Blog dedicated to reporting on Mexican drug cartels
on the border line between the US and Mexico

Saturday, December 12, 2015


Posted by DD, republished from Daily Beast

 It seems they have tried everything in Guerrero.  In 2013 the first all-female armed Citizen Police group was formed in Xaltianguis. The force is made up of mostly middle-aged housewives, mothers and grandmothers.  (See Chivis BB story)


Guerrero is infamous for gang wars and the disappearance of 43 students. Not only have efforts to bring law and order failed, they may have made matters worse.

When the French tricolor on Facebook became ubiquitous after mass murder in Paris, thousands of Mexican users responded with a reminder of a lesser-known war in their own country.  (DD. I have to admit that as tragic as the atrocity was in Paris, my first reaction was why don't the mass murders in Mexico get the same attention and news coverage)  In the image, the Mexican flag is draped, translucent, over the gruesome portrait of a Mexican mother and her two small children slain execution-style in the southern state of Guerrero.

Their bodies are splayed on a gravel path in a rural setting. The mother’s eyes remain open. The infant boy lies face down on her lap. The girl, a skinny 7-year-old in pink flip-flops, is sprawled at her feet.

“Let’s see how many Mexicans make this flag their profile pic,” reads a comment on one Facebook post that has been shared more than 15,000 times.
To observers of violence in Mexico, the state of Guerrero was supposed to be last year’s news. In 2014, the murder rate was the highest in Mexico and eight times the national average. It was the year that 43 students from the Ayotzinapa rural teachers’ college were taken into police custody in the town of Iguala and disappeared. A search expedition did not locate the missing students, but uncovered hundreds of hidden graves of unidentified human remains buried in the gloomy hills outside the town.

But rather than exhaust itself, the violence in Guerrero seems only to have gotten underway. The murder rate so far in 2015 is 29 percent higher compared to the same period a year ago. And what is most shocking about the new wave of violence is how generalized it has become throughout the state. The effects of the turmoil are being felt everywhere from the small towns of the Sierra region to the western port and resort of Acapulco.

Five police commanders from Acapulco were assassinated between April and October of this year. The level of violence directed at the local cops is unprecedented in the city’s history, according to the Mexican investigative journalist and author David Espino. The Guerrero state prosecutor sets the overall number of gangland executions in Acapulco at 754 so far this year—an average of 2.3 per day. The tourist economy is a shambles: The magazine Proceso reports that a thousand businesses and 14 schools have closed due to violence, and cruise ships have all but ceased calling at the port.  

The authorities in Guerrero tend to attribute most drug-related violence there to “a settling of scores” between rival gangs. This is the explanation that Espino received from an anonymous source in the prosecutor’s office, that the police commanders had done favors for one drug gang only to be murdered by a rival group.

The authorities tend to avoid getting involved in such “settling of scores”; 89 percent of the murders committed in Guerrero go unpunished in the state court system, according to the 2015 Mexico Peace Index. Guerrero has not only the highest murder rate in Mexico, but the highest rate of impunity.

The new governor, Héctor Astudillo, was elected in June on a campaign pledge to bring “peace and order” to the state. But he has not been able to stanch the bloodshed. Not even with the latest infusion of federal troops to the state announced last month by Mexico’s Interior Secretary Miguel Osorio Chong.

Since Astudillo took office on Oct. 27—restoring the long-ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party to power after a 10-year absence—there have been at least 30 murders in Guerrero.

Security analysts doubt that the promised surge of federal troops to troubled areas will have the desired effect. Mexican security forces in Guerrero suffer from deepening public suspicion. A report by the International Crisis Group found that impunity on human- rights abuses and high levels of corruption have caused an erosion of public trust in federal troops.

As InSight Crime notes, “This has created a situation where horrific crimes like the 2014 disappearance of 43 students are no anomaly, but rather part of a pattern of violence that goes unpunished under the gaze of complicit or inept officials.”

The surge of violence in the mountainous interior adheres to the same pattern as Acapulco. That area is prized territory—its inaccessible roads providing a natural barrier to unwanted visitors, its climate and soil supplying 42 percent of the opium poppy used in Mexican heroin—and thus is territory perpetually in dispute between rival traffickers. Even so, the violence in the area this month has been a “settling of scores” on an extraordinary scale.

The gruesome portrait of the mother executed with her two children that turned into a disturbing meme on Facebook came from a massacre on Nov. 4 in Tetitlán de las Limas. The victims are the sister, nephew, and niece of an ex-police chief in Chilapa. The police chief went into hiding last year after Mexican security forces relieved him of his command and disbanded the municipal police force. Six of his relatives were murdered in a span of two days, Nov. 2 and 3, including a son of his, age 27.

On Nov. 4, gunmen murdered another local law-enforcement official, the sheriff of Polixtepec and his secretary. The lawmen were ambushed while driving along a dirt road to the village of Puentecillas. In a separate incident, gunmen massacred 12 people, including two minors, at a clandestine cockfighting event in Cuajinicuilapa, three hours down the coast from Acapulco. The state prosecutor Miguel Angel Godínez Muñoz reported that the gunmen were hunting for a rival capo.
The increase in violence has brought to a head the conflict between the military and the civilian inhabitants of the interior. The civilians have long criticized the Mexican Army’s inaction before the threats of organized crime in the area. The existence of civilian armed self-defense guards is an admission that a security vacuum exists—a vacuum that municipal, state, and federal law-enforcement authorities combined have been unable to fill.

