Tag Archives: drug cartel

La Familia Michocana’s leader, “El Rojo,” captured

From time to time, we check in upon the ultra-Christian, ultra-wingnut decapitating Mexican drug cartel, La Familia Michoacana. Breaking: in another setback, LFM’s latest leader has been captured.

Leader of “La Familia Michoacana” captured in Toluca
Milenio online | 3-20-12

Elements of the Public Safety Secretariat (SSC) arrested Juan Carlos Coránguez Gonzalez, “El Rojo,” leader of La Familia Michoacana while staff of the same unit said six other suspected kidnappers, including a woman, were captured during an operation in the south of the state on the border with the state of Guerrero.

Juan Carlos Coránguez González, “El Rojo,” captured

Through its official Twitter account, the security minister, Salvador Neme Sastré, revealed the capture of “El Rojo”, but without giving further details about the operation . .

After La Familia had their founder and spiritual leader killed and had many of their faithful split off into Los Caballeros Templarios, the group hasn’t been as strong as they once were. A couple days ago, rivals of La Familia exacted tit-for-tat revenge:

Mexico police find 10 heads outside slaughterhouse

ACAPULCO, Mexico (AP) — Mexican authorities have found 10 severed heads dumped outside a slaughterhouse in a town in northern Guerrero state. They are still looking for the bodies.

A statement from the Teloloapan police says the heads of seven men and three women were left with a message that appears to threaten the La Familia Michoacana drug cartel. The warning says: “This is going to happen to all those who support the FM.”

Sunday, the cops went out looking for the bodies, and . .

ACAPULCO, Mexico — Gunmen ambushed and killed 12 police officers who had been sent to search for the bodies of 10 people whose severed heads were found in southern Guerrero state, authorities said Monday.

Guerrero state police spokesman Arturo Martinez said six state and six local officers were killed Sunday night on a road leading out of the town of Teloloapan. Another 11 officers were wounded.

These folks are a God-fearing bunch. As that guy is really crazy.


As La Familia Michoacana and Los Caballeros Templarios battle it out, bodies are strewn across Southern Mexico

After last year’s killing of La Familia Michoacana’s notorious leader, Nazario Moreno Gonzales, by Mexican law enforcement, the ultra-Christian ultra-violent Mexican drug cartel split into two parts: a surviving La Familia faction, and Los Caballeros Templarios (the Knights Templar).

Violent fighting has erupted between the two factions as they seek control over the lucrative methamphetamine, cocaine and marijuana drug trade in and exported from Michoacan and its neighbor states. The most recent fighting has been brutal, with dozens of message-laden bodies left scattered across Southern neighborhoods.

21 Bodies Found in South Mexico
Patrick Corcoran | 09 June 2011

Twenty-one corpses, seemingly killed by suffocation, were found in Michoacan, a state along Mexico’s Pacific coast known as the base of drug trafficking gang the Familia Michoacana.

. . turmoil among the remaining leaders of the Familia, which has been buffeted by a series of blows from the government in recent months, has precipitated a split, with former Familia boss Servando Gomez, alias “La Tuta,” taking a big chunk of the gang and forming a group dubbed the Caballeros Templarios (Knights Templar).

The portion of the group still calling itself the Familia is loyal to leader Jose de Jesus Mendez, alias “El Chango,” and the Caballeros have been battling it out for control of Michoacan, which is a valuable site of methamphetamine production as well as home to one of Mexico’s largest ports, in Lazaro Cardenas.

The most recent killings came over the weekend:

23 Bodies dumped in southern Mexico
June 21, 2011

The bodies of 23 murder victims have been dumped at various locations in the southern Mexican state of Michoacan over the past three days, an official told Efe.

Five men were found shot to death Monday in Paracho, a town about 80 kilometers (50 miles) west of Morelia, the state capital.

The five bodies were left at three different spots in the town, each accompanied by a message claiming responsibility on behalf of Los Caballeros Templarios (Knights Templar), a remnant of the La Familia Michoacana drug cartel, the state official said . .

On Saturday, the bodies of eight murdered men appeared on the streets of Lazaro Cardenas, a port city in Michoacan . .

The La Familia faction led by Jesus Mendez is battling the faction led by Servando Gomez and Enrique Plancarte, who formed Los Caballeros Templarios in March, journalists from Michoacan told Efe.

La Familia Michoacana began unraveling after the death in a shootout with Federal Police officers in late 2010 of Nazario Moreno Gonzalez, known as “El Chayo.”

