BLOOMBERG, JULY 18, 2020
A senior analyst in Mexico at the Crisis Group, says the group is threatening the government: “you come after us, and we will strike back.”
By Oscar Medina for Bloomberg – A video circulating widely on social media shows dozens of heavily-armed men identifying themselves as working for the head of a powerful Jalisco drug cartel, in fresh defiance toward Mexico’s government.
The video shows the men, possibly numbering over 100, wearing military-style camouflage uniforms, their faces concealed by black masks. Many are holding assault rifles and machine guns, standing next to or sitting in heavily armored trucks. One of them fires a burst of shots into the air.
The footage emerged days after President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador toured Guanajuato and Jalisco, and almost three weeks after Mexico City’s security chief Omar Garcia Harfuch was targeted in an ambush by at least two dozen hit-men with high-caliber weapons.
Three people died in the incident, which was attributed to the Jalisco New Generation Cartel, or CJNG.
On the video several dozen armed men, wearing helmets and bulletproof vests, shout, “El Mencho,” or “people of Mencho,” a reference to cartel leader Nemecio Oseguera Cervantes, one of Mexico’s most powerful druglords.
Alfonso Durazo, Mexico’s public security minister, said authorities were analyzing the footage to confirm its authenticity and the time it was recorded. “There is no criminal group with the capacity to successfully challenge the federal security forces, much less after this evident set up,” Durazo said on Twitter.
Falko Ernst, a senior analyst in Mexico at the Crisis Group, an international conflict-prevention think-tank, tweeted that the cartel was threatening the government: “you come after us, and we will strike back.”
The “impeccable” look of the armed group suggested “building blocks of a finely orchestrated production, just barely wrapped up,” Ernst said.
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