A new year, a new cartel. Yet unnamed, the new criminal organization operates in the Cancún and Riviera Maya areas of Quintana Roo, according to a high-ranking Army official.
“There is effectively an independent cartel operating locally, here in the state of Quintana Roo. We’re still searching for those that belong to it,” said Brigadier General Gustavo Nieto Navarro in an interview with the newspaper El Universal.
Nieto oversees an area that encompasses the three states that make up the Yucatán peninsula: Campeche, Yucatán and Quintana Roo.
The military chief said Tuesday’s assault on the offices of the state Attorney General and the C4 security control center “was a show of force” by organized crime groups that “may or may not be related” to the newly identified cartel.
“Yes, it was a show of force,” said the general. It was as if the gang was saying, “I can, I am not afraid,” he added.
But, he said, “The authorities are even less afraid.”
He described the members of the new criminal group as remnants of other cartels. “You know that these types often jump from one group to the next. That’s why they are known as chapulines [grasshoppers, in Spanish].”
El Universal questioned the general if the shootings this week in Playa del Carmen and Cancún were a turf war or an attempt to destabilize the new state administration led by Governor Carlos Joaquín.
Nieto explained that “all criminal groups want to take over certain territories. There’s an ongoing fight among them which fortunately does not affect the public directly.
“What we’ve seen is, for example, killings among rival bands of small-scale drug sellers here in Cancún, vying to control a certain area.”
Nieto said organized crime can’t be allowed to take over Cancún as the blow to tourism would be a serious one to the local economy.
Still, he rejected a stronger military presence on the basis that that what has been happening in Quintana Roo is “completely unrelated” to groups that operate in other resort cities, like Acapulco, Guerrero.
Nieto has deployed military personnel throughout the city of Cancún in order to reinforce security, while on the rest of the peninsula preventive checkpoints have been set in place.
He was interviewed after the destruction of 384 firearms decommissioned in Quintana Roo, Campeche and Yucatán.
Source: El Universal (sp)