Mexico: Criminal Battle Rages in Guerrero, Mexico Under Watch of Security Forces / Loren Riesenfeld

A gruesome battle between two relatively unknown drug gangs over a municipality in Guerrero, Mexico has led to mysterious disappearances, an uptick in murders, and political assassinations, the consequences of the state’s ongoing criminal fragmentation.

Chilapa de Alvarez, a municipality in Guerrero and one of the most heavily guarded areas in Mexico, has recently seen the disappearance of between 16 and 30 people, reported the BBC.

In total, since the violence in Chilapa first erupted near the end of 2013, around 105 people have been murdered, giving the municipality a homicide rate of 54 per 100,000 residents, which is over four times higher than Mexico’s national average.

Although the violence appears to be chaotic, a narrative is beginning to emerge. After a local mayoral candidate was assassinated in early May, an unidentified armed group stormed the municipality, stating that it was going to take over police functions and boot out members of criminal group Los Rojos. But the crux of the violence, according to Guerrero expert and University of Alabama anthropologist Chris Kyle, is a brutal conflict between two relatively unknown drug gangs: Los Rojos and Los Ardillos. SEE MORE…

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