Events in the state of Michoacan to the west of Mexico City continue to be rather astounding. Following two days of intense unrest last week, which included the torching of dozens of vehicles and gunfire in city streets, the drug gang known as La Familia Michoacana (LFM) mobilized masses of people to take to the streets.
So we had scenes in several cities over the weekend in which innocent-looking women and children carried placards voicing support for the sociopathic activities of La Familia.
The child in the photo above carries a sign that says: “We in La Familia Michoacana are more than a state.”
This morning, an audiotape of the surviving leader of La Familia, Servando “La Tuta” Gomez, surfaced in which he laments the death of fellow leader Nazario “El Mas Loco” Moreno last week and urges rebellion in language fit for a noble guerrilla fighting unjust repression.
“Our cause is just, a social cause triggered by how badly we have been treated. They didn’t respect our offer of a (ceasefire) pact last month so they wouldn’t have to take the reins. Then what did they do? They attacked.”
Just in case the public forgets the true nature of La Familia, five separate government entities (Interior, Defense and Public Security ministries, Attorney General’s Office, and the Navy) issued a joint communiqué listing the crimes of La Familia over the years. Here is a quick translation of part of it:
“Far from protecting Michoacan residents from crime, La Familia Michoacana deeply harms them. It commits murders, extorts and kidnaps; it foments the inclusion of minors in drug activity and through addiction incorporates them in its operating structure; and it utilizes propaganda tactics to generate a climate of social intimidation and broaden the impunity it enjoys to commit its criminal activity.”
The communiqué goes on to list the major crimes committed by La Familia over the years:
- Sept. 7, 2006: Five decapitated human heads are rolled on the dance floor of the Sol y Sombra bar en Uruapan, Michoacan.
- July 13, 2009: LFM ambushes and kills 12 federal police officers in Arteaga, Michoacan.
- Sept. 2, 2009: LFM assassinates the deputy chief of the Public Security bureau of Michoaca, Jose Manuel Revueltas, two of his guards and a civilian.
- Sept. 26, 2009: LFM leaves four human heads in coolers in Coyuca de Catalan, Guerrero state. The bodies of the victims are stuffed in plastic bags left nearby.
- Oct. 16, 2009: LFM leaves nine decapitated victims in front of a clinic in the town of Tlapehuala.
As a sidelight to events in Mochoacan, Congress Tuesday took away the parliamentary immunity of Deputy Julio Cesar Godoy Toscano, the half-brother of Michoacan Gov. Leonel Godoy, to allow prosecutors to investigate his alleged ties to LFM.
It wouldn’t surprise me to find other cartels coming up with plans to muscle in on the turf of an LFM that seems to be weakened and in trouble.