Acts of violence allegedly perpetrated by the Jalisco New Generation Cartel (CJNG) in Veracruz between Thursday and Saturday are a reaction to successful police operations, according to the governor.
One state police officer and at least 11 other people were killed in three days of violence in several municipalities in the Gulf coast state. Fiery blockades were also set up on several highways in an attempt to hinder police operations against the cartel.
“What happened on the weekend was a propagandistic reaction of some criminal groups because we made some important arrests and seizures and they obviously reacted very angrily,” Cuitláhuac García said in a radio interview.
The Morena party governor charged that criminal organizations were allowed to prosper during past state governments and are now responding to the end of their free rein. The Los Zetas cartel has been involved in a turf war with the CJNG in Veracruz in recent years.
García explained that since taking office on December 1, the Veracruz government – in conjunction with the federal government – has implemented a new security strategy.
After four incidents of violence in less than 24 hours starting Thursday night, three of which were direct confrontations between alleged CJNG members and police, the bloodshed continued throughout Saturday.
In Jáltipan, a municipality in the south of the state, armed civilians launched an attack Saturday morning on a state police station, which was unoccupied at the time.
Vehicles were also set on fire on highways in the south of the state to form narco-blockades.
Later in the day, authorities found two dead men inside a pickup truck in Texistepec, a municipality around 80 kilometers southwest of the port city of Coatzacoalcos. A message threatening police was left alongside the bodies.
In Soteapan, also located in the south of Veracruz, the municipal síndico, or trustee, was attacked outside his own home by two armed men on Saturday afternoon. Crisanto Bautista remains in hospital with serious injuries.
On Saturday night, police found four bullet-ridden bodies – including one of a 13-year-old – in the city of Cosoleacaque while in Poza Rica, a municipality in the north of the state, a gunman shot and killed a grocery store owner.
The same night, a pregnant woman was shot and killed after the taxi in which she was traveling was attacked in the northern Veracruz municipality of Álamo Temapache.
Fifty women have now been murdered in the state since Governor García was sworn in – a figure that represents almost one femicide every two days.
Yet more violence was reported in Veracruz yesterday. Two cattle ranchers, one in Atzalán and another in Las Choapas, were found dead and a young man was shot and killed at sports facility in Ixtaczoquitlán, a municipality that borders Orizaba.