Saturday, February 9, 2013

México: Nine Police Officers Ambushed, Killed in Guerrero

Many of our regular readers may find it noteworthy that the day after six Spanish tourists were gang-raped and their group of fourteen robbed of all of their possessions, which was February 4, nine police officers were ambushed and killed in the state of Guerrero on February 5 by unknown persons.

A tenth officer, although wounded, survived and hopefully will be able to provide authorities valuable information on the assailants.

The officers were in patrol vehicles when the gunmen attacked them on a road in the town of Apaxtla de Castrejon, which is located in a region known as "Tierra Caliente" ("Hot Land") that has seen brutal drug cartel turf wars.

Cocaine shipments that arrive on the Pacific coast are transported through Tierra Caliente -- a region straddling Guerrero, Michoacan and México state -- where marijuana and opium poppies are actively produced.

COMMENT: Gangs linked to the powerful Zetas drug cartel are fighting for dominance in Guerrero against the Knights Templar, an offshoot of La Familia Michoacana that first emerged in Michoacan.

Although newly elected President Enrique Peña Nieto took office in December 2012, pledging to shift the drug war's focus towards bringing down the wave of murders, kidnapping and extortion plaguing México, the violence has simply continued.

Although Peña Nieto has announced plans to form a new federal police force modeled after France's  "gendarmerie," because of México's institutionalized police corruption, seeing such a new organization come to fruition may not be much more than a "pipe-dream."

In the short-term, unless President Peña Nieto can convince such countries as Perú, Argentina and Chile to assist in formulating a multinational police effort to neutralize México's cartels from being comparable to parallel governments, México's future does look bright at all, which leaves México's tourism industry on a collision course with the future.