Failed state: Cartels parade through Guanajuato, Mexico's safest, prettiest, and most conservative state

Mexico's cartels always find ways to put on some kind of sick clown show to draw attention, and sure enough, they did so again with some sort of victory parade of vehicles through a Mexican town in the state of Guanajuato.  According to the U.K. Daily Star (hat tip: Drudge Report):

A convoy of armoured cars reportedly belonging to El Chapo's cartel have been filmed brazenly driving into a Mexican town in a show of strength.

The scenes were recorded in Guanajuato in central Mexico as the Sinaloa Cartel were reportedly showing their strength after forming an alliance with a local gang.

In the video, filmed by someone inside a parked car, vehicles are seen barreling into the village while armed cartel members stand out of the vehicle's sun rooves.

Several more armoured cars follow behind in the convoy, including an all-black armoured van and what is thought to be a silver Audi.

Other vehicles including pickup trucks complete with sirens and police-style flashing lights are seen.

The Daily Star has a video at its link, but this shareable one, from GrilloNautas2 on YouTube, is better:

This is bad enough as it is — it sounds as though they're winning something and doing their victory dance to fling it in the face of the state.  They have good reason to: Mexico's President Andrés Manuel López-Obrador, far from beating the hell out of the cartels as they deserve, has a "hug a cartel" policy, and cartels are treating that with the contempt it deserves.  The parade of drug-dealer cars would be awful no matter what city it happened to drive through in Mexico.

But there's one extra-horrifying detail the press didn't notice: Guanajuato, for many years now, has had the reputation as Mexico's safest state.  I've been there; it's a bulwark, chaos all around it, but high in its mountain and stone quarry redoubt, perfectly safe, at least until now.  When Mexico took on its cartels in 2006 with the election of conservative president Felipe Calderón, much of Mexico was mired in violence as Calderón battled the drug cartels openly.  Through at least 2016, Guanajuato remained untouched, its main city of Guanajuato a wonderful safe haven for tourists to visit, not too luxurious, authenticity galore, picturesque, pleasant, and interesting, same as the little towns around it.  I visited it in 1995 and found it a completely delightful and safe city.

Here's what you find when you do a YouTube search for Guanajuato:

In addition, it's a conservative state, hyper-conservative.  The only Latin places I've ever seen with so many conservatives might be found in parts of Colombia and Chile.  Guanajuato is ferociously conservative as only Latins can be, not just pro-market, but socially conservative.  Here's a 2010 piece from the New York Times condemning the main city for enforcing its anti-abortion laws.  Here's an election chart showing that the city...gets more and more conservative every year

None of these positives has been enough to protect this state.  The story's changed now, and it's not just sick cartel victory parades — it's also this story from yesterday from Mexico News:

Ten black plastic bags containing human remains were found on the Guanajuato-Silao highway early Saturday morning.

The bags were accompanied by several posters bearing threatening messages directed to the state Security Secretary Samuel Ugalde García. The messages were signed by the Jalisco New Generation Cartel (CJNG).

The bags contained the remains of what are assumed to be four youths who were recently kidnapped in the municipality of Santa Teresa. However, the identities of the victims had yet to be confirmed.

There are also these horrible statistics stating that far from Mexico's safest redoubt, Guanajuato is now one of Mexico's most dangerous areas.

If the bulwark of Guanajuato has fallen, what the heck does this say about the state of the rest of Mexico?  President Trump was bulls-eye-right in suggesting to Mexico that it's a country at war now, and all the Mexicans have to do is make a phone call to get some help.  They've veered into failed state territory now that Guanajuato has turned from a charming tourist state and city to a cartel hellhole. 

The problem is worse than anyone's reporting.

Image credit: GrilloNautas2 via shareable YouTube, screen shot.

Mexico's cartels always find ways to put on some kind of sick clown show to draw attention, and sure enough, they did so again with some sort of victory parade of vehicles through a Mexican town in the state of Guanajuato.  According to the U.K. Daily Star (hat tip: Drudge Report):

A convoy of armoured cars reportedly belonging to El Chapo's cartel have been filmed brazenly driving into a Mexican town in a show of strength.

The scenes were recorded in Guanajuato in central Mexico as the Sinaloa Cartel were reportedly showing their strength after forming an alliance with a local gang.

In the video, filmed by someone inside a parked car, vehicles are seen barreling into the village while armed cartel members stand out of the vehicle's sun rooves.

Several more armoured cars follow behind in the convoy, including an all-black armoured van and what is thought to be a silver Audi.

Other vehicles including pickup trucks complete with sirens and police-style flashing lights are seen.

The Daily Star has a video at its link, but this shareable one, from GrilloNautas2 on YouTube, is better:

This is bad enough as it is — it sounds as though they're winning something and doing their victory dance to fling it in the face of the state.  They have good reason to: Mexico's President Andrés Manuel López-Obrador, far from beating the hell out of the cartels as they deserve, has a "hug a cartel" policy, and cartels are treating that with the contempt it deserves.  The parade of drug-dealer cars would be awful no matter what city it happened to drive through in Mexico.

But there's one extra-horrifying detail the press didn't notice: Guanajuato, for many years now, has had the reputation as Mexico's safest state.  I've been there; it's a bulwark, chaos all around it, but high in its mountain and stone quarry redoubt, perfectly safe, at least until now.  When Mexico took on its cartels in 2006 with the election of conservative president Felipe Calderón, much of Mexico was mired in violence as Calderón battled the drug cartels openly.  Through at least 2016, Guanajuato remained untouched, its main city of Guanajuato a wonderful safe haven for tourists to visit, not too luxurious, authenticity galore, picturesque, pleasant, and interesting, same as the little towns around it.  I visited it in 1995 and found it a completely delightful and safe city.

Here's what you find when you do a YouTube search for Guanajuato:

In addition, it's a conservative state, hyper-conservative.  The only Latin places I've ever seen with so many conservatives might be found in parts of Colombia and Chile.  Guanajuato is ferociously conservative as only Latins can be, not just pro-market, but socially conservative.  Here's a 2010 piece from the New York Times condemning the main city for enforcing its anti-abortion laws.  Here's an election chart showing that the city...gets more and more conservative every year

None of these positives has been enough to protect this state.  The story's changed now, and it's not just sick cartel victory parades — it's also this story from yesterday from Mexico News:

Ten black plastic bags containing human remains were found on the Guanajuato-Silao highway early Saturday morning.

The bags were accompanied by several posters bearing threatening messages directed to the state Security Secretary Samuel Ugalde García. The messages were signed by the Jalisco New Generation Cartel (CJNG).

The bags contained the remains of what are assumed to be four youths who were recently kidnapped in the municipality of Santa Teresa. However, the identities of the victims had yet to be confirmed.

There are also these horrible statistics stating that far from Mexico's safest redoubt, Guanajuato is now one of Mexico's most dangerous areas.

If the bulwark of Guanajuato has fallen, what the heck does this say about the state of the rest of Mexico?  President Trump was bulls-eye-right in suggesting to Mexico that it's a country at war now, and all the Mexicans have to do is make a phone call to get some help.  They've veered into failed state territory now that Guanajuato has turned from a charming tourist state and city to a cartel hellhole. 

The problem is worse than anyone's reporting.

Image credit: GrilloNautas2 via shareable YouTube, screen shot.