismembered corpses in the inside of a minivan, as well as three cartulinas threatening the Secretary of Public Security, Jaime Tellez, and his Director of Operations, Gerardo Guzman, whom were responsible for "not respecting our agreement".

"More united than ever, the people respect", was the phrase that they left in the three messages. In the morning a man had been kidnapped in the Laureles colonia and executed with 14 bullets in front of the Judicial power base of the State.

In the last trimester of 2017, the CJNG left hundreds executed in the towns of Tuxpan, Tierra Blanca, Martinez de La Torre, Chacaltianguis, Tlacotalpan, Sayula de Aleman and Cosoleacaque, as well as in the principal urban areas of Xalapa and the port of Veracruz. In the capital, human remains were abandoned near the historic center and one block from a public security checkpoint and in the vicinity of the bus station.

IN Coatzacoalcos, the place where the Zetas were settled, violence intensified following the arrest in  Cardenas, Tabasco of regional boss Hernan Martinez Zavaleta, El Commandante H, and the taking down of Bernardo Cruz Mota, El Nino Sicario, and of Elias Aguirre Sanchez, El Metro. His subordinates maintaining an internal fight for control of the plaza, with the consequent executions of various members.

While in the south of the State, the CJNG warns that it will take control of the plaza and annihilate, Los Zetas, kidnappers, assailants and extortionists. In the north of the State, in the Huastec region, Grupo Sombre of the CdG have been trying to win a hearts and minds of the population with various festivals in public places.

On social networks, a video was circulating with sicarios from Grupo Sombra distributing toys in La Concordia Park, in the municipality of Panuco, while giving toys and other items to children, youths and mothers dressed in tactical vests with FEGS (Fuerzas Especiales de Grupo Sombra) shouting Arriba el Grupo Sombra, while the recipients replied with Arriba  viva la Sombra.

In Veracruz, the headache for Miguel Angel Yunes Linares in his first 13 months of government has been security, which in his campaign he promised to sort out in 6 months.

According to statistics from the Executive Secretariat of the National Public Security System, in this period there have been 2414 murders and 178 kidnappings. In this regard, Yunes has assured that 70% of those crimes involve organized criminals and their associates.

The SESNSP does not include the alleged criminals killed by State or Federal Police forces, as these are not counted as homicides.

Last June, in a frank declaration of the battle against organized crime, Yunes Linares assured that the SSP and the FGE, in coordination with Federal Forces had 300 criminal specific objectives, but to date they have given no figures for those arrested or killed on the list.

Through communications it is known that Ricardo Pachecho Tello, El Quino, head of the CJNG in the Gulf of Mexico was killed. However, several of his subordinates continue to commit crimes in Veracruz and have expanded to the Sotavento region, Papaloapan Basin, south zone and in points bordering Oaxaca and urban areas of the State of Puebla, according to an intelligence report from the Attorney Generals office.

Zeta decline

Commandante H was arrested in Cardenas, Tabasco, but the Los Zetas leaders and subordinates in the southern zone of Veracruz, some of foreign origin, continue to fight for control of illicit activities, according to an intelligence report called "Coatzacoalcos Criminal Structure", carried out by the SSP which states that there are still 17 targets in that town among narcotics distributors, Piso bosses and head of halcones.

In the presidency of Javier Duarte the criminal gangs of Gente Nueva, Mata Zetas, Los Zetas and CJNG predominated, and with Yunes Linares there is a maelstrom of adjustment of accounts between Los Zetas cells, CJNG, Antrax, Sinaloa Cartel, Grupo Sombra, Cartel del Golfo and the independent groups of huachicoleros.

Members of Morena, like the legislator Amado Cruz and the state leader of the party, Manuel Huerta, have insisted that Veracruz urgently needs a federal commissioner in matters of security, as Michoacan had in the past, in order to stop the criminals.

But the PAN legislator Maria Josefina Gamboa Torales assures that there are advances in terms of security, because today with Yunes, she says, they are not hiding those killed, as happened in the sexenio of Javier Duarte.

"I do not despise the security issue, there are challenges to be achieved. When we arrived we only had 180 patrols, in a few months we will have 600, but I believe that before the government deceived the SESNSP, and only reported 3 homicides even if it was a 100, and that has been reflected in the fosas that are being discovered today, those bodies were not killed yesterday, they have been in there for years", he said.

Gamboa Torales assures that crimes against humanity were present with Duarte, and a clear example are the massive demonstrations and uprising of young people of Xalapa, Veracruz Port, Ursulo Galvan and Coatzacoalcos, to mention a few.

The new governors are blaming the past but that is nothing new, and PAN responds, " you arrive at a destroyed house, in which there are leaks, in which the pipeline does not supply, there are holes in the floor, and there is a demand to instantly fix it, but we have to first put the foundations back in place, before we can move forward, you can not start from a lie, and in telling the truth, the institutions have been destroyed."

In a meeting of the Coordination Group of Veracruz, held in recent days, Yunes Linares stressed that recently there was a capture of 400 kilos of cocaine in the Port of Veracruz and 90 kilos more in the Federal Police station in Papaloapan basin, and he insisted that, after analysis of the five regions of the state, the security situation is much better already.

He also stressed that he wanted to make it clear that the police are not there to care for criminals, if criminals engage in criminal activities, they they have to accept those risks. In addition and on repeated occasions he has insisted that he is only concerned about the safety of "good people".