Jalisco Governor Enrique Alfaro said Friday that he was one of several officials who were threatened by the Jalisco New Generation Cartel (CJNG).
Alfaro said he was notified by the National Intelligence Unit of the threats made against him.
The newspaper La Razón reported that a recently apprehended cartel hitman said the governor “is in the crosshairs” and an attempt on his life was being planned for not cooperating with the criminal organization.
“Yesterday afternoon we were informed simply to be careful with this information. I have said that more than a specific threat against me it is a sign of the challenge against the Mexican state,” the governor said in an interview with Grupo Fórmula.
“Some measures were taken to strengthen security. What has to be understood is that we are living in very difficult times, but we are going to move forward,” Alfaro continued. “You cannot govern with fear.”
He stressed that after the attempted assassination of Mexico City Police Chief Omar García Harfuch last week, where three people died allegedly at the hands of a CJNG hit squad, political leaders need to be more united in defense of common interests. “The events of the last days show that it is time to straighten the path, to close ranks.”
The threats against Alfaro add him to a growing and unfortunate list of politicians the cartel perceives as enemies.
According to a telephone call intercepted by intelligence officers two weeks before the attack on the police chief, a number of high-ranking Mexican officials were discussed as possible targets by the CJNG, including Foreign Affairs Minister Marcelo Ebrard for the recent extradition of El Menchito, CJNG leader Nemesio Oseguera’s son; Security Minister Alfonso Durazo for federal operations against the cartel; Financial Intelligence Unit head Santiago Nieto for recently blocking 1,939 bank accounts linked to the cartel; and Chief García for arresting some of the cartel’s main leaders.
For his part, President López Obrador offered Alfaro his support and applauded him for standing up to organized crime gangs.
During his press conference today at the National Palace, the president said he has already put security forces in touch with the governor, and that “according to what he considers appropriate, we will help with his security. Whatever we can contribute for your protection you count on us.”
The United States Drug Enforcement Administration said this week that the CJNG has expanded its operations from eight states five years ago to 27 today.