Speaking with people from Jaripo, Michoacan comes news that the small town now has a cell of the La Familia camped out and controlling access.
They apparently drive around armed and with walkie-talkies, questioning any who enter the town.
This is sad.
Jaripo is a small, sweet town in northern Michoacan, largely deserted. Most natives have moved to the United States — Chicago, Dallas, Stockton, Santa Ana and other places. It’s inhabited mostly by empty houses, built by migrants through the 1980s-90s, when they returned every year for Christmas.
I wrote about the town in Antonio’s Gun and Delfino’s Dream — a place of clean air and quiet, except at fiesta time, when it filled with folks from the US and their trucks and mariachi bands brought in from Guadalajara.
Few return any more. Its only new residents, I’m told, are folks deported: for DUI or felony reentry into the US; a few for more serious stuff. Some of the latter have formed an alliance with this La Familia cell, I’m told.
But Jaripo lies on a paved road between Apatzingan in Michoacan’s Tierra Caliente (Hot Land), which is home to a robust drug trafficking culture that spawned La Familia, and Guadalajara. So this isolated place has become a strategic point in Mexico’s inter-cartel drug wars.
(Btw, a lot has been written about La Familia Michoacana — a pseudo-Catholic narco clan, who present themselves as defenders of Mexico against drug traffickers and smuggle large quantities of meth into the US. They have allied with the Sinaloa Cartel lately in a battle with the Zetas. They appeared to be on the decline since the arrest and death of several of its leaders in the last year or so. )