A total of 15,270 people died in drug-related violence in Mexico last year, and nearly 40,000 people have died since President Felipe Calderon declared war on the country’s cartels shortly after taking office in December 2006.

And now, breaking news: La Familia’s leader, Jose de Jesus Mendez Vargas, got captured by federales yesterday. In the war between the two ultra-Conservative Christianist drug cartels, the advantage swings to the Knights Templar.


Jose de Jesus Mendez Vargas, “El Chango,” leader of La Familia Michoacana, captured

After last year’s killing of La Familia Michoacana’s notorious leader, Nazario Moreno Gonzales, by Mexican law enforcement, the ultra-Christian ultra-violent Mexican drug cartel split into two parts: a surviving La Familia faction, and Los Caballeros Templarios (the Knights Templar).

In yet another blow to LFM, their remaining leader, Jose de Jesus Mendez Vargas, was arrested Tuesday.

Mexican authorities: Top cartel leader captured
CNN Wire Staff | June 22, 2011

Mexico City (CNN) — . . Federal police captured Jose de Jesus Mendez Vargas, also known as “El Chango,” in an operation in the state of Aguascalientes, Mexico’s national security spokesman said.

Spokesman Alejandro Poire called Mendez the “principal head” of La Familia Michoacana cartel and said his capture was the federal government’s “most overwhelming blow” to the group.

“This capture destroys what remained of the leadership structure of this criminal organization,” he said.

Mexican President Felipe Calderon praised the capture on his official Twitter account: “A large blow by federal police to organized crime. One of the most wanted criminals was captured. Congratulations.”

Mexico’s Attorney General’s Office had offered a 30 million peso ($2.5 million) reward for information leading to his arrest, saying Mendez was the mastermind behind drug trafficking, kidnappings and killings.

It’s a significant win for the federales, Calderon, and the people of Mexico:

La Familia Michoacana are extremely twisted, violent and right-wing (see here). The numbers of people that have died at the hands of the Christianist beheaders may total in the thousands.

I wouldn’t bet against their former brothers, now rivals, the Knights Templar, tipping off the federales to Mendez Vargas’ whereabouts in order to eliminate him. Both factions are well-tied to police and other law enforcement personnel.


La Familia Michoacana get hit by Americans in Atlanta and rivals in Acapulco

The ultra-Christianist ultra-violent right-wing drug cartel from western Mexico, La Familia Michoacana, have been hit hard in recent days and weeks by both anti-drug authorities and rivals.

Mexico drugs cartel suspects arrested in Atlanta area
BBC News | 4 November 10, 2010

Police in the United States have arrested 45 people they accuse of belonging to the Mexican drug cartel La Familia Michoacana. Agents also seized cash, guns and drugs as part of their operation against the cell, based in Atlanta, Georgia.

Police said the city had become a major drug distribution centre, from where drugs were being shipped to neighbouring states. But they said the arrests would disrupt the cartel’s operation in Atlanta.

It’s a serious setback for La Familia’s efforts to establish itself as the pre-eminent drug distribution operation in Atlanta.

The agents said they seized 23kg (50lb) of methamphetamine, 43kg of cocaine and more than 2,000kg of marijuana, amounting to a street value of $10m (£6.14m).

Senior agent in the US Drug Enforcement Administration John Comer warned that while the operation to dismantle this particular cell had been successful, it was just one of many operating in the Atlanta area.

“Mexican cartels such as La Familia Michoacana have collectively become the most powerful drug trafficking organisations in the world, and have an impact on the United States,” he said.

Weeks earlier, a group of 20 La Familia members were overtaken and kidnapped in Acapulco in retaliation for their accelerating territorial acquisition and influence. Their bodies were only recently discovered in a mass grave:

Mexican police have found a mass grave near the Pacific resort of Acapulco, holding what they believe to be victims of the country’s drug war.

So far 18 bodies have been recovered but officers were due to conduct further searches of the site.

Police have so far not confirmed the identities of the dead, fuelling speculation they may be from a group of 20 men abducted over a month ago.

In a modern twist to the usual violence, after La Familia found at least two of the mass killers, they tortured and beat the men, and then recorded their words to upload onto YouTube:

20 Kidnapped and Missing in Acapulco, Now Found in Mass Grave
T. C. Baker | Thursday, November 4th, 2010

Two battered men with hands cuffed behind them speak in a one minute nine second video . .

