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Over 25 OXXOs Burned In One Night In Guanajuato, Reported to Be Cartel Retaliation

photo via tx__teve/Instagram

Prolonged cartel violence reportedly struck two different states in Mexico on Tuesday night, retaliation for the suspected capture of a high-profile cartel member by Mexican military authorities.

Ricardo Ruiz, aka "El Doble R," aka "YouTuber," aka "El Tripa," is a lieutenant in Cartel Jalisco Nueva Generación, notorious as the subject of a corrido by Los Dos Carnales that has over 9 million views on YouTube, among other songs depicting his life and crimes. Ruiz is believed to have been possibly arrested or killed on Tuesday, sparking the ensuing violence, though his capture or death still remain unconfirmed.

According to Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, the terror followed a confrontation involving police and the Mexican military with cartel members amidst a "meeting of two gangs" in the state of Jalisco that led to a shoot-out and arrests. Some reports indicate the meeting was between Doble R and a leader named "El Apa" from the rival Cartel de Sinaloa.

The horrors that followed are said to be criminal retaliation that involved burning cars, cartel roadblocks, the destruction of businesses, and the random firing of assault weapons. No deaths have been reported so far.

The violence affected different parts of Guadalajara, Jalisco, as well as the neighboring state of Guanajuato, which are both among the many territories the cartel is fighting to control.

Images of burning cars, buildings and public transport are posted on social media, including at least one scene of a family being forced from their car before it is set on fire.

The chaos rattled Guadalajara, Mexico's third largest city, for a reported ten hours on Tuesday, as cartel members rampaged through the streets in tactical gear, firing guns, setting an Oxxo store on fire with people inside (25 Oxxos are said to have been attacked and damaged in Guanajuato), and sowing terror among various neighborhoods, including upscale Zapopan. Some of the video appears to be shot by soldiers of the cartel themselves.

Fourteen people were arrested amid the terror, El Heraldo reports, including five suspects captured and one killed in Jalisco, and nine captured in Guanajuato.

VICE reports that Ruiz's arrest would represent one of the Mexican government's biggest strikes against the cartel to date. In addition to his rank as a cartel lieutenant, Ruiz is suspected of producing the cartel's propaganda videos, which routinely display the formidable forces, armaments, and machines in the CJNG's possession.

Cartels sowing mass terror after one of their own gets arrested is certainly not unheard of in Mexico.

One well-publicized example that resulted in a cartel win occurred in Sinaloa in 2019 following the attempted arrest of one of El Chapo's sons, who was released by the National Guard following cartel attacks on citizens, a prison break, and blockades in the city of Culiacán.

Nor is this the first time the CJNG's willingness to publicly attack institutions been openly displayed in the Obrador era. In 2019, cartel hitmen ambushed police in Michoacan, killing over a dozen officers.

Last year, cartel soldiers were reportedly kidnapping members of an elite police force in Guanajuato and torturing them in order to hunt down and assassinate other officers in broad daylight at their homes.

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