MORELIA, Michoacán – The raging cartel violence that reignited this week with gun battles, executions, and arson has killed close to three dozen victims. Officials continue to reassure the public by claiming the dead are mostly criminals.
The violence is tied to the ongoing war for control of the state between Mexico’s Cartel Jalisco Nueva Generacion (CJNG) and Los Viagras/Familia Michoacana. Most of the murders are the result of kidnappings among rivals, however innocent victims continue to be caught in the crossfire.
Most of the murders center around Morelia and Uruapan, while there has also been intense fighting and executions in Quiroga, Tacambaro, Apatzingan, and Lazaro Cardenas. The unofficial death toll reached 35, including several innocent bystanders. Cartel gunmen torched four homes as well.
Most recently, CJNG left a dismembered body with a threatening message in Morelia, a city that has seen nearly a dozen murders in three days. In response to the violence, Mayor Raul Moron Orozco told local news outlets to “look at the level of people that have lost their lives” pointing to the fact that most of the victims have ties to organized crime.
In Uruapan, home to most of the avocado production exported to the U.S, an attempt to kill two men also led to the death of a woman and her 10-year-old son who were struck by stray bullets. State police set out a manhunt to track the hitmen, leading to a fierce gun battle. Four police officers received various injuries but were able to arrest three and seize their SUV.
Editor’s Note: Breitbart News traveled to the Mexican States of Tamaulipas, Coahuila, Nuevo León, and other areas to recruit citizen journalists willing to risk their lives and expose the cartels silencing their communities. Breitbart Texas’ Cartel Chronicles are published in both English and in their original Spanish. This article was written by Jose Luis Lara, a former leading member who helped start the Self-Defense Movement in Michoacán.