On Nov. 13, the situation came to a head. An Army patrol of 200 men was halted in the village of Carrizal de Bravo by a crowd of about a thousand villagers from the municipalities of Leonardo Bravo and General Heliodoro Castillo. The villagers had sent for the Army nine days prior when the sheriff and his secretary were murdered. In the intervening days, with no sign of the Army, the self-defense guards took matters into their own hands, with a hundred of them engaging local gunmen in a battle in the village of Polixtepec that lasted several hours and left three cartel members dead and six in the self-defense guard wounded.

When a patrol from the Army’s 35th Zona Militar finally did arrive in the area, the soldiers disarmed and arrested members of the self-defense guard and did not pursue the members of the drug gang. Shortly thereafter, when the crowd of a thousand intercepted the Army patrol, the soldiers agreed to release the several dozen men in custody and return the firearms that they had confiscated. 

Near the end of the hours-long negotiations with the soldiers, the villagers received word that the drug gang had attacked self-defense members near the village of El Naranjo. The civilian residents pleaded with the soldiers to return and investigate the report, but they did not. The Mexican Marines later sent men into the area; they did not confirm any body count but did find incinerated vehicles amid numerous other signs that an armed confrontation had taken place.

Local reporters interviewed Benito Bello Meneses, a leader in the self-defense guard who was caught in the firefight. Bello said the gunmen attacked after the Army had disarmed the self-defense guards, depleting the strength of the force right as its enemies were staging a counterattack. The actions by the Army, he said, amounted to collusion with the drug gang: “Our compañeros were handed over to the killers by the soldiers, the same thing that happened with the students from Ayotzinapa,” he said.

Members of the self-defense movement in the Sierra region say that Governor Astudillo is being selective about how the state implements his pledge of order and peace. On one hand, the Army has absented itself from the violent clashes in the Sierra, while on the other a strike force of a reported 500 state and federal police officers attacked a caravan of 150 student activists on Nov. 11.

And, yes, the students were from the Aytozinapa rural teachers college. They were traveling in eight intercity buses. Reporters at the scene say the police stopped the buses at a roadblock on the highway, broke out the bus windows and fired tear gas inside.

The police prevented the students from commandeering a diesel fuel truck which they intended to use for a protest caravan destined for the Nov. 26 global day of action for the disappeared 43 students from Ayotzinapa. Thirteen students were arrested and later released; 20 were injured, at least a dozen were hospitalized.

The Ayotzinapa students accused the government of ordering the attacks as part of a strategy to quarantine social activism in the state. Felipe Flores Velázquez, a student spokesman, characterized the attack as an act of persecution and criticized Governor Astudillo for deploying the police against students at a time when drug-related violence is rampant throughout the state.  

The area near the town of Tixtla where the students were attacked will host a special election for mayor on Nov. 29. At the regular elections in June, residents of Tixtla set fire to ballot boxes in protest against the government’s inaction in the disappearances of the 43 students.




  1. Those poor people.Is there no end for their misery?No win situation,damned if they do,damned if they don't..

  2. I never trusted ppl from guerrero they will betray their own family members for money not all but most insane how even there wars on this ppl with they're neighbors this ppl don't wat being humble is . Chihuahua was most dangerous bc of border territory but this ppl are the most envious let them kill each other I just feel sad for the innocents
    -saludos desde Guanajuato Donde se respecta

    1. soo agree woth you man

    2. 6:04 it is not people from guerrero, güey cabeza de mierda...
      It is the government of the state of Guerrero and their police, military, paramilitary, their drug dealing compadres, the different gangs the government sponsors, "and all the rest"...
      You do not just blame "the people of the state" like a pendejo.

    3. Primero respeten a las burras y chivitas que se andan pisando por los cerros y luego comentas aqui en BB compa.
      Desde Chiraq .

    4. 11:25 must be from Guerrero lol

    5. Respeta a las gallinas y becerras que te llevas a pastorear primero zerote.

    6. The government is like that every where they don't force to pull the trigger retard .. So yur telling me the goverment cops or w.e are like Yu know wat everyone today go kill innocent ppl we want this to become a record ? So la cabeza d mierda here is you . or why ain't that bad everywhere then?

    7. 11:25 AM & 1:19 PM, there's only one shithead, a dead Paisa called Pauly. That said, 11:25 AM, I totally agree on your take,It is the government of the state of Guerrero and their police, military, paramilitary, their drug dealing compadres, the different gangs the governmen."

  3. At one time Communist revolutionaries would've flooded into these areas and defended the people...or at least attempted this.
    This is the dark side of capitalism!

    1. Dark side of Capitalism? The absence of Communist rebels is irrelevant. Anyway they would be fighting with and/or for the cartels as we have seen.

