In-house terrorism… long time ago

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The attacks of September 15th in Morelia were an announced act. What is surprising is that a similar terrorist act had not happened previously. You should remember that in this space we have discussed the possibility of terrorist acts in Mexico, and I’ve made reference to it in several occasions. Robert Grenier, ex-director of the Antiterrorist Unit of Grenier Co., commented to us in an interview that “there are many reasons to be worried. Large organizations with many criminal capacities exist and it seems to me that it is only a matter of time before they change their tactics, going into criminal activities closer to what could be defined as terrorism”.

Perhaps the problem is that there have been terrorist acts in Mexico indeed, but the authorities and civil population don’t want to recognize it. Let’s recap the different violent acts in the last few years that for various reasons were treated like criminal activities and not like what they were: terrorism. Do you remember that in 2006 firecrackers exploded in the PRI national headquarters?

And, how to understand the attacks on PEMEX’s oil pipes with devastating economic impact? Also that year, people had to be evacuated from La Torre Mayor in Mexico City, which is the tallest building in Latin America. There was a bomb-laden car in the parking lot. And what happened in Chapultepec Avenue, also in Mexico City in February 2008? It seems everybody has forgotten what happened in Sinaloa, where during a fight between rival drug cartels, -allegedly sicarios- a car bomb with three containers of propane inside was detonated. A total of four car bomb were found. In all these incidents, there were no innocent people killed or all of the casualties were directly related to drug trafficking (or at least this is what authorities insinuated). We are still awaiting an explanation about the reasons for the recent massacre in the State of Mexico. And what happened recently in Sinaloa, which is clearly infamous: the assassination of eight people (three children between 13 and 15 years old among them) while waiting for the green light in their car. And what about the taking of hostages in a restaurant by a group of sicarios, after they killed a police commander. Let’s see another article published by EL UNIVERSAL that has passed unnoticed. According to a DEA report, sicarios of the Gulf and Sinaloa cartels are sent to Iran where they are trained in the effective use of arms and explosives. But bad news do not stop there. These organized crime groups “have hired Iranian consultants to train sicarios at the training fields they have near the Mexico-US border.” Beyond whether we want to believe the DEA, it is worth to wonder something else: is there some kind of incentive in order the sicarios of the drug cartels do not receive training and technology from other terrorist groups? Not, obviously. Before the challenges that face the Zs, and the members of the Family, it was expected that they would look to-know-how in others and from other experts.

Making a recap of some of the acts of violence in Mexico I wonder: why do the authorities continue denying the existence of terrorism in Mexico? The answer is simple: It would be like recognizing that the country is slipping out of their hands. And for political reasons the government prefers to treat those activities performed by armed groups or groups with political bonds as “acts of vandalism”, perhaps with the intention of being able to negotiate with them later.

Then, the answer to the question -why terrorist acts had not happened previously in Mexico? is: They had happened. May be with did not pay attention enough and the government has refused to recognize them as terrorist acts. The question now is -how is the government going to distinguish between acts of vandalism performed by armed groups and terrorist activities by organized crime groups. I ask you dear readers: will be the number of deaths what will establish this differentiation? Does the government think they can maintain this asseveration for a long time?


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