A voice asks, “Who ordered the kidnapping of the Michoacanos?” The off-camera voice refers to the kidnapping of at least twenty people that visited Acapulco from Morelia . .

The dialogue continues…“What were your orders?” “We were going to take them to Cuernavaca, but the way to that city was full of military checkpoints…Then the orders were to bury them in the town of Tres Palos,” answered the two. “Why did this massacre happen?” the voice asked. “All this happened because of La Familia Michoacana…because they took the plaza of Ciudad Altamirano away from us.”

The two men’s battered bodies were found on top of the mass grave, accompanied by a sign that read: “The people they killed are buried here.”


La Familia Michoacana kill for control of Morelos and Guerrero

The ultra-Christian ultra-violent Mexican drug cartel La Familia Michoacana, having expanded beyond Michoacan, are warring for control of the neighboring southwestern Mexican states of Morelos and Guerrero.

In competing with Gulf, Zetas and Beltran Leyva cartels and with local authorities, they have employed their usual tactics: kidnappings, beheadings, and leaving messages behind for the public and police.

Diario de Morelos, September 5th (Google translation):

La Familia enter the Morelos war

The discovery of an alleged “narco message” signed by La Familia Michoacana, left with a corpse in the colony of Otilio Monta or in Cuautla, confirms that the criminal organization is fighting for control of drug trafficking in Morelos.

. . “from now on the rulers here are La Familia Michoacana” was part of the message that members of the cartel left behind.

. . Military, police, ministerial staff and forensics experts exam-ined a dead man strongly built with short hair, his hands tied behind his back, his face wrapped with duck tape, with a “narco message” left at his feet . .

Excelsior this weekend:

“La Familia Michoacana” increases criminal activity in Morelos

MORELOS, September 18 – At least five people have been executed in the last 24 hours in Morelos, due to the war between drug cartels vying for control of the area. In addition, ‘La Barbie’ Cartel South Pacific has also entered the dispute with La Familia Michoacana.

These murders confirm the progress of the cartel into the center of the republic, and the group have begun to leave the bodies of their victims with “narco messages” to claim its territorial expansion into the states of Michoacán, Guerrero, State of Mexico and Morelos and others.

Around 11 pm on Friday, the bodies of two young people between 25 and 30 years old were found in the stretch of highway that leads from the Mexico-Cuernavaca Mariano Matamoros Airport . .

The bodies had bullet wounds, were gagged and tied hand and foot, and were left with a La Familia Michoacana “narco message” . . the bodies were also painted with the initials of the criminal cartel.

And yesterday, in Guerrero, the bodies of a number of abducted policemen were recovered. La Familia Michoacana would certainly be suspected in the multiple kidnappings and killings for obvious reasons. In June, they ambushed and killed 10 policemen in a military style attack in nearby Michoacan. In July of last year, after the arrest of a high-ranking cartel member, La Familia went to war with the police, killing at least 19 in only a few days. Lastly, at least two of the bodies were decapitated and their heads tossed into a public area, a trademark of the cartel:

6 abducted police found slain in Mexican state
(AP) – September 19, 2010

ACAPULCO, Mexico — The bodies of six kidnapped police officers, most of them dismembered, were found Sunday in a ravine in the Mexican state of Guerrero, bringing to eight the death toll from a mass abduction of policemen, officials said . .

Two other bodies were found on Saturday, accounting for all nine officers who disappeared Friday after going to identify a body in the community of El Revelado, located about 165 miles (265 kilometers) south of Mexico City . .

Previous La Familia murder and message

Mexico’s government says the Gulf Cartel and the Zetas gang are fighting for control of the region with La Familia Michoacana. The state was also a base for detained drug lord Sergio Valdez Villarreal – alias “La Barbie” – who was fighting for control of the Beltran Leyva cartel with Hector Beltran Leyva.

The bodies found Saturday corresponded to two heads thrown from a moving vehicle into a refreshment stand in the municipality of Coyuca de Catalan in Guerrero, according to a report by the state Public Safety and Civil Protection office.

The first two bodies were accompanied by a note that threatened a similar fate for anyone supporting Hector Beltran Leyva and suspected trafficker Reynaldo Pineda Chavez, saying “Guerrero and Morelos (states) have an owner and they know who it is . . “


Texas ranches seized by band of Mexican drug assassins! Standoff! Bloodbath! Left-wing media blackout!

