A total of 1,800 Mexican National Guard personnel will deploy to Sonora starting July 1 to help fight the escalating violence attributed cartel and gang turf wars. The state primarily abuts Arizona.
Sonora is seeing a spike in cartel violence involving armed confrontations between criminal gangs, kidnappings, and attacks of police officers. In 2019, a total of 10 officers have been gunned down throughout the state–nearly matching the tally of 11 in 2018, according to local reports.
The deployment of additional personnel was announced at a press conference by National Public Security Secretary Alfonso Durazo Montaño and the Comandante of the National Guard, Luis Rodríguez Bucio.
The 1,800 personnel will be distributed throughout four regions with 450 assigned to each. The capital city of Hermosillo was selected as the headquarters for the construction of one of five forensic centers as well.
The municipality of Cajeme (Ciudad Obregón) will receive 300 personnel, due to it being considered the most violent, say local reports. Hermosillo will receive 150 of the additional personnel.
According to Comandante Luis Rodríguez Bucio, the role of the guard will be to supplement and not replace the state and municipal police, in addition to the permanently based Army and Navy personnel in the region.
During the first five months of 2019, Sonora saw a 25 percent increase in homicides compared to 2018, according to statistics compiled by Secretariado Ejecutivo del Sistema Nacional de Seguridad Pública and reported by local media.
Breitbart News previously reported on the ongoing cartel violence in Sonora. Earlier this week, Cajeme broke its record for most homicides in a month with 58 for June. Earlier in the month, Breitbart News reported on the discovery of two dismembered bodies abandoned on the side of a road with a narco-message in Ciudad Obregón. Also this month, two cartel attacks in the border cities of Agua Prieta and Naco occurred, leaving at least nine dead.
The recent uptick in violence is attributed to an ongoing territorial dispute between the Sinaloa Cartel and the Beltran Leyva organization’s regionally aligned gangs.
Robert Arce is a retired Phoenix Police detective with extensive experience working Mexican organized crime and street gangs. Arce has worked in the Balkans, Iraq, Haiti, and recently completed a three-year assignment in Monterrey, Mexico, working out of the Consulate for the United States Department of State, International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Program, where he was the Regional Program Manager for Northeast Mexico (Coahuila, Tamaulipas, Nuevo Leon, Durango, San Luis Potosi, Zacatecas.)