Terror took hold of Jalisco and Guanajuato on Tuesday night. Criminals burned cars, trucks, and businesses, and also blocked several roads in these two states just after 7:00 p.m.
The violence was the response to the operation to arrest a regional criminal and the clashes between crime rings and members of the Army, as explained on Wednesday by the president, Andrés Manuel López Obrador. The governor of Jalisco, Enrique Alfaro, has reported that the clashes left an alleged criminal dead and five arrested.
“It was reported that the Secretary of National Defense and the Jalisco and Guanajuato police intervened, because apparently there was a meeting, a meeting of two gangs, and elements of the Defense arrived, there was a confrontation and arrests, this was what caused the burning of vehicles”, said the president during his morning press conference. It was the operation to arrest Ricardo Ruiz Velazco, nicknamed “El Doble R”, operator of the Jalisco Nueva Generación Cartel (CJNG) in the West and Bajío, which provoked an aggressive reaction from organized crime groups.
As seen in several videos that emerged on Tuesday night, a group of men took at least three public transport trucks in Zapopan, in the Guadalajara metropolitan area, at gunpoint and Molotov cocktails. Almost at the same time, a command barricaded the highway to Saltillo (Coahuila).
In Guanajuato, the atmosphere also turned violent a few minutes after what happened in Jalisco. In the municipalities of Celaya, Silao, and Irapuato, dozens of armed men set fire to at least 25 Oxxo stores, as well as pharmacies and other local businesses, while setting fire to taxis and private vehicles that were driving near interstate highways. According to the report of the Secretary of Security of Guanajuato, it was in Irapuato where there was more violence, with the burning of a dozen convenience stores and a gas station that burned after eight at night.
Since Tuesday night, the governments of both states have given details of what happened. Libia Denisse García, secretary of the Government of Guanajuato, indicated that the terror spread in the three municipalities was derived from the violence in Jalisco. “As a result of a confrontation in a neighboring state (Jalisco) with a criminal group, subjects were identified in two municipalities who tried to set establishments and cars on fire.”
Governor Alfaro has said that the clashes and the numerous burning of vehicles had not left any civilians injured. “The situation is under control and we are working on the issue in coordination between the three levels of government.”
Until Wednesday morning, elements of the Army maintain a presence in both states, while López Obrador has guaranteed to maintain the safety of the inhabitants of the municipalities affected by the violence.
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