Fierce, large-scale gun battles involving armored trucks and explosives took place for more than a week in the western Mexican state of Michoacán. The intense fighting was not acknowledged by the state government.
For more than a week, Cartel Jalisco Nueva Generacion (CJNG) made a push into the hilly areas in Michoacán. The turf is largely controlled by a conglomerate of factions known as Carteles Unidos, including Los Viagras, various self-defense groups, La Familia Michoacana, Knights Templars, and others.
The brunt of the fighting occurred near Tepalcatepec, a region controlled by former self-defense leader-turned-cartel boss named Juan Jose “El Abuelo” Farias. The push by CJNG aims to capture the formerly allied El Abuelo territories.
El Abuelo and his new allies from Carteles Unidos are deploying vehicles with makeshift armor to counter the forces from CJNG. In an exclusive video, Breitbart Texas revealed the criminal organization managed to mount a makeshift cannon on a vehicle to fire mortar rounds.
Despite the intense fighting, Michoacán Governor Silvano Aureoles Conejo remains silent about the raging warfare. Aureoles continues to claim the region is prospering. Aureoles was previously named by the leader of Los Viagras for having prior agreements with organized crime in return for ballots.
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.