La Familia Michoacana

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La Familia Michoacana Cairtel
Foondit 2006
Foondin location Michoacán, Mexico
Years active 2006−2011[1][2] (disbandit)
Territory Mexico:
Michoacán, State o Mexico, Jalisco, Baja California, Nuevo Leon, Coahuila, Guanajuato, Colima, Mexico Ceety, Tamaulipas
Unitit States:
Californie, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Florida, Ohio, Illinois, Michigan, (an ither U.S. states)
Ethnicity Mexican
Creeminal activities Drug trokin, fowk smugglin, money launderin, extortion, kidnappin, racketeerin, murther, airms trokin, terrorism, robbery, assault, rape, bribery, prostitution, coonterfeitin, coercion, fencin, mayhem, burglary, polis impersonation[3]
Allies Sinaloa Cairtel, Guwf Cairtel, Milenio Cairtel
Rivals Beltrán-Leyva Cairtel, Los Zetas, Juárez Cairtel, Tijuana Cairtel, Knichts Templar Cairtel

La Familia Michoacana, (Scots: The Michoacan Faimily) La Familia (Scots: The Faimily), or LFM[4] wis a Mexican drog cairtel an an organisit creeme syndicate based in the Mexican state o Michoacán.[5] Umwhile alliet tae the Guwf Cartel—as pairt o Los Zetas[6][7]—it split aff on 2006.[6][8]

The cairtel's anerlie leader, Nazario Moreno González, kent as El Más Loco (Scots: The Craziest Ane),[9] preached his organisation's divine richt tae eliminate enemies. He carriet a "bible" o his awn sayins an insistit that his airmy o trokers an hitmen avoid uisin the narcotics they sell.[10][11] Nazario Moreno's pairtners wur José de Jesús Méndez Vargas, Servando Gómez Martínez an Enrique Plancarte Solís, each o whom haes a boonty o $2 million for his captur,[12] an wur contestin the control o the organization.[13]

In Julie 2009 an November 2010, La Familia Michoacana affered tae retreat an even disband their cairtel, "wi the condition that baith the Federal Govrenment, an State an Federal Polis commit tae safeguardin the security o the state o Michoacán."[14] Housomeivver, Preses Felipe Calderón's govrenment refused tae strike a deal wi the cairtel an rejectit their caws for dialogue. Mairower, accordin tae federal an state sources, La Familia Michoacana haes been increasingly involvit in Michoacan's politics, impellin their favorite candidates, financin their campaigns, an forcin ither pairties tae renoonce their candidacies.[15][16]

The killin o its foonder an leader Nazario Moreno González,[13][13][17][18] contributit significantly tae the Mexican Federal Polis (SSP) declarin, on 2 November 2011, that the La Familia cairtel haed been disbandit an is nou extinct.[2][19]

History[eedit | eedit soorce]

Mexican analysts believe that La Familia formit in the 1980s wi the statit purpose o bringin order tae Michoacán, emphasizin help an protection for the poor.[20] In its initial incarnation, La Familia formit as a group o vigilantes, spurred tae pouer tae coonter interlopin kidnappers an drug dealers, who wur their statit enemies.[20] Syne then, La Familia haes caipitalizit on its reputation, biggin its meeth, pouer an reach tae transition intae a creeminal gang itsel.

La Familia emerged tae the foregrund in the 1990s as the Guwf Cartel's paramilitar group designed tae seize control o the illegal drug trade in Michoacán state frae rival drug cartels. Trained wi Los Zetas,[21] in 2006 the group splintered aff intae an independent drug traffickin operation. La Familia haed a strang rivalry wi baith Los Zetas an the Beltrán-Leyva Cartel, but strang tees wi the Sinaloa Cartel o Joaquín Guzmán Loera. La Familia Michoacana wis ane o the strangest an fastest growin cartels in Mexico.[22]

Efter the daith o Nazario Moreno González, José de Jesús Méndez Vargas (El Chango Méndez) teuk control o the cartel.[13] Housomeivver, his authority wis disputit bi the cartel co-foonders Enrique Plancarte Solís an Servando Gómez Martínez (La Tuta),[17] who formit an affshuit o La Familia cawin itsel Caballeros Templarios (Knights Templar).[13][17][18] Méndez Vargas wis captured on 21 Juin 2011 bi Mexican polis in the state o Aguascalientes.[23] The Mexican Federal Polis declared that the cartel haes been disbandit.[2][19]

References tae releegion[eedit | eedit soorce]

La Familia cartel is sometimes described as quasi-releegious since its leaders, Moreno González an Méndez Vargas, refer tae their assassinations an beheidins as "divine juistice"[24] an that they mey hae direct or indirect tees wi devotees o the New Jerusalem releegious muivement, which is notit for its concern for juistice issues.[25]

