Mexican President Says Government Will Engage Cartels “Intellectually” After Jalisco Cartel Video Goes Viral

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Mexican President Says Government Will Engage Cartels "Intellectually" After Jalisco Cartel Video Goes Viral

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On July 20th, Mexican Defense Minister Luis Cresencio Sandoval said the group in a recent video, released by the Jalisco New Generation Cartel, are an elite force of the cartel.

The video’s authenticity would be analyzed, he said, but he was quick to add that no criminal group in Mexico has the firepower to take on the country’s federal forces.

In the weeks and days leading up to this statement, President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has promoted a new National Guard force to fight the gangs, but it is questionable if they would be successful in doing so.

The Jalisco cartel has been tied to murders including those of a federal judge and his wife in Colima state, and to an assassination attempt on Mexico City’s police chief in June.

In 2019, nearly 35,000 Mexicans were murdered — the highest number recorded since the country began keeping such statistics.

And despite organizing a new National Guard, and the increasing violence and the rampant actions of the cartels, President Obrador appears hesitant to engage them.

Speaking to reporters, López Obrador seemed unfazed when asked to comment on the show of force in the Jalisco New Generation Cartel video.

He said his administration had inherited the drug cartels, but announced no new police offensive against them.

Lopez Obrador has consistently said he’s reluctant to engage in the bloody drug wars of past administrations. He said this regarding the cartels:

“We will fight them with intelligence and not force. We will not declare war.”

It is no secret that it is unlikely to be effective.

Throughout July, a video has been circulating social media showing what appears to be a large security forces, much resembling a military unit, on the streets of Mexico.

At a, not very in-depth, look it becomes apparent, however, that these are not soldiers – they are members of the Jalisco New Generation Cartel. Currently, Mexico’s most vicious and powerful cartel, after the splintering of the Sinaloa cartel.

In the video, as can be seen above, the camera pans across a line of masked men in combat fatigues, stretching down a rural road. Some stand beside armored vehicles painted in camouflage colors, firing military-grade weapons into the air.

Others are manning turrets on top of military vehicles.

In the videos in total one sees approximately 80 rifles and other, heavier, weapons and approximately 75 individuals.

The troops are yelling, “We are Mencho’s people.” Mencho is the nickname of Nemesio Oseguera Cervantes, the leader of the Jalisco New Generation Cartel.

“The imagery is pretty impressive,” says security analyst and newspaper columnist Alejandro Hope. He estimates the cartel, based in the central Mexican state of Jalisco, had more than $1 million worth of armaments and vehicles on display in the video.

“It’s an impressive piece of propaganda.”

Defense Minister Luis Crescensio Sandoval said that this “elite group” was created in 2019. According to him, it is the only one of its kind and that it is separated into smaller groups that operate in Michoacan, Guanajuato and Zacatecas.

The army said “the armament, 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 that the video shows a group that is one of a kind.

Furthermore, in the days before the video, El Marro (Jose Antonio Yepez Ortiz), the leader of the Santa Rosa de Lima Cartel, said that he might call on the Sinaloa cartel to assist in the fight against the JNGC. Currently, JNGC is contesting the Guanajuato from the Santa Rosa de Lima Cartel, and it has turned into the deadliest state due to the tur war.

On July 21st, a secret graveyard was discovered in the area under control by the JNGC. 28 corpses were dug out.

The JNGC is also working to remove its enemies with more “peaceful” means – offering bounties for the arrest or murder of members and leaders of competing cartels.

On July 24th, José Guadalupe, nicknamed El Mamey, the leader of the Santa Rosa de Lima Cartel in Celaya was captured by authorities.

Since February, the JNGC has offered bounties on at least 80 members of various cartels, including on El Mamey. It is interesting if the officers who arrested El Mamey would get their reward money.

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