Violence, justice, impunity

There are one hundred thousand deaths in the six-year term and violence and insecurity continue unstoppable. This past Monday was one of the days with the highest number of murders in the country: 100 were committed, just over four per hour, one death every 14 minutes. On Tuesday, September 7, there were 105 murders and in the first thirteen days of the month, the number of homicides totaled one thousand 75. At the federal level we are already at one hundred thousand murders, approximately 100 a day on average during each day of this six-year term. Many more than in the same period in the governments of Fox, Calderón or Peña Nieto.

However, that is not the biggest problem: much greater than this irrepressible wave of crimes is the impunity with which they are committed. Almost none of the perpetrators of those 100,000 murders or of the 300,000 that were added between the six-year terms of Fox, Calderón and Peña Nieto, or of the perpetrators of tens of thousands of disappearances, has been arrested and convicted. Never before in the country’s history has killing been so cheap. That life is worth nothing has never been as valid as it is today.

As long as impunity persists, the empowerment of criminal groups is imposed. And if impunity is accompanied by a policy of containment and non-confrontation, criminal empowerment is even more notorious.

In this scenario, the amnesty granted by the federal government to hundreds of incarcerated people began to be applied since last Wednesday, approximately 625 throughout the country. Among those released was not the kidnapper Israel Vallarta, leader of the Zodiacos gang, because it was not proven that he had been tortured and he has several processes open against him, accused of different crimes. Vallarta, famous for having been Florance Cassez’s partner (released due to due process failures and strong diplomatic pressure from the French government, not because she was innocent of the crimes she was accused of), like other criminals, including some of Those who committed the greatest crimes a decade and a half ago, tried to free himself, also arguing that so much time has passed since his detention and that he still has no conviction.

And it is true, the same as in many other cases, but the truth is that this is a legal strategy that many of these characters have chosen to try to evade the action of the law. The Secretary of the Interior, Adán Augusto López Hernández, announced that Vallarta would continue in jail, thus giving a 180 degree turn to the trend that had been promoted in the Interior for the release of this and other characters accused of serious kidnappings on the grounds of torture or misdemeanor. of judicial conviction. Hopefully this begins to be the norm and not the exception.

When justice is exercised, the penalties for these subjects can be very harsh, so they try to delay it as much as possible. This same week, one of those responsible for the kidnapping and death of Fernando Martí, son of businessman Alejandro Martí, was sentenced to 542 years in prison, for the accumulated penalty of several kidnappings and murders.

Another case in which a sentence was handed down this week was that of the drug trafficker Vicente Carrillo Fuentes, sentenced to 28 years in prison. He had been detained since 2014. Only now has a sentence been handed down. Vicente is the brother of Amado Carrillo Fuentes, El Señor de los Cielos, the most important drug lord until his death in 1997, assassinated during a cosmetic operation by his own doctors, in an internal conspiracy of the cartel that Amado headed.

The succession of Amado Carrillo divided what was then the hegemonic cartel, with its epicenter in Ciudad Juárez. Control was held by El Chapo Guzmán, El Azul Esparragoza and El Mayo Zambada. There were two groups that demanded his place at the board of directors of that criminal organization. Some were the Beltrán Leyva, the others the brothers of The Lord of the Skies. The rupture was inevitable after one of the Beltrán Leyva brothers, nicknamed El Mochomo (whose son, by the way, has just obtained an early release) was detained by federal forces (the Beltrán Leyva always said that he was betrayed by the people of El Chapo ) and that Rodolfo, the younger brother of the Carrillo Fuentes, was murdered along with his wife in a shopping center in Culiacán. The Beltrans, Vicente Carrillo and the Zetas, joined in an alliance to challenge the Sinaloa cartel. Since then, the process began in 2004, the violence unleashed by the war between the cartels has been unstoppable.

Could this change with much faster and expedited justice, with harsher sentences such as those applied to Fernando’s kidnapper or Vicente Carrillo? Of course, yes, to a large extent the existence of convictions and justice is done reduces criminal empowerment and increases the public perception that crime is being fought: groups may fragment and continue to exercise violence, but it is also true that they are weakened. Today neither the Beltrán Leyva, nor the Zetas, nor the Juárez de los Carrillo Fuentes cartel are what they were, there are remnants of all of them, but they are far from being as powerful cartels as they were in the past. Fighting them and applying justice is essential to confront crime, organized or not.

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