Mexican government: on its knees and with its hands up

The afternoon of October 17, 2019 will go down in history as the day on which the Sinaloa cartel and the “los chapitos” faction, commanded by Chapo's sons, knelt the Mexican government: to its security secretary, Alfonso Durazo and the President of the Republic, Andrés Manuel López Obrador.

Andrés Manuel López Obrador, president of Mexico.

Andrés Manuel López Obrador, president of Mexico. / Photo: REUTERS

LatinAmerican Post | Alberto Castaño

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Leer en español: Gobierno mexicano: de rodillas y con las manos arriba

With an unusual decision, Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has surprised the entire world. He supported the decision of his Secretary of Security, Alfonso Durazo, to release Ovidio Guzmán López, alias 'El Ratón', son of the Mexican drug trafficker, Joaquín 'el Chapo' Guzmán sentenced last July to life imprisonment by a court of U.S.

Guzmán López, son of the drug lord of the Sinaloa cartel and Griselda López Pérez, was born in Culiacán in 1991 and has been targeted by the United States government since May 2012, for conspiracy to distribute cocaine, marijuana and methamphetamines in that country in the company of his older brother Joaquín Guzmán López aka 'el chapito'.

A patrol of the National Guard of Mexico, around 3:00 PM local time, consisting of about 30 troops, routinely patrolled one of the streets of the Tres Ríos sector in the city of Culiacán, capital of the state of Sinaloa, when they were attacked with gunshots from a house.

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The military, repelling the attack, took control of the house and in the exchange of shots they captured a man that the authorities of the country required to face justice, in the same way as the government of the States United. The man was positively identified as 'El Ratón' or Ovidio Guzmán López, heir to his father's criminal company.

However, the news was not issued by the country's security authorities. Before the announcement made by Durazo, Guzmán's photo was already circulating on social networks alerting the entire criminal structure to go out in search of the release of one of his 'bosses'.

The situation that was approaching was not easy to handle for the Mexican authorities who in a few minutes were overwhelmed by the criminal force that overwhelmingly agility and fierceness bent the constitutional institutions of the state making them see who really commands in the northern states of the country where the big world drug cartels operate.

The strategy was simple: attacking the house by refolding the National Guard and in unison, other groups mercilessly attacked in other areas of the city of some 800,000 inhabitants, forcing the division of state forces to prevent unfortunate acts throughout the area.

Given the facts, the security secretary, Francisco Alfonso Durazo Montaño, announced that the decision he made was to “suspend the actions” (of the public force), without admitting at first that this implied releasing the alleged criminal wanted by the two countries.

The erratic and unconfirmed information gave rise to speculation and at times it was not clear whether or not they released the arrested heir of his father's drug trafficker and his partner, Mayo Zambada, until the president of the Mexicans confirmed the news at a press conference.

“Many citizens, many people, many human beings were at risk. It was decided to protect people's lives and I agreed with that,” that was the explanation that AMLO gave to public opinion about the reasons that led the state forces to release the criminal.

And to leave no doubt about the weakness of the state before the criminal attack, the president added "I endorsed that decision because the situation became very difficult."

Before the incredulous look of the whole world, Culiacán burned in different points and videos in social networks that evidenced the critical situation that citizens of the common lived during those hours of anxiety and violence started popping out.

Read also: Mexico reopens investigation into disappearance of 43 students

Phrases like “The decision was made to protect citizens. You can't put out the fire with the fire ”or“ It's not about massacres, that's over ”and finally“ We don't want dead, we don't want war. This is hard for many to understand. The previous strategy turned the country into a cemetery, I have said it a thousand times. Nothing by force, all for the reason and the right, ”the Mexican president tried to explain to his fellow citizens and the world the decision adopted by Durazo and endorsed by himself.

And finally, to defend himself from those voices that accuse him of institutional weakness and of being an accomplice of the impunity prevailing in Mexico, the president defends himself with an expression that leaves more doubts than certainties: “There is no impunity because there is no conflict between crime and authorities. On whether the State's weakness was demonstrated, it is mostly a conjecture of the experts ”.

Many have remembered the words of López Obrador, who at that time was a politician opposed to the government of former President Peña Nieto, in a trill on the social network twitter on July 14, 2015, when El Chapo Guzmán escaped from his place of seclusion : "If at least you do not give up the security cabinet, there is going to be the idea that there was complicity at the highest level in the Chapo escape." This time Chapo did not escape, his government freed his son, also a drug trafficker required by the justice of two countries.

The only thing that became clear with the day of violence unleashed on the afternoon of October 17, 2019, is who are the ones ruling in Culiacán state of Sinaloa, Mexico.

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