2013-07-26

Mexican Government Tries to Regain Control in Michoacán after Confrontations

Mexican Federal Police officers participate in a security operation on a road located in Michoacan state, on July 24, 2013. (Photo: AFP/Ronaldo Schemidt)

Mexican Federal Police officers participate in a security operation on a road located in Michoacan state, on July 24, 2013. (Photo: AFP/Ronaldo Schemidt)

AFP

Mexican security forces attempted to regain control in the troubled state of Michoacan (west), where 24 people died on July 23 during confrontations between the Police and alleged members of the local drug cartel, “Los Caballeros Templarios”.

The government’s National Security Council (CNS) reported that no incident involving the federal security forces had been registered in Michoacan, although there was an attack on the evening of the 23rd, which had not yet been officially confirmed.

“Two (Federal Police) agents were killed and six others were injured” in an attack against a convoy near Pichilinguillo, CNS stated.

Six other attacks against the Police were registered on July 23 in the Michoacan’s sub-region of Tierra Caliente, resulting in shootings where two agents and at least 20 “suspected criminals” were killed, CNS reported.

A federal government source confirmed that the clashes were directed “against Los Caballeros Templarios,” but no group has been officially accused of the attacks.

July 23 was the bloodiest since May, when an Army and Federal Police operation in Tierra Caliente was launched to safeguard the population of extortions, kidnappings, and murders perpetrated by Los Caballeros Templarios.

The government of Michoacan stated that the roads where the ambushes occurred, located near Arteaga, Infiernillo and El Carrizo, have been reopened.

By late 2006, Michoacan was the first region where former President Felipe Calderón (2006-2012) deployed his broad military operation against drug trafficking cartels, generating a wave of violence with over 70,000 murders during his tenure.

Almost seven years later, Enrique Peña Nieto’s government (2012-2018) sent its first major military reinforcement to Michoacan because of the violence in the agricultural region of Tierra Caliente, where the main Mexican port of Lázaro Cárdenas (Pacific) is located.

Caption: Mexican Federal Police officers participate in a security operation on a road located in Michoacan state, on July 24, 2013. (Photo: AFP/Ronaldo Schemidt)

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