Sunday, September 5, 2010

Only a matter of time?

According to a new article in Proceso, "Explosion de violencia", the rate of narco-executions in the greater metropolitan area of Guadalajara has risen to 60 in the last month, in comparison to a total of 84 for all of 2009. The spike appears to be related to the death of Nacho Coronel, of the Sinaloa cartel, here in the city at the end of July. The ensuing power struggle has been accompanied by a slew of problems with and for the local police, who are both victims and accomplices of such violence.
Guadalajara has long been sheltered from the narco-violence shattering other regions of the country, but at the same time, that does not mean that this is untainted ground. Rather, Guadalajara was a kind of safe zone, where the Sinaloan cartel held the peace, and narco-families, at least the wives and children and perhaps a few other relatives, could enjoy the good schools and relative calm of the city. As I noted in the previous post, there are plenty of signs that the narcos are happily disposed to spend money here too. Since Nacho's death a month or so ago, all the speculation has been about whether or not GDL would go the way of Monterrey, once one of Mexico's premier cities in terms of industry, medicine, and overall development. So far, the violence in GDL has not appeared to make much of a mark in the city's more prosperous neighborhoods, as it has for some time in Monterrey (imagine sitting at a posh restaurant at your neighborhood mall and seeing a lawyer shot at a nearby table while you were eating lunch). But unfortunately for Guadalajara, it may be a matter of when rather than whether or not that slide into "la inseguridad" begins.

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