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on the border line between the US and Mexico

Friday, December 1, 2017

Mexico's Michoacán a Tangle of Rivals

Posted by El Profe for Borderland Beat from InsightCrime        
by Deborah Bonello
The decline of the Caballeros Templarios has left Michoacán at the mercy of a tangle of rivals, none of whom appear able to reassert the supremacy that previously imposed a limit to the violence within the state.

Recent reports from Mexican outlets point to the Jalisco Cartel – New Generation (Cartel de Jalisco Nueva Generación – CJNG) and the Viagras as the two dominant groups within the key southern Pacific state. This represents a dramatic shift from the status quo over most of the past decade, in which the Familia Michoacana and its successor, the Caballeros Templarios or Knights Templar, exercised virtually unchecked control over the local underworld.

CJNG reportedly first established itself in several cities just over the Jalisco border in northern Michoacán and has been fighting to carve out a toehold farther south. Among CJNG’s principal operators in Michoacán is Miguel Ángel Gallegos Godoy, or “Migueladas,” a veteran of the Familia Michoacana who has long operated out of La Huacana, a mid-size town in the center of the state.

The Viagras have grown largely as an answer to the out-of-state would-be hegemon. Headed by Nicolás Sierra Santana, the Viagras initially formed as part of the so-called self-defense movement — in essence, local civilians took up arms to drive criminal groups from their town — that emerged early during the current administration of Enrique Peña Nieto in Michoacán. Rumors that the Viagras, like other self-defense cells, had made the leap into open criminality have trailed them for years. Today, government officials describe them as one more criminal gang, fighting CJNG forces for control of several municipalities in the Tierra Caliente region.

Also in the Michoacán mix are a handful of smaller criminal cells that have emerged from the embers of the Caballeros Templarios operation. These individual cells function with varying degrees of autonomy, and many are allied to a larger sponsor. One prominent example is Ignacio Rentería Andrade, a former lieutenant of Caballeros Templarios founder Servando “La Tuta” Gómez. Rentería Andrade was engaged in a fierce competition with the Viagras at the time of his June arrest.

InSight Crime Analysis

Michoacán’s appeal for criminal groups stems from a variety of factors. The state possesses one of the nation’s largest ports in Lázaro Cárdenas, making it useful for importing merchandise from foreign sources — whether South American cocaine or precursor chemicals for synthetic drugs from Asia — and for exporting contraband to buyers abroad. Michoacán is major a producer of opium, and it contains many transit routes linking the southern Pacific coast to Mexico City.
Michoacán’s criminal economy is also more intimately linked to legitimate commerce than in many parts of the country. Extortion is commonplace, and many local crime bosses also have a hand in major legitimate industries. According to El Universal, for instance, Gallegos Godoy of the CJNG is a major melon exporter.

To a certain degree, chaos in Michoacán is nothing new. Since President Felipe Calderón chose the state as the site of his maiden military deployment in December 2007, Michoacán has been synonymous with the government’s struggles to maintain control over its territory. As a result, it has long received a disproportionate share of the international attention on Mexican insecurity.
Michoacán has also been the site of many of the most unsettling incidents, such as a 2008 grenade attack on Mexico’s Independence Day party in a plaza in the state capital; the 2009 arrest for collaborating with criminal groups of dozens of state and local officials (virtually all of whom were later legally exonerated); and the 2013 assassination of a steel executive who refused to pay extortion demands.

Coupled with this has been an evident decline in state authority, in which the functions of government agencies have been absorbed by criminal cells. This intimate relationship between the criminal class and broader society helped spur the so-called self-defense movements, the 2012 surge of vigilante groups around Michoacán.

The Caballeros decline, while welcomed by many, has brought about a substantial increase in violence. For all its fearsome reputation, Michoacán was never a particularly bloody state. In 2007, the first full year of Calderón’s presidency, the state witnessed 527 murders according to the National Public Security System. With a murder rate of around 13 per 100,000 residents, this was only slightly more than the national average, and far less than states like Baja California and Sinaloa. By 2012, the murder rate ticked up to about 17, but this was now lower than the national average.
The struggle to fill the vacuum has sparked the wave of violence.

The 2014 death of Caballeros leader Nazario Moreno, followed by the arrest of his more visible colleague La Tuta the following year, left the organization gravely weakened, and the struggle to fill the vacuum has sparked the wave of violence discussed above. The 1,287 murders in 2016 were the most the state has ever registered, and through nine months of 2017, Michoacán was nearly on pace to match it.

The 2018 electoral process, through which Mexico will choose a new president and Michoacán residents will select a raft of state and local officials, threatens to add another destabilizing element. State officials have voiced concerns about criminal groups tilting the electoral scales in favor of their preferred candidates, and a prominent leader of a self-defense group has already warned that 2018 would mark a new descent into bloodshed.

Unfortunately, there is both relevant research and logic to back up this assertion. Public security is largely a product of the delicate equilibrium established by the various criminal groups and political actors. Just as the removal of a dominant criminal group fosters uncertainty, so too does the wholesale disappearance of the officials charged with ensuring public security.


  1. The avocado police protecting Mexico's green gold

  2. Cjng used to be allied to Viagras, i wonder why they are fighting each other now. There is two split groups of CT and one group is with cjng and the other group with viagras creating la nueva familia michoacana. I hope cjng takes over alteady because Mencho will not rest until he gets the state he was born in ( Michoacan). Too much blood shed is not good

  3. People on here are so stupid. Now they’re all rushing to watch Chapo season 2 on Netflix knowing the whole show is fiction.

    1. U still believe he is not a rat and murder of innocents? There are lots of facts in there but any movie will never be 100 percent accurate

  4. Full name Miguel Angel Gallegos Godoy, "El Migueladas", El Traficantes mas Poderoso de Tierra Caliente.
    Melons would be one of his diversions, but the hand of the presidente de la republica is always in the middle of all the shit and it did not start with fecal, it started with the destabilizing of Siderurgica Lazaro Cardenas to sell it away for cheaper peanuts, stealing iron ores, finished product until it was i.possible to stay alive, it was privatized by the corrupt mexican business managers that bought it CHEAP AS SHIT and sold it away to Arcelor-Mittal, leaving the ro bers of iron ores and independent miners to their own devices, having to sell to the chinese that pay better price and supply the meth precursors, opiates and money, or to the competition in colima, because Arcelor-Mittal, with all the revenue can't and won't pay more, it is in their contract.
    Michoacan without resources had to go and become a drug trafficking hub full of official corruption that changes masks every 6 years unless the current powers that be Get Smart and insure their side stays in power somehow or a friendly regime comes in.
    --mangoes, avocados, tortilla taxes, don't really have crap to do with anything, it is all about who the government in power supports from mexico city,
    --remember vicente fox's CHIQUIHUITAZO?
    --Next sexenio it was the MICHUACANAZO FECAL,
    --epn brung his colombianized AutoDefensas headed by policia nazional de colombia general oscar naranjas after his hordes of colombian hackers helped him steal the presidency of mexico.

  5. Someone is doing fucking home work but these people have demands some culture is best kept secret and worth dying for, riches don’t mean nothing when they were born with hunger the Verizon in their eyes will tell you more, and would hustle ten times more just because they are built to survive 🌋🗽

  6. What happened to the Facebook narco who was CT or LFM from years back?

    1. They called him El Broly, he was CT, LFM is a very recent faction. He went quiet all of a sudden on social media after posting constantly. There is no known evidence he died so who knows really.


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