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Mexico’s government loses control over the territory to drug traffickers

By Raúl Tortolero*

On Wednesday, March 22, the lifeless body of José Noriel Portillo Gil, alias “El Chueco”, was found in the municipality of Choix, Sinaloa, in the northwestern State of Mexico, according to the Chihuahua Prosecutor’s Office.

The murders of two Jesuit priests, Joaquín Mora and Javier Campos, and a tourist guide on June 20, 2022, in the Tarahumara mountains of Chihuahua are attributed to this person.

In this regard, the Society of Jesus in Mexico issued a communiqué expressing:

“Pending confirmation of the identity (of El Chueco), we now point out that if it is verified that this is the person implicated in the murder of the Jesuit fathers, his lifeless appearance can in no way be considered a triumph of justice or a solution to the structural problem of violence in the Sierra Tarahumara.”

municipality of Choix, Mexico’s government loses control over the territory to drug traffickers
Mexican Army (Photo internet reproduction)

“On the contrary, the absence of a legal process per the law regarding the murders would imply a failure of the Mexican State to fulfill its basic duties and would confirm that in the region, the authorities do not have territorial control”.

In other words, in Mexico, organized crime – to which El Chueco presumably belonged and which would also have executed him – works with its codes of conduct and, above all, much faster than the Mexican government, which claimed to be looking for this individual to bring him before a judge.

But the crime was ahead of the Mexican “justice,” and he would have been found guilty of something, so his assassination would be ordered.

The Jesuits also noted that this outcome “is not what we expected or worked for.”

“Therefore, we redouble our call for full compliance with the precautionary measures ordered by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), installed just last week, to build security conditions in the region”.

“The Jesuits have never been silent, nor will we remain silent in the face of violence and dehumanization.”

“We will continue in the Tarahumara and other regions of Mexico, working for peace, justice, human rights, and the reconstruction of the social fabric.

In the most severe and worrying part of their communiqué, the religious coincide with the well-founded assessments of the US State Department.

In Mexico, there are regions in which the government of Andrés Manuel López Obrador no longer governs because there the control is in the hands of organized crime, read drug trafficking cartels.


During his appearance in the Senate on Wednesday 22, the United States Secretary of State, Anthony Blinken, assured that the drug cartels have control of various parts of Mexico’s territory and that Mexican citizens are the primary victims of the insecurity they generate.

During a hearing in the US Senate, Lindsey Graham, a Republican from the State of South Carolina, asked Blinken if drug trafficking organizations control parts of Mexico.

To this, Blinken responded in the affirmative.

“The drug cartels control parts of Mexico and not the government?” asked Graham to Blinken.

“I think it’s fair to say yes,” Secretary Blinken replied before the Senate International Spending Subcommittee.

Blinken, among other officials, has also insisted that Mexican cartels could be considered “terrorist organizations,” which would lead to the S. government being able to accompany Mexican federal authorities in combating and disarming these criminal groups.

To Blinken’s remarks, the hyperactive Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard (who wants to be a presidential candidate in 2024) responded:

“I see him under a lot of pressure, but he said that Mexico is doing a lot” in the fight against drug trafficking.”


Tensions between the governments of Mexico and the United States have been increasing, to the extent that López Obrador has described a report on Human Rights in his country, prepared by the US State Department, as a lie and a “piece of junk”.

He also denied that there were massacres in Mexico.

“If you see the report from the little department, the State Department, it’s a piece of junk.”

“They say, according to experts, it is presumed, it is pointed out… there is no support.”

“They use slander in the little department of the State Department,” said Lopez in his press conference on Wednesday 22.

“They can answer me whatever they want, but they have no proof; they are slanderers, liars.”

“In Mexico, there is no torture, unlike before; they kept quiet and never said anything.”

“In Mexico, there are no more massacres; in Mexico, the State is no longer the main violator of human rights; in Mexico, freedom of expression is guaranteed, no one is persecuted, no one is repressed.”

“Do not be confused. The only thing they do with this is to show off, to make a fool of themselves.”

“If it were not such an important matter, it would be laughable”, the President concluded.

And this is how social and political perception grows based on facts that, in Mexico, there are vast areas where the government has not governed for a long time because organized crime rules.

* It is a failure of the State, as the Jesuits say. Writer, lecturer. Political consultant. Doctor in Human Rights. Master in Philosophy, Culture, and Religion. Catholic activist, pro-life and pro-family, and against socialism, communism, and progressivism. President of “Nueva Derecha Hispanoamericana” and Founder of the International Cristero Army.

With information from LGI

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