Laredo, Texas, wiped off the map by a Mexican drug cartel! Ranchers dragged out of their homes! Shot! Slugged! Slapped! Gutted and wrapped in foil! Grilled with salt and lemon!

BREAKING: Multiple Ranches In Laredo, TX Taken Over By Los Zetas
By Digger / July 24, 2010 04:11 AM

The bloodbath continues along our southern border and now word is coming in that Los Zetas, the highly trained killers formerly with the Gulf Cartel, have crossed into the United States and taken over at least two ranches in the Laredo, Texas area. I am receiving word that the owners of the ranches have evacuated without being harmed. The source is law enforcement in the area.

(Update 2 story is now 100% confirmed by second source within the Laredo Police Department)

Founder of the San Diego Minutemen Jeff Schwilk tipped me off to this story and passes along the following information on the location. The ranches are said to be “near Mines Rd. and Minerales Annex Rd about 10 miles NW of I-35”.

I’m sure the Minutemen aren’t given to panic. Especially over incendiary stories about border violence! By all means, let’s listen to an honest man like Jeff!

There is currently a standoff between the unknown size Zeta forces and U.S. Border Patrol and local law enforcement on two ranches on our side of the Rio Grande. The source tells us he considers this an “act of war” and that the military is needed on the border now!


Anonymous sources in law enforcement in the Laredo area tonight have passed on word that US law enforcement agencies are in the area and are weighing their options regarding the ranches.


The media has been silent on this incident and some law enforcement in the area says that they are furious that the media is not reporting the whole story of the continued violence along the border. Their frustrations are understandable because keeping the truth suppressed continues to hamper law enforcement from receiving the true support they need along the border.


“Starting to smell like a hoax.”

*sniff* *sniff* I don’t smell anything.

As far as a hoax, that is a willfully done falsity. Why would I sacrifice my 8 year old website and any benefit I can provide the issue I have dedicated my life to on a fake story?


As for the mud slinging, sling away. I have put my name on the line, you have put an anonymous moniker on the line. As a reader I would put my faith in the veteran blogger of 8 years, with a proven track record, rather than some commenter who just showed up a few hours ago.

I stand by the story. You obviously have not read what a media blackout entails.


Here is another source claiming that authorities in Laredo will not confirm or deny.


Hector Garcia , a city council member of the City of Laredo TX, has returned my phone call and aboslutely denied that any armed conflict has occured with the Laredo PD. He is quoting the Chief of Police, Carlos Maldonado. Mr Garcia went on to say that it appears two ranchers had a disagreement.


Is this really happening? Probably not (despite the upsurge in violence just over the border), but what’s even scarier than the heavily armed Zetas is that stories like this have become difficult to confirm or refute.


We know that the establishment media places supporting Obama far ahead of informing the public. But as for whether a blanket of silence has been thrown over a military incursion — in the short term, we can only guess.


In a totalitarian state, rumors supplant news. We’re not there yet, but we can see it from here.



The many scary, stupid faces of Arizona Governor Jan Brewer

Ariz. gov: Most illegal immigrants smuggling drugs
Associated Press Writer – Fri Jun 25, 7:06 pm ET

. . “I believe today, under the circumstances that we’re facing, that the majority of the illegal trespassers that are coming into the state of Arizona are under the direction and control of organized drug cartels and they are bringing drugs in,” Brewer said.

“There’s strong information to us that they come as illegal people wanting to come to work. Then they are accosted and they become subjects of the drug cartel,” she said.

The majority of illegal immigrants are drug smugglers? Jeezus, what a moron.

jan brewer 8

jan brewer 12

24 Governor-p2 dk

jan brewer lovely

jan brewer 9

jan brewer diamond face

jan-brewer 16

jan brewer needs a haircut
. . without a snack . .

jan brewer needs a shve
. . or with?

I ran out of skulls


La Familia Michoacana suspected in Zitacuaro ambush killing of 10 federales

Don’t know who else in Michoacan, other than the infamous ultra-right-wing Christianist decapitation drug cartel who own and terrorize the state, would have the firepower and wherewithal to pull off this sort of mass-murder of federal policeman.

They’ve done it before. When La Familia’s top assassin got arrested by the cops in July of last year, they killed 5 federal law enforcement officials within a couple of hours.

Ambush in Central Mexico Leaves 10 Federal Police Officers Dead
Latin American Herald Tribune | June 20 2010

MEXICO CITY – Ten Federal Police officers and several criminals died in an ambush Monday on a police unit near Zitacuaro, a city in Mexico’s Michoacan state, officials said.

