By “All Source News” and “El Huaso” for Borderland Beat
Over the last few days, shootouts were reported across several municipalities in the Tierra Caliente region of Michoacán, an area marred by conflict between criminal groups for the last two decades.
Violence was reported in Uruapan, Chinicuila, La Huacana, Buenavista, and Aguililla. It is possible that the violence happened after the capture of a regional leader of Carteles Unidos, Heladio Cisneros alias “La Sirena”, by the CJNG.
In 2022, Michoacán was the fourth most dangerous state in Mexico, with a homicide count of 2,423, according to Mexican government data. This was an 11.3% decrease from the 2,732 reported the year prior. In recent years, the main driver of violence is the dispute over state control between the Jalisco Cartel New Generation (CJNG) and the Carteles Unidos, a conglomeration of smaller groups.
Chinicuila – Six bodies found on the highway
Authorities responded to reports of a burned-out vehicle on the Carretera Coalcomán-Colima, in El Nuez. They found a four-door pickup with four bodies inside, three completely burned.
They found two more bodies in a nearby campsite dressed in camouflage uniforms.
Sources: La Voz de Michoacan
Buenavista – Man found dead with gunshot wounds
A man was found dead with gunshot wounds inside an abandoned Silver Toyota Tacoma pickup truck in Buenavista, Michoacán. His body was found after police and soldiers responded to reports of a shootout, reported La Voz de Michoacán.
The pickup was covered in bullet holes.
A burning vehicle was also left on the El Tecolote bridge as a blockade to stop enemy movement, reported El Día de Michoacán.
Sources: La Voz de Michoacan, El Día de Michoacán
Aguililla – Roadblocks, shootouts
La Voz de Michoacán reported that shootouts occurred in Agulilla. Video shows authorities removing a roadblock created by gunmen.
Sources: La Voz de Michoacan
La Huacana – Five men, weapons, and makeshift mortar captured
Five armed members of an organized crime group were arrested after exchanging fire with the Mexican Army in La Huacana, Michoacán, on Friday, March 10, 2023. Soldiers seized four rifles, a homemade mortar, and many homemade explosives.
Michoacán is the epicenter of conflict using improvised explosive devices in Mexico. Criminal groups have recently started using landmines, mortars, and grenade-laden commercial drones in combat.
Michoacán news site Quadratin reported that these men are under the command of CJNG leader Miguel Ángel Gallegos Godoy alias “El Migueladas.” A former autodefensa leader, El Migueladas was a commander of the Knights Templar Cartel in the early 2010s but switched to the CJNG sometime before 2015, according to the DEA.
His group is involved in the trafficking of methamphetamine. Newspaper El Universal reported that El Migueladas has several local politicians on his payroll, affording him protection.
Sources: Milenio, La Voz de Michoacan, Quadratin, El Universal, Notable Figures: CJNG in Michoacán – Borderland Beat Archives
Uruapan – Three were killed, and fifteen men captured
On March 10, multiple videos were shared on social media showing dozens of armed gunmen storming Uruapan with gun battles raging in the city. The battle was reportedly between CJNG and Carteles Unidos. Mexican authorities responded to the event and captured 15 gunmen responsible for the violence. So far, the Michoacán Public Security Secretary claims three people have died.
Media from Twitter user @calvariae_locus
Social media user Unidad de Inteligencia Ciudadana stated that a regional leader of Carteles Unidos, Heladio Cisneros alias “La Sirena”, went missing and could have possibly been captured by CJNG. Carteles Unidos responded to this attack by burning vehicles and blocking roads across Michoacan.
Sources: Infobae, Unidad de Inteligencia Ciudadana
All Source News is an independent researcher focused on cartel violence in Mexico, Latin American affairs, the drug trade, and organized crime. He can be followed on Twitter @All_Source_News
El Miguelada graphic made by Hearst.
ALSO READ: Notable Figures: CJNG in Michoacán – Borderland Beat Archives