Trucks burn on highways in Michoacán this week. Trucks burn on highways in Michoacán this week.

Viagras blamed for 3 days of blockades

Officials are upbeat but prices have been put on some of their heads

Calm returned to Michoacán yesterday after three days of narco-blockades in which 32 vehicles, an Oxo store and two gas stations were set on fire and two Aurrerá stores were bombed in three regions of the state.

Many of the vehicles were destroyed but the gas stations and stores sustained only minor damages.

Earlier in the week, Michoacán Governor Silvano Aureoles assigned blame on the Viagras gang, which was believed to be retaliating for the capture of 15 of its members in Apatzingán on Monday.

Today the governor said operations to take back territory will not stop, even though prices have been put on the heads of some government officials. Aureoles offered no details but anonymous messages on social media have offered up to 1 million pesos for killing public servants.

Attorney General Martín Godoy said the messages were an attempt at destabilization and to discourage opposition, but forecast they would not work.

“There is not going to be a single space, or piece of land, or landholding, or place where they can hide.”

The governor was also positive about the prospects on Tuesday.

“To be completely frank, and without downplaying the situation, we’re seeing an act of desperation” by gangsters. He said the incidents were spectacular but predicted that the criminals’ capacity to carry them out will soon be undermined.

The governor said later the gang was engaging in guerilla warfare in order to generate anxiety and fear among citizens.

Since the gang infiltrated the civil defense forces and the Fuerza Rural police in 2013 and 2014, Aureoles said, it now has a large group of informers and others keeping a lookout for it.

The highway blockades took place in 13 different municipalities in Tierra Caliente, the Bajío and the south of the state from Monday through Wednesday.

Source: Reforma (sp), Radio Fórmula (sp)

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