Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Military Commander Predicts More Violence in Cd. Juarez

Norte reports this morning in a story by Jesús Batista that General Felipe de Jesús Espitia Hernández, Commander of the 5th Military Zone of Mexico, and Commander of Joint Operation Chihuahua, has predicted a continuation of the wave of violence affecting Cd. Juárez. In an interview with Norte he indicated that rival criminal gangs are still fighting over the potential drug market share in Juárez, and over the strategic control of routes into the United States.

Significantly, General Espitia suggested to Norte that this year the violence might actually increase a little, given that we are entering an election cycle, which will complicate efforts to combat the violence.

He indicated that authorities in Cd. Juárez will begin employing new strategies to fight organized crime. As of this week, for example, the last of 6000 special forces troops should arrive in Juárez to relieve troops that have been here for the past few months.

Finally, he said, "I understand that federal, state and municipal authorities must reach common understandings ("ponernos de acuerdo")in order to diminish the wave of violence," as well as the extortions and kidnappings.

This last comment suggests strongly that problems of coordination still exist between federal, state, and local law enforcement forces. Seems like the U.S. isn't the only country where the right security hand doesn't always talk to the left hand.

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