Top 5 Mexican Drug War Stories of 2012
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By Chris Covert
The evolving events collectively known as the Mexican Drug War has had many memorable events, most of them awful, but a few not so much. These events are listed for their impact, not the body count.
5: Reduction of violence in Ciudad Juarez
Not exactly a bleeding lead, but violent crime in Ciudad Juarez in Chihuahua has been reduced by 57 percent from the year before starting last January. Partly due to the efforts of soon-to-be retired Juarez police chief Julian Leyzaola Perez, but mostly because the Juarez cartel can't get top leaders for La Linea, the Juarez Cartel's enforcement wing, as capable as Jose Antonio Acosta Hernandez, who was detained in August, 2011. His replacements keep getting busted.
4: The death of Heriberto Lazcano Lazcano
The death of Lazcano Lazcano in September was a watershed event at least for the Los Zetas drug cartel. He was caught in the open while attending a ball game when a Mexican naval infantry patrol rolled up on the area and was fired on by Lazcano Lazcano's security detail. His death at the hands of Mexican marines was preceded by the death of the nephew of governor of Coahuila Ruben Moreira Valdes, who was attacked on orders of Lazcano Lazcano.
3: The gun battle in Choix in Sinaloa state
A total of 54 bad guys lost their lives last May in and around the northern Sinaloa municipality of Choix, then El Fuerte and later in Guasave, mostly from exchanging gunfire with rival cartel gangs and a few from Mexican security forces. The organizations' shooters came from the Sinaloa, Los Zetas, Beltran-Leyva and Juarez cartels.
2: The (May 13th) Mothers' Day Massacre at Cadereyta, Nuevo Leon
A total of 49 individuals, most of them innocents, were butchered by Los Zetas operatives and found on May 13th at Cadereyta in Nuevo Leon state. On the traditional Mexican Mother's Day another massacre took place where 18 others were butchered in Jalisco state with a number of others escaping capture. The subsequent and public finger pointing was probably one of the precipitating events which led to the split within Los Zetas, only partially resolved with the death of Heriberto Lazcano Lazcano,
1: The election of Enrique Pena Nieto
The return of the Partido Revolucionario Institucional (PRI) was the top story of 2012 in and out of the politics because it presaged a tremendous change in Mexican security policy, if you ask El Presidente, anyway.
Chris Covert writes Mexican Drug War and national political news for Ranburg.com
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