Mexico News Aug.23
Posted by the Generals on September 4, 2011, 8:00 pm
Subject: Mexico News DAILY August 23, 2011 |
LatinNews Daily - 23 August 2011
Guerrero prosecutor calls for truce
Development: On 22 August Alberto López Rosas, the prosecutor for the southern Mexican state of Guerrero, called on drug gangs in the state to organise a truce amongst themselves.
Significance: This is the second time that a senior official in Guerrero has called for a truce. The state governor, Angel Aguirre Rivero, issued a similar call on 15 May. Aguirre, of the Partido de la Revolución Democrática (PRD), is a prominent supporter of Marcelo Ebrard, the mayor of Mexico City and the most likely centre-left candidate for the presidency in 2012. Any reduction in Guerrero’s gang violence would be a boost for Ebrard. Guerrero, whose biggest city is the tourist resort of Acapulco, is the third most violent state in the country and has endured a major upswing in gang killings this year. To 19 August, 1,084 people have been killed in gang related violence. In calendar 2010, the toll was 984, while in 2006, before President Felipe Calderón launched his war against the country’s gangs, it was 186.
• López Rosas, a former mayor of Acapulco, stressed that he was calling specifically for gangs to stop their mutual slaughter, not for an “understanding” between the authorities and the gangs. Such an “understanding” is in place in San Pedro Garza García, a prosperous (and comparatively peaceful) suburb of Monterrey. San Pedro is run, controversially, by Mauricio Fernández of the nationally ruling Partido Acción Nacional (PAN).
• Guerrero is one of the poorest states in Mexico and has always been violent. In the 1960s and 1970s, the worst massacres in the country’s dirty war against left-wing (mostly rural) guerrillas occurred in the state. There are also tensions between local indigenous groups that often escalate into violence. Overlying all of this is the enduring popularity of Acapulco, which is a magnet for gang members.
• López Rosas made his appeal at a press conference in the state capital, Chilpancingo, to celebrate the arrest of 10 alleged members of ‘La Barredora’, an Acapulco gang. He said that an inter-gang truce would help businesses in Acapulco. On 19 August, petrol stations in and around the city closed for several hours in protest at the violence. López Rosas said that the 10 individuals arrested went by the name of ‘The Devil’s Command’ and had engaged in car-jacking, extortion, kidnapping and murder.
• He declared that the gangs did not have the right to “offer up the life of a society on the altar of their actions”. López Rosas added that ‘The Devil’s Command’ often killed kidnap victims despite securing ransom payments. Even criminals should have some sort of moral code, he argued.
Finally, he stressed that a truce between gangs would not mean that the government would back off.
• On 12 August four banners attached to dismembered bodies were found at different places across Acapulco. The banners accused Governor Aguirre Rivero (erroneously) of being related to Víctor Aguirre, one of the leaders of the Cartel Independiente de Acapulco (Cida), a gang set up by Edgar Valdez Villarreal, alias ‘La Barbie’. When ‘La Barbie’ was captured in August 2010, the Cida split up. ‘La Barredora’ is one of the resulting factions.
• ‘The Devil’s Command’ is believed to be responsible for hanging bits of dismembered murder victims from road bridges in Acapulco, as well as machine-gunning at least four bars in the city in the past year.
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