Wednesday, April 3, 2013

EPN's Muffled War in Michoacan: Death of El Tio is even quiet

The government of Enrique Peña Nieto is conducting a low profile war in Michoacán.The Army is trapped between the Guardia Civil and the drug cartels. Since the withdrawal of the Federal Police in the state, soldiers try to stop the violence and enforce the law but encounter organized crime groups such as Los Zetas, The Knights Templar and  New Generation Jalisco Cartel, who are immersed in the fierce fight to control the plaza and who ruthlessly murder as they see fit.

MEXICO CITY  - The strategy of silence of the government  of Enrique Peña Nieto left the death of Dionisio Loya  Plancarte in the shadows.  Loya Plancarte was one of the leaders of the Knights Templar and a historic leader of organized crime in Michoacán.
Known as El Tio, Loya Plancarte was killed at the hands of the army in an alleged EPN government retaliation over the disappearance of three elements of Estado Mayor Presidencial. Presidential Guard.

Sent from Mexico City, the military disappeared between neighboring municipalities Apatzingan and Buena Vista Tomatlán, home turf to bastions of La Familia Michoacana and its spinoff, The Knights Templar.

Information obtained by Proceso indicates that the Army conducted night operations in the of both communities. Until that moment the military had been passing through the main highways but now entered communities.

During one of these raids, in the early hours of Saturday the 16th, they faced a group of armed civilians  in the community of El Alcalde, in the town of Apatzingán. According to state police agencies and subsequently quoted by local journalists, five military persons were killed in the confrontation.
The incident occurred around two in the morning when a military convoy of three vehicles faced men traveling in SUVs who refused to disarm. Some versions mentioned that after the fight there was a strong military mobilization, even by air.

However, the Ministry of National Defense was silent, although the death of El Tio was the most important blow to Knights Templar since the death of Nazario Moreno González, El Chayo, in a shootout with federal police in December 2010.

With the demise of El Tio  a head of the Knights Templar, all who remains are Servando Gómez Martínez, La Tuta, and Enrique Plancarte Solis, El Kikin, or El Kiki who was awarded international relations with chemical precursor suppliers (especially China) for the production of synthetic drugs.

In Buenavista there are many small hidden roads that lead to former homes and properties of El Chayo, El Tio and El Chango Mendez, who the leaders of La Familia Michoacana detained since June 2011
La Tuta
February brought numerous scenes of clashes, blockades and burning vehicles. Violence erupted on the 11th when elements of the Army faced a group of civilians, also on Wednesday the 13th again on the afternoon of Friday 22. It occurred, south of the town in the community of Santa Ana Amatlán, adjacent to El Terrero and Catalinas. In the same area gunmen torched a gas station and a lemon packing facility.

The Army also kept silent about the humiliated wrong it endured a few days earlier, between the night of Monday 11 and Tuesday 12  of March, a group of soldiers belonging to the 43rd Military Zone based in Apatzingan was held by civilians in La Ruana, tenure of Felipe Carrillo Puerto, in the town of BuenaVista,  Tomatlán.  
A recorded  video of the retention of unarmed military surrounded by people circulated widely in the press and social networks.

The retention of 20 or 40 military was to demand the release of 51 community guards detained and accused of having links to the organized crime, and forming a "Police community" in that population.

It was assumed the New Generation Jalisco Cartel (CJNG) and the Knights Templar are  behind the armed civilian groups in Buenavista and Tepalcatepec   The Army entered the two municipalities and detained members of both organizations.
Villagers of Tomatlán  face Army 
Armed civilian groups were at their best this past February in tierra caliente region of Michoacan.  Soon the  civil guards emerged in Cheran, Paracho and other areas of indigenous inhabitants of Northern Central State. They said they were there to deal with organized crime.

Other "civil guards" have emerged not only around the municipality of Los Reyes, but they've also been reported in the port of Lazaro Cardenas, a strategic transport point of illegal drug and precursors substances both from Mexico as well as from Asia. 

Acapulco y Coyuca Community Police Multiply

The area surrounding the port has been a hot area  of contention for Los Zetas cartel, which in the past decade, as the armed wing of the Gulf cartel, gave paramilitary training to the organization known as The Company later named La Familia Michoacana. Now, the Knights Templar reorganized itself in the area as part of their confrontation with the CJNG and Los Zetas.

This month has been difficult for the Army in Michoacan, after the government of Peña Nieto withdrew the Federal Police, that had a strong showing in the state during the presidency of Felipe Calderon. It's noted that the corporation took a particularly heavy casualties at the hands of La Familia Michoacana during the execution of El Chayo in 2010.

On Thursday , the army arrested 34 people who reported being part of community policing for drug crime. However, the Attorney General's Office (PGR) considered them members of a criminal organization and charged 31 of them for carrying weapons exclusively used by the Armed Forces -AK47 rifles, AR-15 and 5.7-caliber pistols-. The other three were minors and were referred to juvenile facilities.

They were transferred to federal detention of Veracruz, Mexico State and Tamaulipas. Among them is a person identified with the name Edgar Antonio Rojo Lara,  supposedly, CJNG lieutenant in Michoacán.

Detainees insisted that they were guards belonging to Buena Vista and Tomatlán community defense organized against extortion and collection of rents by the Knights Templar. Military secured weapons  from those member of these organizations.

Shortly there after, on Monday 11, the Army arrested 17 people, including two minors, with weapons, once again exclusively used by Armed Forces in the same community of La Ruana, midway between the towns of Buenavista and Apatzingán. During the eighties and nineties this area was well known as a major producer of marijuana.
After the second capture, the military retention occurred . In the video that circulated, the kidnappers could be heard criticizing the Knights Templar and La Tuta. The state government and the military intervened and they were released the next day. he state attorney, Placido Torres Pineda,  "Consequences didn't go beyond his mind" The Department of Defense was silent.

Milenio: Mariana Benítez Tiburcio, States Attorney for legal and International Affairs revealed that 3 of the 34 people arrested in March for belonging to a self-defense  Michoacan group have criminal records. According to PGR one allegedly belongs to the New Generation Jalisco Cartel 

At first he identified himself as Víctor Ibarra Guerrero, later he said his name is Edgar Antonio Rojo Lara, who was part of a preliminary investigation in Sinaloa and presumably is CNGJ.
In an interview with Joaquin Lopez-Doriga for Grupo Fórmula, Benitez Tiburcio said the securing of the subjects, as well as the high-powered weapons, were achieved by a joint operation which involved Mexican Army personnel in conjunction with the Attorney General the Republic.

The legal Assistant attorney said the "the paramilitaries were arrested away from the people they're supposed to protect.

"The state is working to see if there is any link between the paramilitaries and narco"