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on the border line between the US and Mexico

Friday, March 25, 2022

Aguililla, Michoacán: The Microcosm Of The Organized Crime Incursion

"Sol Prendido" for Borderland Beat

The murders of Mayor César Valencia and his adviser, René Cervantes, show how criminal groups took control of the municipality in the face of a failed State strategy, specialists agree.

The institutional weakening opened the doors of the municipalities to organized crime, according to security specialists.

The municipality of Aguililla, in Michoacán, is facing an unprecedented situation of violence that escalated a few days ago with the murder of Mayor César Arturo Valencia Caballero and his adviser, René Gaytán; However, the upsurge in violence is about to be a year since the Jalisco New Generation Cartel took over the municipal seat in April 2021 on the instructions of Nemesio Oseguera.

The above is only the new stage, because for years Aguililla has been stalked by organized crime groups that are vying for control of the territory. But this is not an isolated case and, on the contrary, it shows the control that criminal groups have over the local authority.

In addition to violence, Aguililla is an area of ​​darkness, since the homicide figures do not appear officially in the database of the Executive Secretariat of the National Public Security System, which only go up to 2019, while those of the Inegi date back to 2020; even in 2022 there is no record of homicides, despite the fact that week after week violent confrontations with death tolls are reported in the press.

Security specialists consulted by Expansión Politica agree that there is an institutional weakening that has allowed organized crime to enter the municipal sphere, resulting in events such as those in Aguililla, San José de Gracia or Uruapan.

At the end of February, an armed criminal cell broke into a home in the municipality of San José de Gracia where a wake was being held and took out 17 people, whom they allegedly executed on public roads and in broad daylight, and then took the bodies and cleaned the crime scene. A few days later, various armed attacks were recorded in Uruapan, leaving five people murdered.

"Aguililla is a sign that organized crime is there, more active than ever, has not retreated, and is not going to stop in the short term. Events like this (the murder of the mayor and his adviser) show us that the organized crime has a real force, a power and a volume of fire greater than or similar to that of the security forces," says Ramón Celaya, a specialist in Intelligence, Security and the Armed Forces.

David Saucedo, security consultant and political analyst, states that the municipal authorities are targeted by the cartels because for them it is important to have control to operate freely. "And the municipal authorities, having been in contact with some criminal organization, become the main target of the attacks," he mentions.

"Aguililla is part of a phenomenon of organized violence. It is the expression of the territorial struggle of more than a decade in Mexico. It is not recent history, it is an endemic problem against municipal authorities," says Arturo Alvarado, professor and researcher at the College of Mexico (Colmex).

What happens in Aguililla?

Aguililla is a municipality located in the southwest of Michoacán and its main economic activities are agriculture and livestock.

In 2020, the National Institute of Statistics and Geography (Inegi) registered it with 14,754 inhabitants, a demographic that decreased 9% compared to 2010, when there were 16,214 people. Today, the statistics may be lower, since the presence of criminal groups has displaced some 3,000 residents, as the state government recognized in December 2021.

Coneval places Aguililla in a situation of "moderate" poverty, with 51% of the population in that condition, and close to 20% in extreme poverty.

Aguililla is a strategic point where criminal groups block the transit of farmers and ranchers, who are extorted so they can continue on their way.

"It is a municipality located in a very conflictive area for more than a decade, with many social problems, political conflicts and the presence of criminal organizations," says Arturo Alvarado.

A new wave of violence in Aguilla broke out in April 2021, when gunmen from the Jalisco New Generation Cartel (CJNG) took over the municipal seat and subdued the residents who were unable to escape.

But it was a matter of time before the rivals of the CJNG tried to occupy the territories again. The war that broke out in Aguililla is with the United Cartels, an organization that emerged from an alliance between the Tepalcatepec Cartel, Los Viagras and other criminal groups.

In the midst of this scenario, on March 10, Mayor César Arturo Valencia, nominated by the Green Ecologist Party of Mexico, who had been in office for six months, was assassinated.

"His murder evidently shakes the population of Aguililla, but it also leaves many doubts. But one thing is clear: when the Jalisco cartel withdrew from the territory, it left the mayor without protection, which was taken advantage of by the rivals who began to occupy the territories again." , he explained. 

