In the last almost three decades, Mexico have seen how the figures of violence and insecurity have been increasing almost without rest, breaking new historical records with each passing year, especially since 2006, when Felipe Calderón began with the so-called “War against drug trafficking.”
Since then, the country has not been able to stop the rise in homicides or the increasingly violent confrontation between organized crime in search of places and territories to dominate, as well as the participation of Armed forces as third front.
This 2019 was officially the most violent year in the history of Mexico, with 34,582 intentional homicides registered in 12 months. However, as this year’s figures have shown that the increase remains unstoppable, 2020 is expected to break that statistic again in December.
None of Calderón’s successors, nor Enrique Peña Nieto (2012-2018) ni Andrés Manuel López Obrador (2018-2024), have been able to change the dynamic, despite the fact that the latter promised a radical change in efforts to decrease violence in which Mexican society is immersing itself more and more rapidly.
Speaking specifically of the Armed Forces and their strategy to try to stop the growth, power and dominance of drug trafficking, there is a revealing figure of the firepower of the criminal organizations that have populated the country and they have spread rapidly especially in this century.
In the last 14 years, between 2006 and May 2020, 102 aircraft of the Ministry of National Defense (Sedena) have fallen in the exercise of their powers. Also, up to 49 of them have fallen when they carried out work against drug trafficking, that is, 48 percent of the total.
This was revealed by Sedena, according to the information request 0000700036020 made by the news outlet Expansion. Most of the total of these collapses occurred in the Peña Nieto government, with 59 in total. The Calderón administration follows, with 41 aircraft.
In the first 18 months of the López Obrador government, three aircraft have fallen. If the same trend continues, the current administration will suffer some 12 falls of Sedena aircraft, still far from the total reached in the two previous six-year terms.
Among those Army aircraft that fell between 2006 and the first five months of 2020, 31 collapsed during training work; 18 of them were during transfers; two during maintenance; one on the ground and the other on a test flight, according to Sedena.
On the other hand, those who fell into drug trafficking were 49 in total, but no further details were given on the subject, except for one information: nine of those who worked while acting against organized crime fell due to direct attacks by firearms, almost 20% in this section.
That is to say, one out of every five aircraft operating against drug trafficking was shot down due to attacks by armed groups. In the last 14 years, the most remembered aggression, and one of the most important demonstrations of power by the narco in Mexico, occurred in this way.
On May 1, 2015, the federal government, then headed by Peña Nieto, launched the so-called Operation Jalisco in said western Mexican state, where elements of the Sedena, the Secretary of the Navy, the CISEN (Federal Intelligence and Espionage Center) and the then active Federal Police participated.
The main objective was clear: trap or eliminate the leader of the Jalisco Nueva Generación Cartel (CJNG), Nemesio Oseguera Cervantes, alias “El Mencho”, and dismantle his organization, one of the most important in the country in drug trafficking, among other illicit activities.
That May morning, during an aerial reconnaissance conducted by federal forces, An alleged convoy was located where alleged members of the organization were traveling.
But everything was perfectly planned. “It was a perfectly designed ambush, they knew who, at what time, they were going to pass “, explained the then national security commissioner, Monte Alejandro Rubido. When the hitmen knew they were located, they opened fire on the Navy helicopter.
However, they were not prepared to the rocket launcher with which they ended up shooting down the aircraft and causing six deaths. Throughout that day, after the downing of the helicopter, Jalisco became hell: the criminal group carried out 39 blockades in 25 municipalities of the state, including Guadalajara, the capital.
Since then, The Jalisco Cartel consolidated its power in the country and became one of the most powerful organizations on the continent. Their leader, The Mencho, is one of the most wanted in the worldAs another capo was once, Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán Loera, founder and leader of the Sinaloa Cartel.
With El Chapo serving a life sentence in a maximum security prison in the United States, The Mencho became the main objective of the Anti-Drug Agency of that country, the DEA, which since March of this year offers USD 10 million, the highest figure in its history, by the leader of the CJNG.