Mexico's Jalisco Cartel, which previously killed 15 policemen in an ambush, has now downed a military helicopter and set ablaze various parts of the Pacific state of Jalisco, a series of actions sure to bring down the full wrath of the state upon them.
Mexico's National Security Commissioner Monte Alejandro Rubido Garcia said operatives of the Jalisco Cartel - New Generation (CJNG) shot down a military helicopter in southern Jalisco on May 1, forcing it to make an emergency landing that left five soldiers dead, reported Sin Embargo. Rubido Garcia added the cartel used a rocket propelled grenade launcher (RPG) to bring down the helicopter.
The helicopter incident was part of a wider wave of violence on May 1 in Jalisco. Confrontations between security forces and illegal armed elements throughout Jalisco resulted in seven deaths, with five gas stations and 36 vehicles set on fire, reported BBC Mundo.
The helicopter had been taking part in the initial phases of the security offensive "Operation Jalisco," which according to government officials is intended to dismantle a criminal organization operating in the state, presumably the CJNG.
InSight Crime Analysis
The shoot down of a military helicopter is another example of the CJNG's penchant for carrying out audacious attacks against security forces. However this has proven to be a flawed strategy in Mexico. In the past, security forces have reacted swiftly to sensational acts of violence committed by drug trafficking groups such as the Zetas, resulting in the capture or killing of many of the cartel's top leaders. President Enrique Peña Nieto has already announced via Twitter his intention to bring down the CJNG in a similar fashion.
"The criminal group responsible for today's acts will be dismantled, as has happened with [Mexico's] other organized crime organizations," the tweet reads.
El grupo delincuencial responsable de los hechos de hoy será desarticulado, como ocurre con las demás organizaciones del crimen organizado.
— Enrique Peña Nieto (@EPN) May 2, 2015
Rubido Garcia has also told reporters there will be a "significant effort by the Mexican government" to capture the presumed head of the CJNG, Nemesio Oseguera Cervantes, alias "El Mencho," following the downing of the military helicopter. The attacks on the military will feed the notion of a "criminal insurgency," something that gained favor in 2012.
SEE ALSO: Profile of the Jalisco Cartel
Meanwhile, the Sinaloa Cartel -- considered to be Mexico's largest drug trafficking organization -- continues to maintain a low profile. The preference of Sinaloa Cartel leaders to remain out of the media spotlight, and avoid direct confrontation with the state, is likely a key reason the criminal group has kept up its operations since the arrest of Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, then the world's most wanted criminal, in February 2014.