By Tracy Wilkinson in Los Angeles Times 05/07/15
A month before national elections, Mexico is witnessing a level of violence in which drug traffickers have directly confronted the army, raising questions about whether the government’s progress in combating crime might be a hollow victory.
In an apparent first for the nation, a drug cartel in the prosperous state of Jalisco used rocket-propelled grenades to shoot down a military helicopter, killing at least six soldiers.
The attack Friday was part of a wider assault in Guadalajara, Mexico’s second-largest city; Puerto Vallarta, a tourist destination popular with Americans and Canadians; and nearby points. The daylong mayhem included the burning of banks and gasoline stations and the erecting of nearly 40 roadblocks using flaming vehicles.
A total of 15 people, including the soldiers, died, a dozen were injured and 19 were arrested.
Defense Secretary Gen. Salvador Cienfuegos referred to the killers in Guadalajara, the state capital, as unpatriotic commissioners of vile acts. “We will not let our guard down,” he said this week.
by Joshua Parlow in The Washington Post, 04/09/15
MEXICO CITY — There’s a new name to worry about in Mexico’s ever-churning drug war.
They call themselves the New Generation of Jalisco, and they just pulled off one of the most audacious attacks against Mexican authorities in years.
Earlier this week, on a lonely road in western Mexico between the resort beach town of Puerto Vallarta and the state capital of Guadalajara, cartel henchmen with assault rifles and grenade launchers ambushed a convoy of state police, killing 15 of them and wounding five more. That brought the total number of police killed in the state to 21, just over the past three weeks, according to the Mexican newspaper El Universal.
“Its not a coincidence that this weekend [April 5], election campaigns started,” said Gerson Hernandez Mecalco, a political science professor at Mexico’s National Autonomous University. “It’s a very negative message, on the part of organized crime, of the possible impact and strength that they continue to have.”
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