A cartel unveiled a makeshift tank capable of firing mortar rounds as part of a fierce turf war in the western state of Michoacán.
Fighting has lasted for days in the coastal areas of the state where Cartel Jalisco Nueva Generacion (CJNG) tries to take territories belonging to Carteles Unidos (an alliance of Los Viagras, remnants of the Knights Templars, and La Familia Michoacana). The criminal factions are deploying armored vehicles, explosives, and other high powered weapons as state authorities try to reassure the public that the area is calm.
In a video obtained exclusively by Breitbart Texas, gunmen can be seen operating a truck with makeshift armor plating and a cannon in the back, when suddenly the vehicle fires an explosive round amid cheering.
The narco-vehicle appears to be an armored truck outfitted to launch mortar rounds. It remains unclear how cartel operators were able to obtain such weapons. The vehicle belongs to Carteles Unidos led by the self-defense group leader-turned-cartel boss Juan Jose “El Abuelo” Alvarez Farias. Alvarez Farias controls key areas in western Michoacán including Tepalcatepec, Coalcoman, and others. Alvarez Farias was initially allied with Cartel Jalisco Nueva Generacion but broke away and joined with Carteles Unidos.
This week, CJNG made a push to take over El Abuelo’s territories–causing several days of shootouts. Despite the raging gun battles, the Government of Michoacán refuses to acknowledge the escalating violence, mass disappearances, and murders attributed to the turf war.
Editor’s Note: Breitbart Texas 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.