Things That Matter

This Group Of Female Vigilantes Is Taking The Lead In Protecting Their Communities From Cartel Violence

In Mexico’s state of Michoacán, cartel violence has spiraled out of control for decades. But in recent years, the problem has become even more pronounced as towns across the state are basically being ran and operated by the ultra-violent Jalisco New Generation Cartel (CJNG).

Everyday citizens are now being forced to fend for themselves amid out of control violence thanks to a lack of protection from police and the armed forces. In one town, a group of women have banded together to help defend their community and families from the increasing threat of violence and they’re making headlines for their bravery.

An all female vigilante group is working to protect their small town from cartel violence.

The Michoacan area of Mexico has gotten so lawless, a band of female vigilantes are taking it upon themselves to protect their friends and family.

The state, which is the world’s largest supplier of avocados and limes, has recently been overrun by the violent Jalisco drug cartel that hail from the neighboring state and so the women are fighting back, according to The Associated Press.

The women carry assault rifles and post roadblocks, often while pregnant or carrying small children with them, to combat the growing homicide levels, which have skyrocketed since 2013. The group doesn’t only use assault weapons and roadblocks to defend their town. They also have a homemade tank – a large pickup truck reinforced with steel plate armor.

For many of the women, the mission is personal.

Many of the women vigilantes in the town of El Terrero have lost sons, brothers or fathers in the fighting. Eufresina Blanco Nava told the AP her son Freddy Barrios, a 29-year old lime picker, was kidnapped by presumed Jalisco cartel gunmen in pickup trucks; she has never heard from him since.

Another woman claimed her 14-year-old daughter was kidnapped and hasn’t been seen since, saying “We are going to defend those we have left, the children we have left, with our lives. We women are tired of seeing our children, our families disappear. They take our sons, they take our daughters, our relatives, our husbands.”

And this fight is largely left to the town’s women, as most of its men are being hauled off to work for the cartels (willingly or not).

A battle is raging in Michoacán between rival cartels leading to the surge in violence.

Michoacán has long been dominated by the Nueva Familia Michoacana cartel and the Los Viagras gang, but the CJNG control nearby areas and is determined to increase its area of influence. Naranjo de Chila, a town just across the Grande River from El Terrero, is the birthplace of CJNG leader Nemesio “El Mencho” Oseguera Cervantes, Mexico’s most wanted drug lord.

The women vigilantes have been accused by some people of being foot soldiers of the Nueva Familia or Los Viagras but they deny the allegations, although the AP said “they clearly see the Jalisco cartel as their foe.”

The vigilantes also made it clear that they would be very happy if the police and army came to El Terrero and took over the job they are currently doing. But few of them see that as a viable option since they’ve been left to fend for themselves for so long.

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Here’s Why Mexico’s Feminists Are Now Considered The Country’s Political Opposition

Things That Matter

Here’s Why Mexico’s Feminists Are Now Considered The Country’s Political Opposition

CLAUDIO CRUZ/AFP via Getty Images

For years now, Mexico has seen a burgeoning feminist coalition that is working to shine a light on the country’s severe record on women’s rights. However, since the presidency of Andres Manuel López Obradador (AMLO), that coalition has grown into a powerful movement that is pushing back against much of the dangerous rhetoric and policies of President AMLO. 

With AMLO’s continued support of a party official accused of rape and his denial of the widespread violence against women in his country, millions of women have had enough and are making their voices heard in opposition to the president and his misogynistic beliefs.

Women say that AMLO has made them public enemy number one.

For weeks now, the president – commonly known as Amlo – has faced mounting anger over a candidate for governor from his party who faces five accusations of sexual abuse, including rape. The disgust has spread to prominent women in the party, who last month called on its leadership to remove the candidate.

This feminist activism has become the country’s most powerful opposition voice against the popular president, a leftist who swept into office in 2018 promising to rid the country of its entrenched corruption and lead a social transformation.

While Amlo has appointed women to powerful posts, including much of his cabinet, his policies have failed to address the pervasive violence that kills more than 10 women a day and forces many more to live in fear.

AMLO has refused to stop supporting a party member accused of rape.

Despite the outrage, AMLO has refused to drop his support for the candidate and although the party has decided to reconsider his candidacy, he has not been barred from running for office with the same party. Given the movement’s focus on violence against women, the choice of Félix Salgado Macedonio to run for governor of Guerrero seemed almost a deliberate provocation.

