Something happens in Zacatecas that continues to attract attention in terms of security. Since the middle of last year, a series of violent events and high levels of homicides in some municipalities of the entity have knocked on the door of the federal authorities, so much so that it was decided to launch the “Zacatecas II Support Plan” to contain crime. in the state.
Two months later, it must be said that little has been achieved with the support, since despite the strengthening of the presence with federal forces and the National Guard in the central regions -1,940 elements-, north -804 elements- and south -1,204 elements-, giving a total active of approximately 3,848 members of the armed forces, the violence does not stop. Even in the latest Inegi report on the perception of insecurity released this week, the city of Fresnillo, Zacatecas ranks first, followed by Zacatecas in third place. On the other hand, according to the analysis of the organization Causa en Común, Zacatecas is the third state in the country where the most policemen have died in the hands of organized crime -36 policemen murdered in 2021-, a figure that according to the report is four times higher than what was reported in 2020, which is not a minor thing.
Thus, the reality of violence in Zacatecas is a matter of concern, and even more so if you want to analyze it from a more comprehensive perspective. The states suffer violence from their structural weaknesses that allow the objectives of some organized crime groups to control strategic areas of operation to expand their criminal interests. The relationship to analyze the levels of violence in the states generally starts from the observation of the objectives of criminal organizations that is no secret.
What we have been able to learn in the last almost 15 years of criminal violence in the country is that criminal groups establish their operational agendas based on their priority businesses of interest, hence their ability to occupy strategic spaces and manage to innovate their machinery of social, territorial, political and economic control, go hand in hand with a capacity to fire to prevent other criminal groups from entering their areas of operation and an inability of state force to prevent it. Thus, nothing is as improvised as it seems in criminal logics: Priority business objectives, selection and control of strategic spaces and co-optation of vital bases – social, political and security – and a governmental structural weakness.
Zacatecas is a strategic state and the upsurge in violence in the last almost five years is not a coincidence either. Its borders with eight states – Coahuila, Durango, San Luis Potosí, Nuevo León, Guanajuato, Jalisco, Nayarit and Aguascalientes – make it an area of vital connections for criminal interests, mainly for the control of drug trafficking routes to the United States. . In the same sense, 4 traffic routes are central to understanding criminal disputes and their interests over territorial control: Pan-American Highway 45, which runs from the center of the country to the United States, Highway 54, which runs from Colima to Tamaulipas, Highway 23 that runs from Jerez to Fresnillo and federal highway 44 that starts in Fresnillo and ends in Ruiz Nayarit, passing through Jalisco, Durango and Nayarit. The criminal business is dynamic and its strength lies in the ability to control the operating spaces.
On the other hand, as of 2018, the production, trafficking and sale of fentanyl unleashed confrontations between organized crime groups for control of the transfer, which intensified the situation of insecurity in some municipalities and state communities, as it is and has been the case of the municipality of Fresnillo. If we think about it, it seems that many paths of criminal interest go and return to this town that, although it is not the only one that suffers from violence, is an area of high criminal density that makes it an ordeal for its people.
In Fresnillo everything happens, since its strategic position is of vital interest to criminal groups, which as a control tactic destabilize the population with mechanisms of terror from kidnappings, robberies, disappearances, homicides and of course the almost daily confrontations of groups from the organized crime.
In this sense: Does the Support Plan for Zacatecas II have clear lines of operation to confront this reality? Sooner or later it will be necessary to think that beyond GN patrols or military checkpoints in regions selected by the high criminal presence, concrete actions are required that contain clear action plans, which imply arrests and recovery of criminal spaces, in order to begin to reorganize a criminal geography based on the establishment of clear limits, which today are not seen on the horizon of the security strategy.