La Familia’s boss an spiritual leader Nazario Moreno González, (a.k.a.: El Más Loco or The Craziest One) haes published his awn 'bible',[24][26] an a copy seizit bi Mexican federal agents reveals an ideology that mixes evangelical-style sel help wi insurgent peasant slogans. Moreno González, who wis killed on 9 December 2010,[27][28] seems tae hae based maist o his doctrine on a wirk bi Christian writer John Eldredge, uisin their awn unnerstaundin o the idea in Eldredge's message that ivery man must hae "a battle tae fecht, a brawness tae rescue an an adventur ae live." The Mexican juistice depairtment statit in a report that Gonzalez Moreno haes made Eldredge's beuk Salvaje de Corazón (Wild at Hert) required readin for La Familia gang members an haes paid rural teachers an Naitional Development Education (CONAFE) tae circulate Eldredge's writins throughoot the Michoacán kintraside.[29][30] La Familia cartel emphasize releegion an faimily values durin recruitment an haes placed banners in auries o operations claimin that it does no tolerate substance abius or exploitation o weemen an childer. Accordin tae Mexico Public Safety Secretary Genaro Garcia Luna, it recruits members frae drug rehabilitation clinics bi helpin addicts recover an then forcin them intae service for the drug cartel or be killed.[31] Advancement athin the organisation depends as hintle on regular attendance at prayer meetins as on target practice.[10] The cartel gives loans to farmers, businesses, schools and churches,[32] an it advertises its benevolence in local newspapers in order tae gain social support.[30]

On 16 Julie 2009, Servando Gómez Martínez (La Tuta), the cartel operations chief, contactit a local radio station an statit: "La Familia wis creatit tae leuk efter the interests o oor fowk an oor faimily. We are a necessary evil," an when asked what La Familia really wantit, Gómez repleed, "The anerlie thing we want is peace an tranquility." President Felipe Calderón's government refuses to strike a deal with the cartel and rejected their calls for dialogue.[33][34]

On 20 Aprile 2009, aboot 400 Federal Polis agents raidit a christenin pairty for a baby born tae a cartel member.[35][36] Amang the 44 detained wis Rafael Cedeño Hernández (El Cede), the gang’s seicont in command an in chairge o indoctrinatin the new recruits in the cartel's releegious values, morals an ethics.

Alliances[eedit | eedit soorce]

On Februar 2010, the major cartels aligned in twa factions, ane made up o the Juárez Cartel, Tijuana Cartel, Los Zetas an the Beltrán-Leyva Cartel‎‎; the ither faction made up o the Guwf Cartel, Sinaloa Cartel an La Familia Michoacana.[37] La Familia Michoacana became a rival o its splinter group Knights Templar.[18] Mexican Attorney General (PGR) reportit that La Familia Cartel wis "exterminatit" bi 2011.[38]

Operations[eedit | eedit soorce]

La Familia haes been kent tae be unuisually violent.[31] Its members uise murther an tortur tae quash rivals, while biggin a social base in the Mexican state o Michoacán. It wis the fastest-growin cartel in the kintra’s drug war an is a releegious cult-like group that celebrates faimily values.[10][39] In ane incident in Uruapan in 2006, the cartel members tossed five severed heids ontae the dance floor o the Sol y Sombra nicht club alang wi a message that read: "The Faimily doesna kill for money. It doesna kill weemen. It doesna kill innocent fowk, anerlie those who deserve tae dee. Ken that this is divine juistice."[40]

The cartel haes muivit frae smugglin an sellin drugs an turned itsel intae a hintle mair ambitious creeminal organization which acts as a parallel state in hintle o Michoacán. It extorts "taxes" frae businesses, pays for commonty projects, controls petty creeme, an settles some local disputes.[41] Despite its short history, it haes emergit as Mexico’s lairgest supplier o methamphetamines tae the Unitit States, wi supply channels runnin deep intae the Midwastren Unitit States, an haes increasingly become involvit in the distribution o cocaine, marijuana, an ither narcotics. Michael Braun, umwhile DEA chief o operations, states that it operates "superlabs" in Mexico capable o producin up tae 100 poonds o meth in aicht oors. Housomeivver, accordin tae DEA offeecials, it claims tae oppose the sale o drugs tae Mexicans.[31] It sauld piratit DVDs an aw, smuggles fowk tae the Unitit States, an runs a debt-collectin service bi kidnappin defaulters. Acause aftentimes they uise fak an sometimes oreeginal uniforms o several polis agencies, maist o their kidnap victims are stoppit unner false pretenses o routine inspections or report o stolen vehicles, an then taken hostage.

