MEXICO CITY, Mexico — As another year comes to a close in Mexico, it has been filled with drug violence, controversy and crime. Rather than a decrease in drug crime, the country has begun to see escalating violence in places previously untouched. The sentiment expressed by many in this country is that widespread corruption is one of the main factors that continues to fuel raging violence.
Out of Control Violence
While most scholars and authors refer to Mexico’s drug war as having started in 2006 when then-President Felipe Calderon called on the Mexican military to retake his country, the violence was focused in certain areas such as the State of Michoacan and the iconic border city of Juarez. As previously reported by Breitbart Texas, it was during those years, that the fighting over lucrative drug territories led to fierce public battles and executions that earned Ciudad Juarez the nickname “Murder Capital of the World.”
Current war zones like the border cities in Tamaulipas were untouched until late 2009 when tensions began to rise between the Gulf Cartel and their former enforcers, Los Zetas. In February 2010, those two cartels went to war resulting in massive gun battles where convoys of 40-plus SUV’s with gunmen would drive into a city and be met with a similar sized convoy of their rivals.
The fighting between the two cartels ended up in a stalemate of sorts, however, the two cartels continued to fracture further resulting in smaller factions and even more violence.
In 2013, this reporter experienced first-hand one of those massive gun battles that paralyzed the border city of Reynosa. The massive firefights left scores of dead gunmen, however, the Mexican government minimized the events by only acknowledging two bystanders killed by stray bullets.
As time has progressed, places that were once free of drug violence have begun to see gory public executions. One of those places is Mexico City. In November, as previously reported by Breitbart Texas, cartel-tied gangs hung bodies from a bridge. The violence has also taken over the once tranquil state of Guerrero which was at one time a tourist destination with its resort town of Acapulco. The kidnapping and likely execution of 43 education students at the hands of cartel members and corrupt police officers has resulted in the uncovering of multiple mass graves in Guerrero. As Breitbart Texas reported, this points to an even deeper wave of cartel violence that the government has not acknowledged and continues to deny.
No Pasa Nada
Breitbart Texas has reported in the past about how Mexican officials at all levels of the government try to minimize the out of control violence. Those outlandish claims are eerily similar to the ones made by two former Tamaulipas governors during their time in office. Tomas Yarrington Ruvalcaba and Eugenio Hernandez Flores, both were often quoted by Mexican media trying to minimize or deny the regular firefights between the Gulf Cartel and Los Zetas. As reported by Breitbart Texas, currently both Yarrington and Hernandez are considered fugitives by the U.S. Department of Justice on money laundering charges. Yarrington is also wanted on drug conspiracy charges. Despite being wanted by U.S. authorities, both fugitives routinely make public appearances in Mexico where they are surrounded by this country’s political elite.
The cloud of corruption that hangs over Mexico is not specific to Tamaulipas. Breitbart Texas recently reported on how a panel of judges in the border state of Coahuila released nine municipal police officers from Piedras Negras who had previously been convicted of working for Los Zetas. Suspiciously, soon after the police officers were released, the city has begun to see an alarming rise in violent murders including three persons that were beheaded by Los Zetas.
How High is the Corruption?
The widespread corruption in Mexico has led many to question if the highest levels of this country’s power are also linked to drug activity. The speculations were fueled even more this year when billionaire drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman Loera was able to escape from one of Mexico’s maximum security prisons. Initially, the escape was billed as a movie-like escape where Guzman was able to climb down into a mile long tunnel and use a motorcycle driven railcar towards his freedom.
Since then, as Breitbart Texas reported, the Mexican government has been shamed into admitting that Guzman had help from the inside as more and more jail guards and officials end up getting charged for their complicity.
Sensational Media Hurts Efforts to Report on Cartels and Corruption
Recently, the news outlet Business Insider tried to look at the theory of El Chapo’s escape having been an effort by the government to have the capo help reduce violence in that country. The story is not new, since most of the arguments presented there are regurgitated from a July article that Pulitzer Prize winner Ginger Thompson wrote after she had breakfast with three unnamed VIP’s from Mexico’s drug war. In that piece, a former cartel operative, a former Mexican intelligence official and his counterpart in the U.S. talked over breakfast about the theory that the government is likely behind El Chapo’s escape. Despite being several months late, the Business Insider piece does not add any new information or facts to the theory.
In another article by Business Insider, one of their writers, Christopher Woody wrote an article in late November and discusses how El Chapo “controls the entire U.S. drug market”. The assertion is again based on a DEA report that was released over the summer and Breitbart Texas published in September.
Business Insider is also one of the news outlets that fell for the various fake twitter accounts that many believed belonged to El Chapo and his sons. In that story, Woody again writes about how Guzman Loera and his sons are vacationing in Costa Rica. The information that Business Insider based their sensational story on comes from a doctored photograph that one of Guzman’s son was supposed to have tweeted in the fake account. Breitbart Texas published a story just days later debunking the claims about the fake tweets. The debunking came through an interview with Mexican musician Cesar Chalin who posted the original photograph that clearly showed that the persons in Costa Rica were not the Guzmans, but in fact just another family.
Business Insider is also the same publication that earlier this year claimed that only two cartels remained in Mexico. The claim could not be further from the truth as the continuous coverage of the Gulf Cartel and Los Zetas is the main focus of Breitbart’s Cartel Chronicles.
The speculation of Mexico’ elite having control over the drug trade is not new; actually it is a long standing tradition in that country. As reported by Breitbart Texas last year, Raul Salinas de Gortari, the brother of former Mexican president Carlos Salinas de Gortari, was set free from prison after spending years locked up on various financial charges. During Carlos Salinas’ term in office, much attention was given to claims of his brother’s ties to organized crime. The claims were backed up by the execution of Mexican politician and power broker Jose Francisco Ruiz Massieu. Raul Salinas was initially accused of having been behind it, but he was never jailed for it.
In 2009, Mexico’s El Universal quoted former Mexican President Miguel De La Madrid when he accused his predecessor Carlos Salinas de Gortari of having ties to drug traffickers.
So far, Mexico’s current president Enrique Pena Nieto has not been directly linked to drug traffickers, however, the politician has been tied to pay-for-play bribery from various businessmen. A team of Mexico’s top journalists were able to expose Pena Nieto as having received a house in exchange for lucrative contracts. Those journalists were rapidly fired, Breitbart Texas reported.