Since no one has started a post/thread on Guanajuato I thought it most appropriate since it's the most murderous state in Mexico,is the centre for fuel theft and has a local criminal element fighting with a National Cartel so here's the 1st story:
As gangs ravage Mexico town, mayor seeks answers to husband's killing
By Daina Beth Solomon
ReutersApril 1, 2020
As gangs ravage Mexico town, mayor seeks answers to husband's killing
The wreckage of a car that was burnt by unknown assailants is pictured after an attack to a car dealership in Celaya
APASEO EL ALTO, Mexico (Reuters) - After her husband was shot dead while running for mayor of Apaseo el Alto in central Mexico in 2018, Maria del Carmen Ortiz took over his campaign and, pushing through her grief, won the vote after becoming a symbol of residents' hunger for justice.
A year and a half after taking office, Ortiz must now be accompanied by three police bodyguards wherever she goes, as her home state of Guanajuato has emerged as the most murderous in Mexico, caught in a battle between rival criminal cartels.
Three town officials have been killed during her tenure: her transit director, tax chief and a city councilor. Like her husband's killing, none of their murders have been solved.
Now Ortiz is using her position as mayor to call for thorough investigations by prosecutors of their killings and dozens more in the hilly town.
"They file the cases away," Ortiz, 34, said in her office at the two-story municipal palace beside photos of her late husband Jose Remedios Aguirre, who was 35 when he died, and their three children. "They should do their job, but do it well, so there's justice: for my husband, for my colleagues, for everyone."
The streets of Apaseo el Alto, home to some 70,000 people, are narrow yet bustling, lined with mom-and-pop businesses and dollar exchange stores serving locals with family members who bring earnings back from the United States.
According to federal government data, the number of killings jumped here to 87 last year from 10 in 2015.
The local records, kept at the fenced-in police station on the outskirts of town, paint an even grislier picture: 120 murders last year and none of them solved.
A security crisis inherited by President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has worsened in many parts of Mexico since he took office in December 2018, as he eased back on a war against the cartels and pledged instead to tackle what he calls the root causes of violence: corruption, poverty and lack of opportunities for young people.
On his watch, Mexico tallied a record of 34,582 murders last year. Yet experts say Mexico's justice system is ill-equipped to solve them, feeding a vicious cycle of impunity and crime.
Ortiz backs Lopez Obrador's policy. She decided to run for office after he endorsed her at his campaign rally in Apaseo el Alto, lifting her hand into the air. Onlookers applauded and broke into chants of "Justice! Justice!"
Yet Guanajuato opened a record 2,775 murder investigations last year, making it the bloodiest state in Mexico. A decade ago, the state - home to nearly 6 million people - had just 437 murders.
Security consultants say the jump in killings is tied to a battle between Guanajuato's Santa Rosa de Lima gang and its bigger rival, the Jalisco New Generation Cartel (CJNG) from neighboring Jalisco state.
In Guanajuato, just 10.5% of homicides under investigation result in jail time, according to a 2018 study from the University of the Americas Puebla. For Mexico as a whole, the figure is little better at 17%.
Many blame the entrenched impunity on an overwhelmed justice system in which the police, prosecutors and judges lack the training to prosecute crimes successfully, and where corruption and political interests derail investigations.
Experts say, moreover, that criminal groups target local officials to deter investigations into their activities. They believe Santa Rosa is likely behind various political assassinations in the area, including in Apaseo el Alto, which is just 25 miles (40 km) from the gang's birthplace.
However, the town's public security minister Jose Abraham Dominguez said he had not identified any organized crime group in the municipality. He said that violence could be spilling over from gangs in neighboring states.
"Perhaps they come, they pass through, but we don't have any criminal group here," he said.
In the wake of the fragmentation of many criminal groups, the Jalisco cartel has made a push to claim swathes of territory throughout Mexico, driving up murder levels across the country as other groups band together against it.
"They're waging all out war," said Falko Ernst, a senior analyst at International Crisis Group. "There are resources pouring in on both sides sustaining bloodshed for the foreseeable future."
Thanks for posting and continuing the Guanajuato thread here.
A few days ago, gunmen burned down a taco restaurant and several vehicles in Celaya, the same city where 5 people were killed in a bar last month. Authorities are investigating whether this new attack was done because the restaurant was an important drug sale spot or as a retaliation for the government crackdowns from the bar massacre.
