Cartels terrorize small town Mexico

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If you’re anything like me, cartels sound like a thing of the past. Maybe they’re something of folklore and fairytales that parents use to keep their kids out of gangs and drugs. However, cartels are a true terror in Aguililla, Mexico. The town has never had much news coverage until now due to its remoteness and small size, but the appearance of eight headless bodies drew a lot of attention to the town.

A cartel is, “an arrangement between people who will benefit from the arrangement, often in an illegal way,” as defined by yourdictionary.com. Currently in Aguililla, two of these groups are to blame for the uproar: Jalisco New Generation Cartel and Cárteles Unidos.

These two groups have been in competition with each other for at least 11 months as the latest incident happened in June of 2020. Despite the ongoing conflict, not much coverage was put on this story. For Mexico, especially the Aguililla area, cartel and gang violence aren’t unusual. There’s something different about this pair of cartels though. They seem to have a taste for blood and territory with no intent to stop until only one group is left standing victorious. After all, the two meth-dealing groups would never be able to make as much money with another running around.

While the cartels seem to think nothing of constantly shooting at each other, this city-wide war is absolute terror for the residents of the city. Aguililla has a population of  15,000, mostly farmers of some capacity according to yahoo!news. The city’s highways and roads are being blocked by cartel members, and no one enters or leaves without their permission. The city is beginning to run out of basic supplies like food and gasoline, and many have said there aren’t many options regarding what they can do. The citizens fear they could be killed or kidnapped at any moment. Over 900  citizens have fled the rising violence, and those who are left demand protection from the state.

It may seem that the government is hardly trying to control the violence, but that’s far from the truth. As stated by Gilberto Vergara, the parish priest of Aguililla, “It is a game of cat and mouse. The most ironic thing is that we no longer know who is who, because we no longer know who is stalking whom.” In other words, it’s hard to control the violence when you don’t know who’s causing it and who’s trying to stop it. The city also has about 200 soldiers posted to try to help the citizens. The state and city are doing what they can, which doesn’t appear to be much in this case.

Hopefully, Aguilillan cartels come to an agreement soon. The citizens live in fear of being killed or kidnapped, the city is running out of basic supplies, and the government doesn’t appear to be able to do much about any of it. Many have fled the violence, but most don’t want to leave their homes behind. This city’s war on itself only seems to be getting worse, but it always gets worse before it gets better. 

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