After the devastating earthquake in Mexico, the country has been rocked by another terrifying tragedy.
According to Breitbart, two police commanders and their 8-month-old baby were enjoying an afternoon at a shopping mall in Cancun when assassins stormed in. All three were brutally executed by the cartel-sponsored assassins.
The victims are Julio Cesar Duran Cardenas and Alia Shagrei Lugo, a couple who both work as police commanders for Mexican law enforcement. Duran headed an organized crime unit out of Playa del Carmen, which is believed to be the reason for the attack.
Reports have revealed his unit was successful in disrupting cartel operations. This resulted in a number of threats from the Gulf Cartel who accused Duran of allying with the Cartel Jalisco Nueva Generacion (CJNG) — a rival to the Gulf Cartel — to disrupt their activities in the area.
A number of narco-banners — banners that act as propaganda for Cartels — were strung up, calling Duran the “Comandante Diablo” or “Devil Commander.” They also claimed he captured and released two leaders of the Gulf Cartel.
The bubbling tension finally boiled over when a team of gunman hunted the family as they left a theater in the Gran Plaza mall. Duran was killed in the gunfire, and his wife fled the scene with their small infant in her arms in spite of her injuries. Unfortunately, the mother and child were captured and shot execution style. The child was rushed to the hospital, but died of his injuries.
The death comes as a shock to the once peaceful tourist area in Cancun. Typically, violent crime is strictly controlled to ensure tourism, but recent gang wars have made the area dangerous, and tourists may be caught in the crossfire of an ongoing turf war. The belief is that the CJNG, Los Zetas, Gulf and Sinaloa cartels are battling over the profitable drug markets in the tourist zones.
The recent assassination comes after more than a decade of violence as the Mexican government battles with the growing power of the cartels, as reported by Business Insider. Even the Mexican military has been unable to stem the tide since their inclusion in the anti-cartel campaign in 2006.
Mexican Defense Minister Salvador Cienfuegos says the military is growing tired of what appears to be an endless and insurmountable struggle. “We didn’t ask to be here. We don’t like it. We didn’t study how to chase criminals. Our function is something else, and it’s been made into something unnatural. We are doing things that don’t correspond to our training because there’s no one else to do them.”
Mike Vigil, former chief of international Operations for the US Drug Enforcement Administration believes the military is frustrated due to perceived corruption in law enforcement and the military itself “There’s dissatisfaction within the military because it’s been the institution that they have always regarded as the most uncorruptible, if you will, within the country; however, now … there’s been more corruption within the ranks.”
At this time, the US State Department has updated their travel warning for Mexico, recommending travelers use caution in the areas of Quintana Roo and Baja California Sur.
The death of this family is a tragedy and a sign of the continued struggle Mexico has had trying to quell organized crime. Hopefully, these deaths will act as a reminder of the danger and motivate Mexico’s leaders to combat the cartels on a greater level.