With the murder of the mayor and his adviser (found dead on March 11) it seems that the war in Aguililla was contained. However, for Ramón Celaya, a specialist in intelligence, security and the armed forces, it is a panorama of growing violence, since the events of recent months show the proliferation of criminal and self-defense groups that, in his opinion, have turned into cartels.

The tip of the iceberg

César Valencia is the second mayor of Michoacán to be assassinated so far this year. Last February, Enrique Veázquez Orozco, municipal president of Contepec, was found dead with gunshot wounds.

According to the consulting firm Etellekt, in the first three years of the government of Andrés Manuel López Obrador there have been 16 homicides of municipal presidents, which represents an increase of 23% compared to the same period of the administration of Enrique Peña Nieto.

From the year 2000 to date, 93 mayors and mayors have been assassinated in Mexico, and Michoacán is the second state that concentrates most of these crimes (16); the first is Oaxaca (19).

In a report, Etellekt detailed that after the 2021 elections, the violence spread to all states and covered 570 municipalities. For this reason, he warned that if the trend of the first three years of the current federal government is maintained, and if there is a rebound in the 2023-2024 electoral process, the incidence of fatalities may exceed what was registered in the Peña Nieto administration, of 39 assassinated mayors.

States with the majority of

assassinated mayors

These entities concentrate 61% of the crimes committed against municipal authorities, from 2000 to date.


States Mayors assassinated 2000-March 2022

Oaxaca 19

Michoacan 16

Vera Cruz 8

Puebla 8

Guerrero 7

Source: Etellekt Consultant

On the same March 10, when the murder of the mayor of Aguililla was reported, the municipalities of San Juan Nuevo Parangaricutiro and Uruapan, also in Michoacán, were the scene of a series of confrontations between alleged hitmen and security forces, which left as a result 32 detainees, four people dead and three more injured.

These events serve as an example to understand how criminal organizations operate: their first approach is with the local authorities because, through them, and especially with the support of the municipal police, they can operate freely.

"The weakest authorities, most vulnerable to the drug attack, are the municipal governments, the mayors, aldermen and their work teams, and those that have a small detachment of police corporations, but with powers to establish checkpoints, for example," Saucedo indicates. 

The criminal groups pressure the authorities or, in the "best of cases", finance the candidates in the electoral processes with the objective that once they win, the municipal police will become their armed forces. "What they are also disputing is the control of the municipal police," adds the specialist.

Failed Strategy and State Absence

Specialist Ramón Celaya emphasizes that the situation faced by the municipality of Aguililla is the result of a poorly applied strategy and the permanent absence of the Mexican State; especially from the authorities of Michoacán, a geographical area hit by criminal groups in its history.

"What we see is the catastrophic result that requires urgent action, but on the contrary, there is a total absence of the State, which leads not only to the murder of a municipal president, but also to acts of violence that are replicated in other geographic areas," he says.

In February of this year, 10 months after the violence broke out in Aguililla, the Army and the National Guard finally showed up, which managed to withdraw the CJNG. By then, dozens of homicides and hundreds of forced displacements had already been registered.

David Saucedo, security consultant and political analyst, argues that under the logic of political strategies, the federal government did not intervene in Aguililla before because there was a governor emanating from the opposition (Silvano Aureoles, from the PRD). But once Alfredo Ramírez Bedolla, from the ranks of the Morena political party, assumed power in Michoacán, a strategy was coordinated.

Already with Ramírez Bedolla in government - who took office in October 2021 - the federation waited even longer to establish a perimeter and prepare an Army capable of repelling and investigating. Federal forces began arriving in Aguililla in tanks and helicopters, and it was only then that they went on the offensive.

"It was a containment strategy, but it seems to me that it is a tactical error. The federal authorities should have intervened in Michoacán before, but they did not do so because there was no synergy with the past administration. The lack of communication and cooperation between different levels of government, even to intervene in conflict zones, is common," says consultant David Saucedo.

Arturo Alvarado refers that events like those of Aguililla continue to occur because there is no protection and prevention policy against the expansion of criminal groups.

"This type of violence is not understood because there is no protection and prevention policy. In addition, we see that the authorities are going out of their functions. The strategy must not only be reactive as 'firefighters', but must also be initiated by eliminating the great impunity that exists in Mexico," he says.

