Security & Strategic Review - August 2021

MEXICO: Michoacán remains ‘liberated’ territory for criminal groups

For a long time, large parts of Mexico’s western state of Michoacán have been under the effective control of organised criminal groups. Successive governments tried to regain control by deploying the federal security forces to the state en masse, but these efforts invariably seemed to fail. The arrival of Andrés Manuel López Obrador to the presidency, and his promise that he would pacify Mexico, produced hope that the situation in Michoacán would change. President López Obrador said that he would increase the presence of the state in the areas of Michoacán that are under the control of criminal groups, starting by establishing more federal security forces bases in the area from which they could start to restore order and reinstate public security. But three years on, parts of Michoacán remain under the control of criminals, who continue to terrorise the local population and intimidate the federal security forces.

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