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Tag: Michoacan

A Mexican Militia, Battling Michoacan Drug Cartel, Has American Roots

By Joshua Partlow
Washington Post Staff Writer

LA ESTACION, Mexico — Jorge Rios, 11 rifle rounds and a silver cross decorating his black flak jacket, lost his job as a dishwasher in Tucson for driving without a license. Santos Ramos Vargas, at 43 the oldest of this gang, got deported from Menlo Park, Calif., when he was caught carrying a pistol.

Adolfo Silva Ramos might be with his 2-year-old daughter in Orange County rather than wearing a camouflage cap and combat boots if he hadn’t been busted selling marijuana and crystal meth while in high school there. The two dozen men standing guard on a rutted road that cuts through these lime groves and cornfields are just one small part of a citizen militia movement spreading over the lowlands of western Mexico. But as they told their stories, common threads emerged: Los Angeles gang members. Deported Texas construction workers. Dismissed Washington state apple pickers.

Many were U.S. immigrants who came back, some voluntarily but most often not, to the desiccated job market in the state of Michoacan and found life under the Knights Templar drug cartel that controls the area almost unlivable. They took up arms because they were financially abused by the extortion rackets run by the Templars. Because they had family killed or wounded by their enemies. Because carrying a silver-plated handgun and collecting defeated narcos’ designer cellphones as war booty is more invigorating than packing cucumbers. Because they get to feel, for once, the sensation of being in charge.

To read the full story click here.

At Least 10 Mexican Cops Killed and Several Others Wounded

Mexico border map
By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Another reminder of the lawlessness in Mexico reared its ugly head Monday when at least 10 federal police officers were killed and more than a dozen  wounded in an ambush in an area a major drug organization calls home, the Los Angeles Times reported.

The paper reported that the attacks took place in the Mexican state of Michoacan, the home base for the Familia drug trafficking organization.

The paper reported that the officers had finished doing their patrols and were headed to Mexico City when they came under fire.

To read more click here.

Mexico Sending 5,500 Cops and Military Forces to Area to Fight Violent Drug War

After 12 federal Mexican agents were recently found tortured and dead, what choice was there but to call for a full court press? This drug war in Mexico is only going to get uglier. The U.S. has stepped up its effort to help, but it needs to step it up even more. More people are going to die on both sides of the border.

mexico-map21

By Ken Ellingwood
Los Angeles Times
MEXICO CITY — Mexican authorities announced plans Thursday to send 5,500 police officers and military personnel to the western state of Michoacan to confront a violent crime syndicate offering some of the fiercest resistance President Felipe Calderon’s government has faced since launching its war on drugs 2 1/2 years ago.

About 1,000 extra police officers were deployed Thursday before officials outlined the broader buildup.

The move, which included providing helicopters and other equipment, represented a show of resolve in Calderon’s home state, a major drug-trafficking corridor where 16 police officers have been killed recently in well-coordinated attacks.

Following the assaults, police have patrolled in convoys and curtailed nighttime operations as a way to avoid further casualties.

One Mexican pundit said the recent aggressiveness by the drug-trafficking group La Familia was the equivalent of the surprise 1968 Tet offensive by communist forces in the Vietnam War.

Michoacan is a key front in the drug war.

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