Mexcio: Nieto’s Strategy in Question as Violence Kills 22 in Michoacan

MexicoThe security strategy of Mexican el Presidente Pena Nieto is now in question following violence between policia and organized crime gangs in different gun battles in the Mexican State of Michoacan.  This is some of the worst violence seen in one single day in recent months.  Policia report that at least 22 people are dead. The ruling PRI government in Mexico City says military crackdowns are the to blame for the violence.  Reportedly there were 6 attacks against policia in various locations.  Among the dead are 2 police officers and 15 other officers were injured or wounded, some seriously.  Mexican authorities believe the attacks were pre-planned and gang members carried out the assaults with assault weapons against policia.

These attacks now pose a challenge to the policies of President Enrique Pena Nieto and his security strategy that he recently outlined.  The strategy began last month when the first major operation was launched by sending federal troops into 19 communities across Michoacan State.  Citizens in these communities often found themselves in the middle of gunfights between the drug cartels and vigilante groups.

Despite yesterday’s violence and killings Mexican Interior Minister Miguel Angel Osorio Chong says authorities are not going to back off on the crackdown and will continue their course.  He made these comments after meeting with US Homeland Security Secretary Napolitano.  The Interior Minister went on to state that a continued police and military presence will restore law and order to the region.  This strategy is similar to that employed by former Mexican Presidente Felipe Calderon.  There was an additional violent incident in Los Reyes on Monday in which 5 people were killed when an armed group of unknown men opened fire on protestors outside the town hall.  The group was demonstrating alleged ties between that towns police and the drug cartel named Los Caballeros Templarios (The Knights Templar).

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