Heavily-Armed Mexican Drug Cartel Shows Off New Military Toys in Video

The Independent recently reported on a video where members of a rapidly growing Mexican cartel showed off military-style weaponry and armored pick-up trucks.

Mexican security officials are now investigating this video that was promoted by members of the Jalisco New Generation Cartel (CING).

Alfonso Durazo, secretary of security and civilian protection, claims that this video was “propaganda” and is being reviewed in order to determine its veracity.

He asserted that “there is no criminal group with the capacity to successfully challenge the federal security forces”.

The report from the Independent noted that “Many of the vehicles parked on a dirt road in the video have improvised gun turrets or plate-steel armour welded onto them.”

A number of masked men, who donned bulletproof vests and brandished rifles were heard chanting they are “people of Mench.” Mencho refers to the nickname of Jalisco New Generation Cartel leader Nemesio Oseguera.

Mexican president Andrés Manuel López Obrador prefers a less confrontational approach to tackling drug cartels compared to his predecessors. He believes that pursuing poverty programs and fixing unemployment will solve the cartel problem.

AMLO ‘s “hugs, not bullets” strategy has received a substantial amount of criticism from analysts both domestic and foreign.

“They are sending a clear message… that they basically rule Mexico, not Lopez Obrador,” Mike Vigil, a former chief of international operations for the US Drug Enforcement Administration, said to Reuters.

Vigil believes that AMLO’s strategy had “only led these cartels to operate with more impunity”.

Falko Ernst, a senior analyst specializing in Mexican affairs for the International Crisis Group, believes that the video conveyed a resolute warning over potential retaliation against the government by the cartel.

“This video, taken yesterday in the Jalisco Sierra as I’m told, is more than clear in its message toward the fed gov: You come after us, and we will strike back,” Ernst tweeted.

He added: “Rather than a declaration of war, from my perspective it’s primarily geared at guarding the status quo, at a crucial time where the fed gov has to define its future posture regarding the CJNG.”

CJNG is seen as Mexico’s most powerful cartel, next to the Sinaloa Cartel, which was formerly led by Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman.

At the end of June, the cartel was suspected to be the perpetrator of an attack on Omar Garcia Harfuch, the Mexico City Public Security Chief.

The CJNG’s rapid ascent demonstrates the need for the U.S. to take border security seriously and completely seal off its border.

If it fails to do so, Mexican cartel violence will make its way up here.

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