National Guard and anti-riot police following a confrontation between alleged kidnappers and members of the administrative centre police on July 12, 2022 in Mexico City, Mexico. (Photo credit should read Luis Cortes/ Eyepix Group/Future Publishing via Getty Images)
CIUDAD JUAREZ In the last four days multiple Mexican cities faced an onslaught of attacks from drug cartel militias, showing the governments continued inability to avoid criminal groups from causing chaos in a few of the countrys largest cities.
The western states of Jalisco and Guanajuato were under siege for about 10 hours on August 9 reportedly after Mexican authorities busted up a gathering between a number of important leaders of factions of the hyper violent Jalisco New Generation Cartel, or CJNG. The cities of Guadalajara, Irapuato, Celaya and Leon saw numerous cars and buses engulfed in flames to block off traffic arteries, while a reported 25 convenience stores were also set burning.
Rumors swirled through the entire following day concerning the capture of Ricardo Ruiz, alias RR or Doble R, among the top leaders of the CJNG in western Mexico. But on Thursday, Mexican president Andrs Manuel Lpez Obrador denied the arrest occurred after being pressed by journalists during his morning news conference.
He said that 16 people were arrested through the attacks, without providing their identities, however they [the arrested] are said to be influential people, because this is why there was this type of strong reaction.
The president didn’t clarify who have already been arrested that caused this type of response by the CJNG, and led to speculation in the media that perhaps Doble R was arrested, then released by authorities in an effort to appease the assailants attacking the cities.
That type of catch and release under duress by cartel attacks during Lpez Obradors presidency isn’t without precedent.
In October 2019 Mexican authorities detained Ovidio Guzmn, the son of incarcerated Sinaloa Cartel boss Joaqun El Chapo Guzmn, in the town of Culiacan. Sinaloa Cartel associates laid siege to the town so that they can pressure the federal government release a Ovidio Guzmn, who relented, and allowed younger Guzmn to flee. Lpez Obrador later admitted that he gave the order himself release a Ovidio Guzmn to avoid the attacks through the entire city.
These acts are pressure tactics which have worked for the cartels to pressure the federal government in turn. And its own nothing new, Alejandro Hope, a prominent Mexican security analyst, told VICE World News. Criminal organizations dont actually need an enormous quantity of people. These types of attacks are pretty easy and inexpensive to carry plus they generate huge chaos.
The aftermath of the incident with Ovidio Guzmn seems to have set a framework for cartels to cope with the president, who found office with an insurance plan of so-called Abrazos, no BalazosHugs, not Bulletsaimed at reducing violence through the entire country. Criminal organizations may actually have recognized that by causing chaos in the general public domain, they are able to affect the response of security forces.
Lpez Obradors denial of the capture of RR came just hours before another large city in Mexico experienced similar attacks.
On Thursday, several men entered the primary prison in the border city of Ciudad Juarez. They posed as a visiting category of an inmate and killed three inmates. In the immediate aftermath, hell broke loose around Juarez,that is just miles from El Paso, Texas.
Firefights occurred at various places through the entire city. At the very least 10 individuals were killed through the attacks, including a pregnant woman who was simply burnt alive in the convenience store and four workers of an area radio station. Authorities reported four convenience stores set burning and a minumum of one gas station.
The fight happened between alleged members of the Mexicles, a Sinaloa Cartel faction, and La Lnea, doing work for the rival Juarez Cartel, in accordance with local authorities.
Lpez Obrador addressed the latest spate of violence in Juarez during his Friday morning news conference, lamenting that the innocent civilian population was attacked in retaliation. It had been not just a confrontation between two groups, they started shooting at civilians.
The president didn’t explain how he designed to quell the ongoing violence. As Lpez Obrador spoke, most businesses and schools remained closed as fearful residents barricaded themselves of their homes.