Geez how are the Cartels going to act when the businesses get shut because of Coronavirus?Don't scoff at this suggestion as India has done it and all the rickshaws and street vendors all bitching they are shut down and live day to day.Well guess Indian Government is stepping up to feed them and lineups galore (so much for physcical distancing).if that happened in Mexico you think the Cartels may take over the Government's food supply for the masses and do what they want with the populace and AMLO will give them a hug and wave?Scary thought!
Although the Covid-19 pandemic has brought daily life to a standstill in most of Mexico, the threat of a deadly respiratory disease has done little to curb the extreme levels of violence in Guanajuato.
The state saw the highest number of murders in the country in 2019, and after a particularly bloody start to 2020, the trend shows no signs of stopping.
There were nine murders in the state on Tuesday alone when the municipalities of Celaya, Valle de Santiago and Villagrán saw murders, armed confrontations with security forces and roadblocks with burning vehicles.
In Valle de Santiago, armed men entered a barber shop where two police officers were getting their hair cut on their day off. They opened fire on the officers, killing one and seriously wounding the other.
A confrontation between state police and a group of armed civilians in Villagrán left one of the attacking civilians dead during a chase. Police were able to arrest two others before they got away.
State Public Security Minister Alvar Cabeza de Vaca said that state police were deployed to the city in response to a report of a stolen vehicle. As a result of the deployment, criminals blocked three highways accessing the city with at least six burning vehicles.
“We’re certain that due to this intervention, other criminals have blocked highways surrounding the municipality of Celaya,” said Cabeza de Vaca.
Also in Celaya, a commando of masked men assassinated five people at a steel distribution yard on the outskirts of the city. They forced the people to their knees in the workshop and killed them execution-style.
Another man in Celaya was killed around 2:00 p.m., his body left in an auto dealership.
State police had already found another body wrapped in a blanket in a different part of Celaya earlier that morning.
Over the weekend, a transgender rights activist was murdered in the city of San Felipe, in the north of the state. Karla Valentina Camarena del Castillo’s body was found in an area known as Las Cabañas on Sunday.
Governor Diego Sinhue Rodríguez announced in December that Guanajuato state police officers would receive a raise, making them the highest-paid state police force in the country.
The state continued to be Mexico’s most violent in February, when 348 people were victims of intentional homicide.
A car bomb has exploded in Guanajuato. It has happened at Celaya, at the exit that goes to Apaseo el Grande, near the municipalityh of La Laja.
According to reports the explosion took place just after 9 pm. The Policia de Transito spotted an abandoned car at the side of the road. When cheking it they discovered it was a Honda CRV with false plates that had been reported as stolen. They immediately called the municipal police who after arriving localized some misterious packages inside the car. After a few moments the car exploded. At some point the oil tank also exploded spreading fire through the surrounding area.
As always the reports about this issue are confusing. Although the official version states that there are no casualties, extraofficial sources report about a person being found inside the burned vehicle (although this could be absolutely false)
The area of the explosion is located in the same town where another car bomb exploded last month (on March 9th) near a Guardia Nacional base. Although no one has attributed the bombing to any criminal organization the two groups fighting for illicit markets in the State, the Cartel Santa Rosa de Lima and the CJNG, both have the reources and cappabilities of performing such actions either to bring attention into their rivals or to directly threaten authorities or the civil society.
Irapuato, Guanajuato — Elements of the National Guard seized a vehicle after finding 35 kilos of crystal meth. The vehicle was stopped along the Salamanca-León highway in the municipality of Irapuato in the state of Guanajuato after federal agents pulled the vehicle over for its tinted windows.
In a statement, the corporation reported the overly tinted windows violated the Federal Highway and Bridge Traffic Regulations. Once the driver was informed of the corresponding infraction, he agreed to an inspection.
With the help of a narcotics dog, police found the stash hidden inside a large compartment that had been installed under the driver and passenger seat area. Police found a compartment that hid 35 packages of crystal meth that weighed approximately one kilogram each. The driver was arrested and the vehicle and drugs seized for the Federal Public Ministry.
[ANOTHER QUESTIONABLE ARTICLE, I CAN'T COUNT 35 PACKAGES IN THE PHOTO. APPEARS THE HIDDEN COMPARTMENTS WERE EITHER TREE TRUNKS OR TOILET SEATS. THE BIGGEST QUESTION IS THE WOODCHUCK LOOKING OVER THE STASH? MAYBE IT WASN'T A WOODCHUCK, BUT A SQUIRREL, MARMOT, BEAVER? JUST CAN'T TELL, BUT AT LEAST IT'S WEARING KEVLAR]