President López Obrador stands by his no-war approach after the CJNG released shocking video

The shocking video was released on El Mencho's birthday

President López Obrador stands by his no-war approach after the CJNG released shocking video
The Mexican government said the video was apparently filmed near the border of Jalisco and Guanajuato - Photo: Iván Villanueva/EFE
English 21/07/2020 14:10 Mexico City Alberto Morales/EL UNIVERSAL, AP Actualizada 14:27

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Mexican authorities analyzed a shocking video posted online to determine its authenticity. The video showed alleged members of the Jalisco Nueva Generación Cartel (CJNG) dressed in military-style fatigues with a dozen homemade armored pickup trucks, an anti-aircraft gun, nine belt-fed machine guns, ten .50-caliber sniper rifles, six grenade launchers, and 54 assault rifles.

The federal government said the video showed “evidence of military-style training.” The shocking video was released on July 17, on Nemesio “El Mencho” Oseguera’s birthday.

The Mexican government said the video was apparently filmed near the border of Jalisco and Guanajuato states and shows an “elite group” of cartel gunmen formed in 2019. This group has been linked to an attack on police, but who have apparently not used the armored vehicles in fight or directly attacked federal forces.

Many of the trucks have welded steel-plate armor, turrets, and firing slots. Some were painted with the CJNG’s initials.

Defense Minister Luis Cresencio Sandoval said that the “elite group” was created by the bloody cartel a year ago and that it is led by Juan Carlos González, also known as “El 03.”

General Sandoval explained that this group is the only one of its kind and that it is divided into smaller groups that operate in Michoacán, Guanajuato, and Zacatecas.

The army said, “the armament, the equipment and the vehicles used show an unlimited use of money earned from illegal activities.” While other drug cartels have posted videos displaying their impressive firepower in the past, the army said the group shown in the Jalisco tapes “is the only group of this type.”

Authorities also suggested the Jalisco Nueva Generación Cartel may have filmed that video and another one “in response” to El Marro’s suggestion that he might call on the Sinaloa Cartel for help in fighting the CJNG. The Jalisco cartel is currently fighting the Santa Rosa de Lima gang for control of Guanajuato.

In a video posted online in June, José Antonio Yépez, aka “El Marro,” spoke about allying himself with the Sinaloa cartel to fight off the incursion by Jalisco. That turf war has already made Guanajuato the deadliest state in Mexico.

The Security Ministry recently announced that homicide rates are declining; however, the continued high level of killings is likely to draw more attention to President Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s policy of avoiding direct confrontation with the cartels. He prefers to address social problems like poverty and unemployment that he says contribute to crime.

The CJNG’s “elite group”

1. It was created in 2019 and it is led by Juan Carlos González, aka “El 03.”

2. It is the only armed group of its kind.

3. It operates in Michoacán, Guanajuato, and Zacatecas.

4. A cartel member called “Doble R” leads the group in Michoacán.

5. This group was involved in a deadly attack against local police officers in Villagrán, Guanajuato in December 2019.

6. This armed drop hasn’t engaged in a confrontation with federal forces.

The infamous video

The infamous video shows dozens of alleged CJNG gunmen posing with military-grade weapons and armored pickup trucks, some painted with the initials of the Jalisco Nueva Generación Cartel, in what appeared to be a show of power.

Many of the trucks in a column of about 20 vehicles parked on a dirt road had improvised gun turrets or plate-steel armor welded onto them. The video was posted on social media sites on July 16.

Several dozen gunmen are heard shouting they are “El Mencho’s men,” a nickname used by CJNG boss Nemesio Oseguera. Almost all of the unformed men wearing bulletproof vests carried assault rifles, and some appear to have belt-fed machine guns or .50 caliber sniper rifles.

After the video went viral, Security Minister Alfonso Durazo wrote in his Twitter account that “there is no criminal group that has the capacity to successfully defy federal security forces, and much less with this staged event.”

The violent cartel based in Jalisco has spread across Mexico and increasingly has posed direct challenges to the government. Mexico City’s police chief Omar García Harfuch blamed it for an elaborately planned attempt on his life last month.

Despite the increase in violence, President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has defended his policy of avoiding confrontation with the cartels.

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