Added to this, he says, is that local authorities do not have the capacity to deal with criminal groups, and federal forces, which are very effective on some occasions, are present at the time, but then withdraw.

política expansión


  1. Wait for it... waaaaait for it...

    1. 🍑💨
      A Michoacanos worst enemy is not the military, AMLO, the Chinese or another cartel its another Michoacano. Michoachangos extort small businesses, avocado, lemon and strawberry farmers, destroy roads, communication services, plant land mines and drop drone bombs. They create fake autodefensas to disguise their criminal activities, cry for military intervention and greet the soldiers with violence and as you can see they kill community representatives like the mayor of aguililla. They are responsible for the illegal logging of an endangered tree in Michoacan, and as a result they are endangering the monarch butterfly population. But don't tell michoachango that because they will accuse you of being a Snitchaloan.

    2. When the federal government, police or melitary get involved, citizens get agitated by local warlords and they attack the federales, then complain about getting abused and fingered in the ass...
      The state government of aurioles also defended State Autonomy and fought like a bitch for mó, mó, and mó money from Obrador, with the purpose of stealing all of it, much like other "federalista narco-governors" cabeza de cagadas de vacas, Diego Sinhue, and enrique alfaro, they receive their federal money and waste it on propaganda contracted with "oppressed narco-chayoteros" posing as journalistas like loret de moolah, aristegui, dresser, alazraky, Marin or brozo, then complain about AMLO.
      This report accused AMLO's administration as if it was the start and end of Michoacan's tribulations, forgetting that there was problems there even before FECAL's Michoacanazo

    3. A sinaloenses worst enemy is not the military, Amlo, the Russians or another cartel, it's another sinaloense. These cheese loving, snitchy sewer rats love to rape women and steal underage female children from their homes as brides. The chapitos & chapo are known for murdering women who are not attracted to them back. Chapo killed female janitors in prison. Check out your local jail inmate pages and you'll see most child molestors and rapists are from 'sewerloa.' Sewerloas are responsible for the destruction & chaos back in Chihuahua back in 2006-2013. They recently tortured and branded a mentally challenged man like he was a cow just because they could. These sewerloa super predators are the reason Trump and other politicians see Mexicans as 'rapists & drug dealers.' These people will murder and/or rape your sister and mom if they have a chance to get away with it. Please beware of these predators and call 911 if you encounter any man in "Tomateros de Culiacan' baseball gear and red skinny pants near you. If that isn't possible, you can also buy some avocados 🥑🥑 as deterrent and show it to them and say "Puro Michoacán" and they will scatter & run for the hills. But don't tell a sinarata that because they will accuse you of being a Michoacango.

    4. 11:16 and who told you all thet, beech?
      Genarco garcia Luna?
      FECAL or margarinflas?

    5. Loba you seem to feel inferior to Sinaloa 😂🤣

    6. 4:45pm I am inferior to no one. I know my capabilities & where I stand. I have respect for you and others as I've seen how you don't disrespect my aisle. However, if your homeboy over here 'butterfly boy' keeps dissing, I'm going to keep dissing his row too, so no te agüites viejo. This is a fight between two ya feel.

    7. @1214 No mames🤦🏻‍♂️ eres un pendejo de primera. You gotta be from Stockton! LMAO.

    8. 9:05 Drop your location you filthy skank. Quit deflecting the conversation.

    9. 359 no voy a caer en provocaciones! 🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣

  2. World War III coming soon thanks to Putin, who has gone crazy. Keyboard Warriors, Forensic Exports ready to get Drafted in the Military.

    1. Lol no one replies....9:33
      They say if Evil P, goes with using chemical weapons, War can happen.

    2. Putin is nervous as hell, his own men are plotting food poisoning and he is running out of food tastes while his giniral commit Hara-Kiri after losing war, encounters assaults against armed Ukrainians, they have been running out of bombs and bullets after assaulting civilian apartment buildings, schools hospitals and markets...
      BLADDERMIR needs help where is "supreme warrior Giniral Zaiuz" now? Hiding in Marla-lagoon from various states attorney generals lawsuits...

  3. Your either w Michoacán or a Michocant.

  4. Uke Azov Battalion would fix Mexico!

    1. 3:42 tás más güey, valiii!
      Lo que te falta de güevos te sobra de cuernos, pendejo.
      I would "fix you" beech.

  5. I am sorry but the moderators let lilltle nuts truther in, because he is handicap.

    1. 2:37 don't worry and enjoy, you don't get to hear so many asshole barks from a single fundillo all the time...

  6. Chinblisters is addicted to porn.


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