Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Judge hands out 48-year prison terms to 8 members of Los Rojos cartel

A federal judge in Cuernavaca, Morelos, handed down 48-year sentences to eight members of the Los Rojos cartel for kidnapping and organized crime on Monday.

The gang members also face fines of 544,000 pesos (about US $26,800). They were arrested between 2014–2016 and accused of kidnapping and breaking laws regarding burials and exhumations.

Los Rojos operate in Guerrero, Morelos and other states, involved in not only kidnapping but murder and selling narcotics.

The government has stepped up its efforts to combat organized crime in recent months. Members of the Jalisco New Generation Cartel (CJNG) fled Aguililla, Michoacán, earlier in February after the army entered the notoriously violent municipality. Late last year, security forces tried to locate the head of the CJNG, Nemesio “El Mencho” Oseguera Cervantes, and arrested his wife Rosalinda González Valencia.

United States authorities have offered rewards for criminal leaders in Mexico, such as US $10 million for El Mencho and $5 million for the children of the jailed former leader of the Sinaloa Cartel, Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán.

In the monthly security report on Monday at President López Obrador’s morning news conference, Security Minister Rosa Icela Rodríguez said that crime had fallen considerably since 2018. She said federal crimes were down more than 41% in January compared to when the administration came into office, and were at their lowest percentage in seven years.

Icela added that January had the lowest homicide rate for any month in five years, 14.4% lower than in January 2021.

However, the drop in federal crimes isn’t necessarily indicative of a wider tendency: Icela was only comparing January, when there were 5,313 federal crimes, with December 2018, when there were 9,062.

Reductions in federal crime rates are likely due to a decrease in more frequently recorded crimes like theft, rather than more serious and less frequent violent crimes.

With reports from TV Azteca and Milenio 

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