In a letter to party leaders last month, 500 Morena supporters, including prominent female senators, wrote: “It is clear to us that in Morena there is no place for abusers” and called for Salgado Macedonio to be removed. But AMLO has repeatedly said that it is up to the people of Guerrero, where the candidate is popular, to decide.

And AMLO has repeatedly dismissed concerns of female activists.

Instead of acknowledging their concerns, he has suggested that women’s groups are being manipulated by his conservative enemies. He even cast doubt on the rising rates of domestic violence registered during the pandemic lockdown, suggesting that most emergency calls were fake.

“He has placed the feminist movement as public enemy No 1,” said Arussi Unda, the spokeswoman for Las Brujas del Mar, a feminist collective based in the Gulf Coast state of Veracruz that organized a women’s strike a year ago after International Women’s Day.

“We are not asking for crazy things,” she said. “We’re asking that women get to work, that women aren’t killed and girls aren’t raped. It’s not insane, not eccentric, it’s human rights.”

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It’s No Surprise El Chapo’s Wife Is In Jail, Her TikTok Was A Look Inside #CartelLife

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It’s No Surprise El Chapo’s Wife Is In Jail, Her TikTok Was A Look Inside #CartelLife

Drew Angerer/Getty Images

The recent arrest of Emma Coronel Aispuro – the wife of drug lord Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzman – follows a telenovela-style life that straddled hyper-violent Mexican cartels, fame and motherhood. And it’s a life that Coronel shared with her thousands of followers on social media platforms like TikTok. Here Emma Coronel tik tok

The former beauty queen used social media to give her fans a peek into the luxurious life she lived and helped birth the large #CartelLife movement that is booming on apps like TikTok.

Parties, TikTok and Reality Shows: the luxuries of Emma Coronel.

Although Emma Coronel Aispuro is now in the news for her recent arrest in the U.S., she was all about flaunting her larger than life and luxurious lifestyle. She has long stood out for sharing her life of luxury on social media, and many of her videos went viral for her dancing and singing.

Since being arrested and brought up on charges related to drug trafficking, Coronel now faces a minimum sentence of 10 years behind bars and even life imprisonment, in addition to an eventual $10 million fine, should she be found guilty of the charges.

But before being placed in a maximum security prison, Coronel was a social media influencer that helped bring the world into the #CartelLife.

Coronel’s social media life was a window into the world of Mexican drug cartels.

emma coronel tik tok

In 2018, Coronel decorated her home to mimic that of everyone’s beloved Barbie, in order to celebrate the birthday of her daughters. At the meeting there were even rides, inflatables and an incredible spread of all kinds.

Then, on her own birthday, images of her celebration went viral where she posed with some friends near a pool, as well as a table decorated as white candles.

In 2019, Coronel tried to launch her own clothing brand, inspired by her husband’s nickname. The company “El Chapo Guzmán JGL LLC”, would focus on wallets, sweatshirts, blouses and pants, among other items, but it failed to take off.

She even appeared on a VH1 show to share just how “normal” she was.

Emma Coronel has also participated in the reality show “Cartel Crew”, produced by the VH1 channel, where she spoke about the disadvantages of being the wife of a drug trafficker, since she says that she is judged by the people who don’t truly know her.

“It is very unfortunate that they judge us without knowing us. It’s hard because sometimes you want to do what you see everyone around you doing […] We are normal,” she said during her run on the show.

The son of El Chapo has also turned to TikTok to flaunt his millionaire lifestyle.

emma coronel tik tok

El Chapo’s wife isn’t the only one who has taken to social media to share her luxurious life. Jesus Alfredo Guzman, one of the drug lord’s sons, – who is already on US’s Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)’s most-wanted fugitive list – has also created a TikTok account and quickly amassed more than 15,000 followers.

So far, he’s only shared six videos but they reveal his luxurious and extravagant mansion, which includes an indoor movie theatre and a swimming pool decorated with pillars and fountains.

Although it cannot be confirmed that it is officially the account of Jesús Alfredo, the profile appears to indicate that it could be an authentic. He also spares no details on his fleet of supercars, including three Rolls-Royces, an Audi R8, a white Bentley, and an azure blue Lamborghini.

The clips are all set to narcocorridos, a controversial ballad-style music with lyrics that speak approvingly of illegal activities, mainly drug trafficking.

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