03/16/12 – Last week on March 9, Erick Valencia Salazar, “El 85,” one of the alleged leaders of Cartel de Jalisco Nueva Generación (Jalisco New Generation Cartel) was arrested along with fellow cartel member and lieutenant Otoniel Mendoza, also known as Tony Montana. In response to El 85’s capture, who was thought to be second in command of the organization, members of Nueva Generación publicly retaliated in the streets of Guadalajara, the capital of the state of Jalisco, by using “narcobloqueos” to impede and all together stop traffic (see right). The series of at least 13 traffic blocks, as El Universal reported, consisted of cars blocking streets, burning of public transportation vehicles, puncturing of tires, bombing of buses, etc. Three individuals were confirmed dead because of the violence, including a seven-year old girl, a chauffeur, and a member of Nueva Generación, reported El Economista.
According to Noticieros Televisa, the Jalisco State Attorney General’s Office (Procuraduría General de la Justicia del Estado, PGJE) detained 16 suspects in connection to the ‘narcobloqueos.’ Among the detained were a Zapopan police officer, a former police officer from Tlaquepaque, and two minors, both of whom were sent to juvenile correctional facilities for processing. PGJE Director Tomás Coronado reported that not only have all 16 suspects admitted to their role in last week’s ‘narcobloqueos,’ but additional information has come out connecting some of the detained to previous homicides and other crimes.
Nearly 1,700 municipal police were called in to help quell the violence last week, said the mayor of Guadalajara. At the time, he also urged citizens to stay calm and avoid spreading rumors about the ‘narcobloqueos’ that would have precipitated fear and anxiety. On Wednesday, March 14, members of the Nueva Generación cartel took responsibility and apologized for the violence by hanging signs with hand-written apologies throughout the city and state.