The officers, who are providing security in several cities in Michoacan, were attacked as they traveled from Ciudad Hidalgo, a city in Michoacan, to the Federal District, the Public Safety Secretariat said.

The ambush occurred in downtown Zitacuaro, located 168 kilometers (104 miles) west of Mexico City, near a place called Lengua de Vaca.

The officers took fire near the National Technical Professional Education School, or Conalep, in Zitacuaro.

“Ten Federal Police officers lost their lives and several others were wounded while repelling the attack,” the secretariat said . .

la familia zitacuaro ambush

“Several assailants lost their lives and others were wounded” in the shootout, the secretariat said, adding that “the bodies and wounded from the armed group were pulled out of the area by their accomplices.”

Federal Police officers are searching for the gunmen by air and land.

Army troops, Federal Police reinforcements, state police and emergency services personnel went to the scene of the ambush to help the wounded officers, Michoacan Public Safety Secretary Minerva Bautista told Formato 21 radio.

Investigators have not determined who carried out the attack and it is not known if any arrests have been made, Bautista said.

Michoacan is a stronghold of La Familia Michoacana, a drug cartel infamous for decapitating and dismembering enemies, as well as for mounting attacks on the security forces.


La Familia Michoacana now beheading rivals in tourist-laden Acapulco

The hyper-murderous Christian lunatic beheading drug cartel, La Familia Michoacana, continue to spread violence and influence outside of their home state.

Their trademark headless victims are now being found on the streets of vacation mecca Acapulco, in the state of Guerrero:

Bloodshed blights Acapulco resort
Page last updated at 01:03 GMT, Sunday, 14 March 2010

La Familia strike in AcapulcoThirteen people have been killed in an outbreak of drug-related violence in the southern Mexican beach resort of Acapulco, officials have said.

Five of the dead were police officers whose patrol was machine gunned.

Eight other bullet-riddled bodies were discovered in different areas around the city – four had been beheaded . .

The Pacific states of Guerrero and neighbouring Michoacan are largely under the control of the powerful “La Familia” cartel . .

The latest bloodshed could not have come at a worse time: it is a holiday weekend in Mexico and the start of the spring break, which brings a surge of American visitors.

At least two of the decapitated victims were dumped close to the centre of Acapulco, on a highway popular with tourists for its scenic views.

The BBC’s Julian Miglierini, in Mexico City, says the country’s drugs war has cast a long shadow on the world-famousla familia strike in acapulco 2 sunny beaches of the city known as Mexico’s Pacific Jewel.

Although many Mexicans and foreigners continue to choose Acapulco as a holiday destination, Saturday’s events seem to confirm that its reputation as an idyllic destination is long gone, he adds.


La Familia Michoacana decapitate yet another rival, dump his head on site of city officials

Dateline of this article was Tuesday. Read more about the christianist decapitating drug cartel here.

‘La Familia Michoacana’ decapitated yet another victim, this one in the town of Celaya, in Guanajuato, just north of Michoacan. They put his head in a cooler and dumped it in front of the city’s ‘Presidencia Municipal.’ As usual, they left a message with the head, but authorities are not giving it out specific details of the text.

If you’re Spanish is better than mine, read the account here.

la familia head


The United States moves against La Familia Michoacana

La Familia last week:

Hitmen behead drug rivals
Published: 8:41AM Saturday October 17, 2009
Source: Reuters

Authorities in Mexico say drug hitmen have beheaded 10 rivals, chopped up their bodies and left them in plastic bags on an isolated road in western Mexico in the latest gruesome attack in a raging drug war.

The body parts filled 18 bags and were dumped in a delivery truck abandoned on a back road in the Pacific state of Guerrero along with a message from the La Familia (The Family) cartel that is fighting for smuggling routes in the area.

“La Familia doesn’t kill innocent people. Those who die deserve to die,” read a hand-scrawled message left on top of the bags.

Breaking yesterday:

La Familia Michoacana’s Increasing Woes
October 22, 2009 | 2331 GMT

The heads of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), and the FBI announced the results of Project Coronado, a 44-monthlong multiagency operation against the Mexican drug trafficking organization La Familia Michoacana (LFM), the morning of Oct. 22. According to the officials, 1,186 individuals across 19 states were arrested and $33 million, 1,999 kilograms of cocaine, 2,730 pounds of methamphetamine, 29 pounds of heroin, 16,390 pounds of marijuana, 389 weapons, 269 vehicles and two synthetic drug laboratories were seized over the course of the operation.

