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Security forces mobilize in Michoacán in response to continued cartel attacks. Security forces mobilize in Michoacán in response to continued cartel attacks.

Jalisco cartel’s offensive in Michoacán now 9 days old

13 people killed in two days in Morelia, Zamora and Uruapan

A wave of violence has beset western Michoacán in the last nine days, as rival gangs continue heavy-weapons battles for territory in 13 municipalities that began November 30.

The latest attacks occurred Wednesday in the Tierra Caliente municipalities of Chinicuila and Tepalcatepec, where authorities say two Jalisco New Generation Cartel (CJNG) cells arrived in armored vehicles, engaging in gun battles with local police, the National Guard, and armed residents.

In Chinicuila, the battle left government buildings, homes, cars, and an elementary school damaged, but there were no casualties.

In Chinicuila, cartel hitmen arrived from Colima around 4 a.m. in six makeshift armored vehicles, first attacking the small community of Villa Victoria, where they engaged in gun battles with authorities and residents, damaging homes and cars before fleeing and moving on to municipal headquarters, where they damaged government buildings and a nearby school. All told, the attack lasted about an hour, authorities said.

The unsuccessful attack on Tepalcatepec, where residents recently dug trenches in the roads into town to keep cartels from entering, happened a few hours later, authorities said.

The two attacks came two days after 13 people were killed in just two days in three other Michoacán municipalities — Morelia, Zamora and Uruapan, where intense gunfights between rival armed groups left three civilian bystanders dead in Uruapan.

Also, on December 2, firefights in four Michoacán municipalities between members of the CJNG and Cárteles Unidos, an alliance of the Sinaloa Cartel and other criminal organizations, left six people dead.

No arrests have been made.

Sources: El Universal (sp), Milenio (sp)

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