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Guadalajara hit by blockades as Jalisco cartel shoots down military helicopter

May 1, 2015

A wave of violence erupted across western Mexico this weekend as drug cartel operatives shot down a military helicopter, blocked 39 roads with burning vehicles and set fire to 11 banks and 16 petrol stations across the region. Seven people were killed, 19 were wounded and 19 were arrested amidst the chaos that was centred around Guadalajara, Mexico’s second biggest city, in Jalisco state.

Mexican officials said the paramilitary-style attacks were trigged on Friday by the launch of a military operation to bolster security in the state and apprehend members of the Jalisco New Generation Cartel, a powerful organisation responsible for a number of recent attacks against the authorities.

The cartel had previously used burning buses to block off major roads across Guadalajara on three occasions in the last three years, each time in response to the arrests of key figures. It is thought to be a diversionary tactic to enable other leaders to escape arrest.

Friday’s coordinated attacks surpassed those past instances in terms of scale and audacity, with the violence affecting 25 towns across Jalisco and spilling over into at least three neighbouring states…

Click here to read this feature in full at The Independent on Sunday.

I also contributed to this report by Daniel Hernandez for VICE News.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. Roberta Camhi permalink
    May 2, 2015 14:10

    Duncan, I wonder if you remember me. I was connected with Democrats Abroad in Puerto Vallarta when you came to visit us. My husband, Larry, and I have just moved to Ajijic and will be there for the indefinite future. We just bought a house. If you would be interested in coming out to Lake Chapala to present to us. please let me know. We’d love to have you! Dee Dee Camhi


  2. May 5, 2015 14:43

    Hi Dee Dee, of course I remember you! Sure I’d definitely be interested, although I’ve been super busy of late so I might not be able to do it anytime soon. Send me an email to and we can discuss this further.


  1. Surviving the narco-blockades of Mexico’s Jalisco state | The Tequila Files
  2. Guadalajara Mexico | Shannon On the Road
  3. Mexican drug cartel commander arrested while playing football in the street | The Tequila Files

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