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Title / Topic: Understanding Mexican Drug Cartels Increasing Violence
By: Anthony Tinsman (042676-063, FCC PO BOX 3000, Forrest City, AR., 72336)

The streets in Mexico City still smolder since this weekends escalation of Cartel violence. The flair up terrorized 1.5 million people crammed in the metropolitan city of Guadalajara, and the resort town of Puerto Vallarta. The new Jalisco cartel has risen unchecked after government officials captured drug bosses and weakened or destroyed rival organizations, including Joaquin Guzman, the leader of the Sinaloa cartel last year. He is more commonly known as “El Chopo”.

Events have drawn a shadow over President Enrique Pena Nieto, who has lead the Mexican government in demonstrating a modern, emerging economy. In this mission cartels such as the Knights Templar, Gulf Cartel, and the Zetas have been dismantled. “They have been destroyed… but hat leads to he birth of other very powerful organizations, which fill the vacuum.” Said Raul Benitez, a security analyst at the National Autonomous University of Mexico.

Friday was shattered by the clap of high explosives and small arms fire resulting in a downed marine helicopter, and 11 banks, gas stations and vehicles set ablaze across the state. Cartel members fought police with assault riffles and grenade launchers effectively blocking roads in three neighboring states. Amazingly, this apparently chaotic assault was coordinated, only 7 people died in this weekends most intense violence.

An instrumental victory for the fledgling Jalisco cartel.

The history of Cartel violence has drawn analysis from scholars and authors who have tasked themselves with explaining the psychology behind organizations like Jalisco. This month a new book “Blood + Death: The secret history of Sante Muerte and the Mexican Drug Cartels” delivers insight into the cult-like beliefs that allow cartel leaders to manipulate and control members. “When researching the material I was shocked by the grotesque murders committed in the name of Sante Muerte,” says author John Lee Brooks, “and the murder rate is escalating, accompanied by atrocities that belong in a gore-porn horror movie, not real life.”

These beliefs have evolved alongside cartels in Mexico and South America. The influence of Sante Muerte reportedly has tentacles into the U.S., propelling an extremist attitude to criminal organizations related to Mexican drug cartels. Atrocities abound under this influence.

On September 26, 2014, 43 students went missing in the South American town of Ayotzinapa. They were arrested by the Iguala police forces and thought to be handed over to the Guerrerros Unidos drug cartel. “Guerrero is a state with a lot of social organizations. It’s a left-wing university -the young students there are organized, and have a political consciousness,” Said Samuel Weber, co-organizer of a German rally against illegal arms sales to the state. “They are all activists and they have experience of repression. It’s a form of social control -then try to put these obstacles in the way of all social movements.” The obstacle appears to be censorship by bullet.

The students students were almost certainly executed by the Guerreros Unidos cartel.

The massacre in Guerrero remains unsolved. Although federal investigators recovered human ash sunk into a local river, only the DNA of one of the students, taken from a single tooth, could be identified. Local authorities were reluctant to get involved with the investigation. None of which bodes well for the current temperature in Mexico City, which is set for HOT this weekend as government forces attempt to dive back Jalisco gunmen.

Government officials have a tough fight ahead of them. The ideological component of drug cartels makes organizational structures resilient. Cartel leaders will come and go expulsing the same beliefs. Judging new evidence of drug cartel’s cultish dedication to Sante Muerte, the carnage in coming days may be a rallying cry for recruiting new members. Unfortunately this may be one of the motivations for the violence by Cartel leaders intent on keeping control of established drug pipelines into America.

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