Cartel launches massacre in Guanajuato leaving 11 dead

Guanajuato has become one of the most violent regions in Mexico in recent years, as drug trafficking groups, mainly the Jalisco New Generation Cartel (CJNG) and the Santa Rosa de Lima Cartel (CSRL), fight for control of the zone.

The last instance of violence occurred at approximately 10:00 pm Monday, May 23, in a hotel and two bars in Celaya, where a group of 15 armed men got out of three trucks and shot people who were in the Hotel Gala and customers of an adjoining bar in the Lindavista neighborhood. At the scene, 10 people died, while a woman who was injured died on the way to the hospital. Eight of the victims were women and three men, according to the Secretary of Citizen Security of Celaya.

The perpetrators of the massacre spilled gallons of gasoline and threw Molotov cocktails with the purpose of setting fire to the buildings where they committed the attacks. They also left cardboard with the initials of the Santa Rosa de Lima Cartel, in which they pointed out the victims for supporting the CJNG and being involved in the murder of one of its members.

Both organizations have maintained a dispute for years over the control of territory for drug trafficking, extortion of merchants, and theft of hydrocarbons, a crime that is also known as huachicol.

Last week, in Celaya, the Secretary of Security, Jesús Ignacio Rivera Peralta, supervised a security operation —with elements of the Municipal Police, National Guard, and Sedena— in bars and restaurants with the sale of alcoholic beverages in order to “provide safe spaces for customers and employees.”

On Monday morning, the head of the Secretary of Security and Citizen Protection, Rosa Icela Rodríguez, highlighted that in Guanajuato a “significant reduction” was being registered in terms of intentional homicides.

“In the case of Guanajuato, the downward trend continues and we hope that this rate will continue to be maintained,” he stated during the morning conference of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO).

Since Diego Sinhue Rodríguez Vallejo became governor of Guanajuato, violence has been on the rise throughout the entity, although particularly in Celaya, where murders and drug dealing have doubled, according to figures from the Executive Secretariat of the National System. of Public Security (SESNSP).

In 2018, when the politician from the National Action Party (PAN) took office as governor, 188 intentional homicides were recorded in Celaya; twelve murders less than those registered the following year. However, it was the next two years when crimes skyrocketed.

Throughout 2020, 493 investigation folders were opened for the crime of intentional homicide in Celaya, while in 2021, 407 murders were reported in the municipality. This meant an increase of more than double if compared to the first year of Diego Sinhue’s government.

Only from January to April of this year, 153 intentional homicides have already been registered, so if it continues with the same trend, 2022 will be an even more violent year for Celaya than the previous two.

The same thing happened with the crime of drug dealing, which went from 287 cases in Celaya in 2018, to 395 in 2019; it then spiked in 2020 and 2021, when 625 and 620 cases were reported respectively, a more than double increase.

In the first four months of the year, Celaya adds 207 investigation folders for drug dealing.

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