At least 11 dead in an armed confrontation in Texcaltitlán, State of Mexico

A moment of the confrontation between residents of Texcaltitlán and members of the Familia Michoacana, this Friday, in the State of Mexico, in a screenshot of a video broadcast on social networks.
A moment of the confrontation between residents of Texcaltitlán and members of the Familia Michoacana, this Friday, in the State of Mexico, in a screenshot of a video broadcast on social networks.

A massacre has stained the Tierra Caliente of the State of Mexico with blood for the umpteenth time. At least 11 people have died this Friday in a shooting confrontation between a criminal commando and a group of civilians in the municipality of Texcaltitlán, as confirmed by the entity’s Security Secretariat in a statement. Of the deceased, eight allegedly belonged to a cell of La Familia Michoacana; The other three were residents of the community.

The local press speaks of a conflict due to the right of ownership, a common practice of organized crime, which extorts business owners to pay a kind of illegal tax in exchange for being able to carry out their activities. According to the first indications, the shooting occurred after a failed negotiation, since the criminal commando, allegedly belonging to La Familia Michoacana, tried to increase the payments of the workers, who revolted against the increase.

Merchants and criminals met on Friday morning, according to Millennium, to try to resolve the situation, but the encounter led to a confrontation with shooting and stabbing that left 11 dead. Other versions, such as the one collected by The universal, point out that the civilians were farmers extorted into paying a tax for each square meter of planting. The State Police have already moved to the scene to investigate the massacre, in coordination with the National Guard and the Army.

In a video broadcast on social networks at the time of the events, a dirt soccer field is seen in a humble neighborhood where more and more neighbors arrive, surrounding two red cars and the people nearby. In the recording, screams are heard in the background, the groups shouting at each other. The crowd falls on top of the men closest to the two vehicles. Dozens of shots are heard, a dry sound, and many of the neighbors fleeing the shooting.

The residents who remain are mostly armed with canes and machetes. Some also carry pistols and what look like hunting rifles. Several men beat another who has fallen to the ground with clubs and long knives. The camera moves and reveals the rest of the street, which looks like a war zone: groups of people running, the sound of gunshots, people shooting into the air.

“They already threw someone there,” the person recording is heard saying. A young man with a red shirt and yellow hair is dragged to the ground of a road by dozens of men who hit and kick him while the dust rises, until the boy no longer moves. The images are crude, blurry and of poor quality, but they offer a small two-minute glimpse of the battlefield that Texcaltitlán has been transformed into this Friday.

The massacre has not surprised the community, accustomed to living among the extortions of organized crime and the threat of stray bullets. The borders of the State of Mexico with Michoacán and Guerrero have been a mined area for years, besieged by cartel violence and the absence of a state response to the serious security crisis that is devastating the region.

In the same municipality of Texcaltitlán, a little over a year ago, a serious shooting caused another massacre of identical figures: 11 murdered, all also alleged members of La Familia Michoacana. That massacre went around the country, not because of its crudeness or because of the high number of human lives lost. In a country that has grown tired of counting the dead, eleven murdered alleged criminals no longer arouse the empathy of almost anyone. But next to the hitmen, a small monkey appeared, also killed by bullets, disguised in military clothing. The macabre surrealism of violence always finds new ways to shock.

The Michoacana Family has become strong in Tierra Caliente and every so often it returns to the front pages of the newspapers with some new evidence of extreme aggressiveness. For more than a decade, the criminal group has remained entrenched in the region, despite the greater strength of other rival groups such as the Jalisco New Generation Cartel (CJNG). Despite persecution by the authorities, who occasionally catch one of its leaders, the organization survives and prospers: some signs indicate expansion beyond its borders.

Months before the event of the dead monkey, in the nearby municipality of Coatepec Harinas, a commando of hitmen from the criminal group also murdered 13 police officers from the State of Mexico, state and ministerial. Also at that time, two other ministerial police officers had been shot to death in Texcaltitlan itself, in an ambush that also left six agents injured. The logic of the terror that La Familia Michoacana has imposed, in addition to the obvious economic benefit that clandestine businesses such as drug trafficking or floor collection bring, also responds to a kind of personal revenge: a war declared against the State Prosecutor’s Office in 2020 for the capture of one of their leaders.

The list of murdered and massacres increases, as does the number of people who are forced to survive with the constant extortion of organized crime in their daily lives. The new Texcaltitlán massacre only once again brings to light an ignored reality, which returns to the public conversation when the caliber of the killings makes looking elsewhere impossible, to be misplaced shortly after in a day-to-day violence that seems have no end

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