The Gun Battle In Culiacán: We are waiting for answers 

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The mother of Alfredo Gonzalez Munoz a Mexican soldier that died during a massive gun battle in the city of Culiacan between drug cartel gunmen and members of the army and the police, cries during her son's wake in Veracruz, Mexico, Saturday, Oct. 19, 2019. The gunfight in the city of roughly 800,000 residents was triggered Thursday by an attempt to arrest Ovidio Guzman, son of convicted drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman Loera, in response to a U.S. request for extradition.  Photos courtesy of AP Photo/Felix Marquez.

The mother of Alfredo Gonzalez Munoz a Mexican soldier that died during a massive gun battle in the city of Culiacan between drug cartel gunmen and members of the army and the police, cries during her son’s wake in Veracruz, Mexico, Saturday, Oct. 19, 2019. The gunfight in the city of roughly 800,000 residents was triggered Thursday by an attempt to arrest Ovidio Guzman, son of convicted drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman Loera, in response to a U.S. request for extradition. Photos courtesy of AP Photo/Felix Marquez.

It is not surprising anymore to hear about violence in Mexico, especially if it is linked to organized crime. Although I am temporarily living in the United States, I am eager to inform myself about gun violence and organized crime in Mexico, the country where I was born and raised.  

As many may already know, on Oct. 17 there was a shooting rampage in Culiacán, the capital of the state of Sinaloa, where the National Guard and members of a drug cartel were involved; sniper, rifles and truck-mounted machine guns were used in this attack causing terror in broad daylight. Mexico is currently in the process of investigating the events of that day, when the National Guard captured Ovidio Guzman, the son of “El Chapo,” a known narcotrafficker. 

The news mainly focused on the failed attempt to capture Ovidio Guzman, who was briefly incarcerated and later freed by the Mexican Guard that same day. I would personally like to know who was in charge of the National Guard during the attack. And if external agencies, such as the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) had to do with this particular issue, why were they involved in decisions that ought to be made by Mexico and not by external agencies? 

This delicate situation needs to be talked about. Mexico’s president, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has stated that he will not use force against drug cartels, claiming that attacking the cartels would only increase violence and endanger the lives of innocents. Obrador has been criticized, and many would prefer that the National Guard dealt with the drug cartels using force to eradicate drug related crime. However, such a tactic was used before during Felipe Calderon’s presidency, and many innocent people died during the war against organized crime; and this is the reason why the current president claims that using this strategy would not solve the issue.  

Although the president addressed his intentions publicly, he still faced accusations of being a weak leader, as did the National Guard, of doing a shameful job on Oct. 17. It is obvious some will agree with the president while others will not. However, there are bigger questions that need an answer, most in regards to the origins of this violent event. 

Mexico Attorney General Alejandro Gertz Manero communicated that he will start an inquiry to fully understand the events of Oct. 17. He intends to strictly follow the law and punish whoever was involved, both internally and externally. Up to this point, the involvement of the DEA is still under investigation, and the need for answers will persist in the following days. I would like to mention that Mexico is no stranger to impunity, and President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has talked about plans for the country where the people are the main priority; he is clearly a nationalist, yet the country is divided at the moment with opposite ideals. 

Mexican people struggle with trusting their government, and situations like the shooting in Sinaloa bring back terrible memories such as the mass kidnapping of the 43 students in 2014, a horrific event that still needs clarification from authorities. I implore people engage in conversations about these events. We are living in a time where information is accessible on a large scale, but still, people seem to forget easily about topics that matter, and we should not allow ourselves to forget. 

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed by individual writers in the opinion section do not reflect the views and opinions of The Daily Campus or other staff members. Only articles labeled “Editorial” are the official opinions of The Daily Campus.


Victoria Raya is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at elisa.raya_hernandez@uconn.edu

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