    2. Mexico needs a revolution but the communist model is out-of-date.

      Look up the Rojava Revolution on Wikipedia or elsewhere. That's the model Mexico needs. Build comunitario and auto-defensa groups across the country. Build prominent roles for women, including in auto-defensa groups. Build universities and educate the people, not just socially and politically but also in terms of technology and science, so the country can compete globally. Legalize marijuana and poppy and fight to make sure that the profits stay with the peasant communities that grow it primarily, and the national educational/welfare/health/military structure otherwise. Narcos who don't kidnap/extort/harm the public can be legitimized.

      Any nacionalistas out there??

    3. 5:41 and a rat trap...
      2:13 when the peoples are being chased all over, the normalistas exterminated or just disappeared, and there is no peace or jobs and all the corruption emanates from those who hold on to power with the blessing of the US and the UN and the EU...
      --what are the chances for your UTOPIA?

    4. This is part of the reason Mexico is in the shape it is,clowns like this are not in the minority.
      Mexicans have a terrible insular outlook on so called 'foreigners' and their countries..
      They dont learn and never will.The worst ones are ex-pats like DD who become half assed experts on everything Mexican,,like an ex-smoker,basically an asshole,who blame all the ills of Mexico on historical bullshit ? Whatever

    5. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. True in guerrero if u dont have food on the table your own Brother will kill you for food scraps leftover sad.savages plain n simple. Little 5 ft punks dont play in high school i got whooped by a guerrero an im from guanijuato where life dont cost a thing. (vida no vale nada)

    1. They might be short and dark but don't trust them lol

  5. Is there a fund for ayotzinapa students or school?
    They deserve better than depending on that criminal government, be it pri, pan or prd, they are all working together, but the foreign corporations boss the government around, remember GEORGE SOROS PAID FOR THE APPEALS OF THE ACTEAL CHENALHÓ.BUTCHERS OF ZEDILLO AND CHUAYFFET IN PRISON. AND THAT GEORGE SOROS LOOSES HIS GOLD, NOT JUST THE "CANADIAN MINERAS"...

  6. Thank you BB !
    excellent work , I have been following various segments of this story for awhile.
    Heartbreaking .
    PAZ y AMOR

  7. Hard to believe in this rather long article the words "gold," "mine" or "mining" are not mentioned.

  8. Only reason Mexican atrocities don't get coverage is because reports out there get killed or kidnapped for doing there job.

  9. 'my first reaction was why don't the mass murders in Mexico get the same attention and news overage'

    Typical knee jerk reaction from DD..
    It was an organized terrorist attack on wholly innocent people ? Mass murders in Mexico are committed by Mexicans..

    1. 2:50 or DD, most mass murders in mexico are committed by mexican government assets, all financed by US and their global vulture capitalist associates, still trying to make voodoo economics of Reagan and the vulture capitalism of "hw", "w" and mitt romney work...the more it does not work, the more they push their luck.
      --i would never blame all the american people for the dirty deeds of the hypocrites that have hijacked the US government to make money they do not even need...
      --if you were half the man you think you are, you'd be apologizing to the "mexicans" DD you like to slip a turd once in a while, and hope we think it is a report, right?
      --Mexico's News blackouts do not allow reporting as it should be

  10. These AD are trying to defend themselves but the stupid government hinders them instead of helping these poor communities. There are many comments made on BB, that the Mexican people do not stand up for them selves; that they are all sheep. How can they defend themselves when the military comes in and disarms the already poorly equipped ADs.

  11. If only Arturo Beltran was still alive , he had control.

  12. While, this is a valid story, it is mainstream and published in English to begin with. I have been following BB since 2010, support this blog's mission, and respect the 4 lives that paid the highest price of all for contributing to BB. As BB loses its legitimate edge, I am losing the respect I once held for BB as a publication.

    1. If this is the best story the reporter could find, it does not matter what is the original language, specially when there is the spanish news blackouts everywhere, mister "losing respect".

    2. One guy or his fuck-ups are not what BB is all about, we are watchin' and we can comment...
      --Keep the faith

  13. @6:04 People that want an education, health care, just pay for their work, and oppose their oppressors, including the government that imprison and steal from them their very living and selectively murder or buy their representants they themselves elected...
    --Are they communist?
    --Or traitors to a mexico whose government betrayed, robbed, murdered and sent the army, the police or their sicarios to kill them first?
    --Funny how some pendejos have no idea about their own pendejismo...

  14. Say WHAT ? what is the problem with publishing something from an english language publication? I personally dont read that one , but maybe if more of these things were published in every language these poor peoples issues might get some attention ! Isnt that a big part of BBs deseminate info around the world? what , this isnt UNDERGROUND enough already?

  15. Acapulco approximately 680k residents with 754 murders.

    Chicago approximately 2.7 million residents with 475 murders.

    Which city is more dangerous? You do the math.

    1. Well, chicago does not have tens of thousands of "soldiers" AND DRUG TRAFFICKERS helping the poolice fack up the citizens for the narco-government of the city of chicago, specially not mixed by the hundreds with the CHICAGO POLICE...

  16. Mad Max Thunderdome


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