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Trinidad & Tobago Heart Foundation
Members of the Public
Continuing 2014 Educational Series Lecture
Wednesday 19th March, 2014
Time: 5:00pm- 6:00pm
Venue: Naparima College, Paradise Pasture, San Fernando
Lecture: Shortness of Breath -- Is it a Heart or Lung Disease?
Dr. Roy K. Tilluckdharry (Cardiologist & Chest Physician -- Cross
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This lecture sponsored by
Tens of thousands of people have
been killed in drug-related violence
in Mexico over the past seven years.
Most of the violence is attributed
to fighting between rival drug gangs
for control of territory and drug
shipment routes. Who are these
groups and who are they fighting
Who are the main players?
Mexico s largest and most pow-
erful drug gangs are the Zetas and
the Sinaloa cartel. The Zetas operate
in more than half of Mexico s states
and, according to US geopolitical
analysis firm Stratfor, overtook their
rivals from the Sinaloa cartel in 2012
in terms of geographic presence.
Stratfor says the Zetas brutal vio-
lence gave the gang an advantage
over the Sinaloa cartel, which prefers
to bribe people.
However, the Zetas have reportedly
been weakened by the loss of their
long-time leader Heriberto "El
Lazca" Lazcano, who was killed by
the Mexican military in October
2012, and his replacement, Miguel
Angel Trevino, who was arrested in
Other influential and violent car-
tels are the Knights Templar, the
Gulf cartel and the Cartel Jalisco
What do the cartels do?
Mexico s cartels control much of
the illegal drugs trade from South
America to the United States.
They import cocaine from South
America and smuggle it on to the
US. Some groups grow and smuggle
marijuana, while others have spe-
cialised in manufacturing metham-
phetamines, importing precursor
drugs from as far away as China.
Most cartels also extort local busi-
nesses and bolster their finances
through kidnappings for ransom.
They have also been involved in peo-
ple smuggling, prostitution rings,
intimidation and murder.
Who is fighting whom?
Government security forces are
fighting the drug cartels in an
attempt to re-establish law and
order. Rival cartels are at war with
each other in bitter territorial bat-
There is also internecine warfare
between cartel members, and the
emergence of break-away factions
is not unusual.
The Zetas, for example, were first
created as the enforcement arm of
the Gulf cartel, but later turned on
their former allies and have been
at war with them ever since. The
Knights Templar are an off-shoot
of La Familia Michoacana, a cartel
that was weakened after the killing
of its leader in 2010.
Allegiances shift, and former
rivals sometimes band together to
fight emerging groups.
Vigilante groups made up of civil-
ians who say they are fed up with
the lack of action by the security
forces emerged in 2012 in the west-
ern states of Michoacan and Guer-
rero to fight the Knights Templar.
The Knights Templar have
accused them of being in league
with their rivals from the Cartel
Jalisco Nueva Generacion.
What has been Mexico's
strategy to tackle
Before taking up office, President
Enrique Pena Nieto said he would
break with the approach of Felipe
Calderon, his predecessor.
Calderon had deployed the army
to go after cartel kingpins and had
declared "war" on the drug gangs.
Pena Nieto promised a lower-
profile approach aimed at tackling
the violence on a local level by set-
ting up a national gendarmerie to
take over from the troops. But with
growing violence in Michoacan, he
too sent the army to back up federal
and local police forces.
He also struck a deal with vig-
ilante groups, allowing them to keep
their weapons as long as they agreed
to be integrated in the official secu-
Where are the worst-hit areas?
According to a study by interna-
tional think tank Institute for Eco-
nomics and Peace, northern Mexico
continues to be the region worst
affected by drug-related violence
due to its proximity to the United
States, the region s most important
market for illicit drugs.
But Guerrero on the Pacific coast
and central Morelos state have
joined the list of most violent states,
suggesting the cartels are extending
their area of influence.
A study by Mexico s Citizens
Council for Public Security and
Penal Justice suggests the city of
Oaxaca has the highest occurrence
of violent crime, followed by the
resort town of Acapulco and Cuer-
navaca in Morelos state.
One of the main leaders of the civil-
ian armed movement that formed to
drive a drug cartel out of Mexico s
Michoacan state was charged last
Thursday with the murder of two
members of a rival vigilante group.
State prosecutor Jose Martin Godoy
said investigators had found enough
evidence to link Hipolito Mora to the
killings of two men whose bodies were
discovered in the back of a burned pick-
up truck last weekend.
The "self-defense" groups had a
falling out and fractured into two fac-
tions in the town of La Ruana when
Mora had a dispute over leadership with
Luis Antonio Torres Gonzalez, another
The two dead men were allies of Tor-
res Gonzalez. Prosecutors said witnesses
testified that Mora had threatened to
kill one of the men for opposing the
way Mora wanted to collect money to
run the vigilante uprising.
Mora was one of the founders of the
vigilante movement that began in Feb-
ruary 2013 after he and fellow farmers
and ranchers grew tired of the Knights
Templar cartel s reign of kidnapping,
murder and extortion.
He became the public face of the
"self-defense" crusade. Vigilantes are
now the de facto authorities in many
of Michoacan s townships, but they
have also served as a means to keep
the government accountable.
Along with Mora, a judge ordered
the arrest of nine other suspects in the
killings of the two vigilantes.
Godoy said his office also has gath-
ered 35 complaints accusing Mora of
stealing and kidnapping. The easygoing
Mora has been accused of abusing his
position by allegedly holding on to lime
orchards and farm fields taken over
from the Knights Templar, which had
seized them from the rightful owners.
Mora has denied the accusations,
saying he returns land to rightful own-
Who is behind Mexico's
Still graphic from an animation designed by I Shot Him (a San Fransisco
design studio) and Visual.ly. The animation informs on the violence from
drug cartels along the US-Mexico border. To view the animation, visit the
charged with murder
Hipolito Mora, leader of a self-defence
movement, in the Michoacan state of
Mexico. AP FILE PHOTO
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