LFM is one of the most violent and ambitious criminal organizations in Mexico, but also one of the smallest. This kind of operation is thus sure to have a serious impact on LFM’s operations both at home and abroad, especially as Mexican authorities have been stepping up operations against the group in its home state of Michoacan.

LFM was formed more than 20 years ago as a vigilante group aimed at kidnappers, drug traffickers and other criminals operating in the southern Mexican state of Michoacan. As the years passed, LFM itself became involved in the drug trade, particularly in methamphetamine trafficking. The group later formed an alliance with the Gulf cartel and came under the control of Los Zetas. LFM, as it is currently known, formed in 2006 after several of the groups’ leaders split from Los Zetas. Since then, LFM has developed a reputation as one of the most strange and violent drug-trafficking organizations in Mexico due to the purportedly Christian-based teachings of its ideological leader, known as El Mas Loco, who advocates the torture and murder of LFM opponents as a representation of divine justice. LFM’s reputation has won it the title of the most dangerous criminal organization in Mexico according to former Mexican Attorney General Eduardo Medina Mora. in Mexico


La Familia Michocana’s deadly war on the police: at least 19 killed in three days.

For some background on the ultra-violent ultra-Christian drug cartel, you can go here. If this is what they’re willing to do after only one high-ranking member is arrested, it makes you wonder what they’ll do next now that ‘El Chivo’, Francisco Javier Frias Lara, is also now in custody.

Mexican state awash in recent violence

(CNN) — In recent days, Michoacan, the home state of President Felipe Calderon, has become a flashpoint of violence in Mexico’s deadly war against drug cartels. Since Calderon went after the drug cartels shortly after coming into office in 2006, more than 10,000 people have died across Mexico, about 1,000 of them police.

High-ranking drug cartel member Arnoldo Rueda Medina was arrested Saturday, triggering an ambush on police.

In the latest incident, 12 bodies of federal police officers were found on the side of a remote highway, said Monte Alejandro Rubido Garcia, technical secretary for Mexico’s national security council, at a news conference Tuesday. The bodies showed evidence of torture.

The officers were “ambushed while they were off duty by an armed group,” Rubido said. One of the 12 officers was a woman.

The bodies were found in a pile near the town of La Huacana, he added.

Rubido said the slain officers had been doing “investigative work” in the city of Arteaga in Michoacan, one of the states most affected by the government’s offensive against drug cartels.

Rubido announced the arrest of Francisco Javier Frias Lara, known as “El Chivo,” in connection with the killings of the officers.

Frias is a member of La Familia Michoacana, one of the region’s most powerful drug cartels, Rubido said.

Federal police around the country will redouble security measures for its agents, Rubido said.

The sudden spike in violence followed the arrest Saturday of Arnoldo Rueda Medina, who authorities described as a high-ranking member of La Familia Michoacana.

Cartel members first attacked the federal police station in Morelia to try to gain freedom for Rueda, authorities said. When that failed, the drug gangs attacked police installations in at least a half-dozen Michoacan cities. Coordinated attacks in eight cities over the weekend left three federal police officers and two soldiers dead.

It was the federal police who arrested Rueda, and the current spate of attacks appear aimed at them in revenge.

On Tuesday, two federal police officers were killed and four wounded in an ambush in Michoacan, the state-run Notimex news agency reported.

Also Tuesday, a federal police station in the Michoacan city of Maravatio was attacked, news reports said. There were no immediate reports of casualties.

A local Michoacan newspaper put the body count in recent days at 32.

La Familia Michoacana emerged in the 1990s as a conservative paramilitary group designed to insulate the state from the large drug cartels, said Bruce Bagley, a professor at the University of Miami and expert on drug trafficking.

But over the years, the group evolved into a drug trafficking operation itself, forging strategic alliances with warring cartels to raise its own profile.

This week’s violence solidifies the cartel as a major and violent player in Mexico’s drug wars, Bagley said.

“This represents the third evolution of the Familia Michoacana,” he said.

Reprisals from drug cartels following major arrests have been reported before, but the intensity of these attacks in Michoacan are unprecedented.

La Familia Michoacana wants “to demonstrate that they have power and will not go away quietly into the night,” Bagley said.

Video from the scene of the slain officers showed three signs, known as narcomensajes, left by the killers that stated the same thing: “So that you come for another. We will be waiting for you here.”