La Familia haes bocht some local politeecians.[42] 20 municipal offeecials hae been murthered in Michoacán, includin twa mayors. Haein established its authority, it then names local polis chiefs.[43] On Mey 2009, the Mexican Federal Polis detained 10 mayors o Michoacán an 20 other local offeecials suspectit o being associatit wi the cartel.[42]

On 11 Julie 2009, a cartel lieutenant—Arnoldo Rueda Medina—wis arrestit; La Familia members attackit the Federal Polis station in Morelia tae try tae gain freedom for Rueda shortly efter his arrest. Durin the attacks, twa sodgers an three federal polismen wur killed.[44] When that failed, cartel members attackit Federal Polis installations in at least a hauf-dozen Michoacán ceeties in retribution.[45]

Three days later, on 14 Julie 2009, the cartel torturit an murthert twal Mexican Federal Polis agents an dumpit their bodies alang the side o a muntain heich-gate alang wi a written message: "So that you come for anither. We will be waitin for you here." [45] The federal agents were investigating crime in Michoacán state;[46] Preses Calderón, respondit tae the violence bi dispatchin additional 1,000 Federal Polis officers tae the aurie. The infusion, which mair than tripled the number o Federal Polis officers patrollin Michoacán, angered Michoacán Govrenor Leonel Godoy Rangel, who cried it 'an occupation' an said he haed no been consultit. Days later, 10 municipal polis officers wur arrestit in connection wi the slayins o the 12 federal agents.[45]

The govrenor's hauf-brither Julio César Godoy Toscano, who wis electit o 5 Julie 2009 tae the lawer hoose o Congress, wis accused tae be a top-rankin member o La Familia Michoacana drug cartel an o providin poleetical protection for the cartel.[45][47] Based on these charges, on 14 December 2010, Godoy Toscano wis impeached frae the lawer hoose o Congress an therefore lost his parliamentar immunity; he fled an remains a fugitive.

President Calderón statit that the kintra's drug cartels haed grown so pouerful that they nou posed a threat tae the futur o Mexican democracy. His strategy o direct confrontation an law enforcement is no popular wi some segments o Mexican society, where battlin violent drug gangs haes brocht oot several human richts chairges against the Mexican militar.[48]

Project Coronado[eedit | eedit soorce]

On 22 October 2009, U.S. federal authorities annooncit the results o a fower-year investigation intae the operations o La Familia Michoacana in the Unitit States dubbit Project Coronado. It wis the lairgest U.S. raid iver against Mexican drug cartels operatin in the U.S.[49][50] In 19 different states, 303 individuals wur taken intae custody in a coordinatit effort bi local, state, an federal law enforcement ower a twa-day period. Seizit durin the arrestin phase wis ower 62 kilograms (137 lb) o cocaine, 330 kilograms (730 lb) o methamphetamine, 440 kilograms (970 lb) o marijuana, 144 weapons, 109 vehicles, twa clandestine drug laboratories, an $3.4 million in U.S. currency.[49][51]

Syne the stairt o "Project Coronado", the investigation haes led tae the arrest o mair than 1,186 fowk an the seizur o approximately $33 million. Oweraw, amaist 2 metric tons (2.2 short tons) o cocaine, 1,240 kilograms (2,730 lb) o methamphetamine, 13 kilograms (29 lb) o heroin, 7,430 kilograms (16,380 lb) o marijuana, 389 weapons, 269 vehicles, an the twa drug labs wur seizit.[49]

Multi-agency investigations such as Project Coronado wur the key tae disruptin the operations o complex creeminal organizations like La Familia. The investigative efforts in Project Coronado wur coordinatit bi the multi-agency Special Operations Division, comprisin agents an analysts frae the DEA, FBI, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Internal Revenue Service, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, U.S. Marshals Service an ATF, as well as attorneys frae the Criminal Division's Narcotic an Dangerous Drug Section. Mair than 300 federal, state, local an foreign law enforcement agencies contributit investigative an prosecutorial resources tae Project Coronado through the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force.[52]

Project Delirium[eedit | eedit soorce]

In Julie 2011, the Unitit States Depairtment o Juistice announced that a 20-month lang operation, kent as "Project Delirium" haed resulted in mair than 221 arrests o La Familia cartel members in the Unitit States, alang wi significant seizurs o cash, cocaine, heroin, an methamphetamine. Ootside o the Unitit States, the operation resultit in the arrest o mair than 1,900 members. Cartel members wur arrestit athort the Unitit States, an face chairges in Alabama, Californie, Colorado, Georgie, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Mexico, North Carolina, Tennessee, Texas an Washington, DC.[53] This annooncement came juist a month efter Mexican authorities annooncit the captur o cartel leader, José de Jesús Méndez Vargas.[54]

See an aw[eedit | eedit soorce]

References[eedit | eedit soorce]

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  5. La Familia Michoacana Fact Sheet DEA
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  46. Mexico's drug war: Cartel kills 12 federal officers
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  50. Pilkington, Ed (October 23, 2009). "Crackdown on La Familia cartel leads to more than 300 arrests across US". The Guardian. 
  51. Finnegan, William (2010). "Silver or Lead". The New Yorker (Condé Nast) (May 31, 2010): 39–51. Retrieved July 10, 2011. 
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  53. "Project Delirium Results in Nearly 2,000 Arrests During 20-Month Operation, Seizures of More Than 12 Tons of Drugs and $62 Million in U.S. Currency". Fbi.gov. Retrieved May 20, 2012. 
  54. "Authorities arrest dozens in 'surgical strike' against Mexican cartel". CNN. July 21, 2011. Retrieved May 20, 2012. 

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