Last weekend, CBS News reported that the Mexican Governor of the state of Coahuila, Miguel Riquelme, claimed that the death toll from a weekend battle between drug cartel members and security forces left 22 dead.
On Monday, December 2, 2019, Riquelme said two additional gunmen died. He did not reveal whether they died of injuries from the gun battle on Saturday, November 30, 2019 or in a subsequent operation.
Police and soldiers swept across the area surrounding Villa Union for those involved.
The governor said 16 gunmen and four police officers were killed. Additionally, he revealed that gunmen murdered two civilians after being kidnapped.
According to the governor, six more officers were wounded as well.
Francisco Contreras, a state security agency official, stated that the two civilians killed in the encounter were a firefighter and an engineer employed at the municipality.
The motive behind the military-style attack has yet to be determined. Cartels have a history of jockeying for control of smuggling routes in northern Mexico, but there was no evidence off the bat indicating that a rival drug cartel had been targeted in Villa Union.
The governor claimed that the armed group, which was decked out in military outfits, stormed the town of 3,000 people in a convoy of trucks. They attacked local government offices and prompted state and federal forces to intervene. A few gunmen stole vehicles as they escaped and kidnapped residents to guide them out.
Falko Ernst, the senior Mexico analyst for the non-profit organization Crisis Group, said there is very little incentive for armed groups to prevent violence.
“Solving this issue — which underpins impunity —- would have to be the centerpiece of an integrated security strategy. But such a thing is yet to be presented by (President) López Obrador and his team,” Ernst stated.
“The price of that absence is not least the flaring up of regional conflict scenarios.”
Mexico’s overall homicide rate has reached historically high levels, increasing by 2 percent in the first 10 months of the presidency of Andrés Manuel López Obrador. In 2019, federal officials said there have been 29,414 homicides in comparison to the 28,869 during the same period of 2018.
October witnessed the Sinaloa cartel outgun the Mexican federal government and forced them to release the son of Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzmán.
The following month, 9 Americans were slaughtered in a cartel shootout in Mexico.
When lumping all of these incidents together, one can then see how it’s undeniable that Mexico is a failed state.
Not reforming immigration and erecting some type of solid barrier between the two countries will prove to be disastrous for American security and demographical balance in the long-term.