Friday, July 8, 2011

Fighting in Michoacán, Attacks on Hotels

The recent fighting between the Caballeros Templarios and the Federal Police in Michoacán (seven of the former have been killed) seems to be part of an attempt by La Tuta to consolidate control over the state in the wake of the arrest of his big rival, José de Jesús Méndez. In any event, it reminded me of this story over the weekend about an attack on Federal Police "installations" in Michoacán. As you can see in the above picture, the installations appear to be a hotel in a crowded area, as is common for the agency. As I believe I've mentioned before, that's far from ideal, because it scares off the non-affiliated guests, puts the hotel management in a tough position, and invites attacks on what are semi-soft targets. And it's a problem the government eventually has to address if they want the Federal Police to fill the role that it presently shares with the military, i.e. deploying hundreds or even thousands of troops around the country as needed according to the ups and downs in a given region.

Then again, perhaps I'm biased because I spent my wedding night at a hotel where the Federal Police were stationed. Nothing like taking an elevator up to your room, flanked by your beautiful bride and a machine gun-toting, ski-masked federal. It was not a dirt-cheap hotel, either. It seems as though if they must stay in hotels, the government could save some cash by finding cheaper digs.

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