Guadalajara Engulfed in Drug War Violence

By McCarton Ackerman 08/27/12

Armed gangs block highways and set up roadblocks in the west Mexican city.

The scene in Guadalajara
Photo via

Despite reports that deaths from Mexico's drug war rose "only" 5.6% last year—the least since 2007—the reality felt very different for residents of Guadalajara this weekend, as the western Mexican city became engulfed by drug war violence. Armed gangs actually blocked highways and set up seven roadblocks throughout the city on Saturday while setting vehicles on fire. Police are reporting that one person was seriously wounded by gunfire, but no arrests have been made. All of the roadblocks throughout have also since been cleared. Although Guadalajara has been relatively quiet in terms of drug-related violence compared to other cities, it certainly hasn't been immune: it experienced similar flaming roadblocks this past March as the military worked to arrest a prominent cartel leader. More than 55,000 people in Mexico have been killed in drug-related violence since President Felipe Calderon took office in December 2006 and launched his crackdown on cartels. It was recently reported that cartels have even infiltrated Mexico's Supreme Court.

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McCarton Ackerman is a freelance writer and editor living in Portland, Oregon. He has been a contributor for The Fix since October 2011, writing on a wide range of topics ranging from medical marijuana in Colorado to the world's sexiest drug smugglers. Follow him on Linkedin and Twitter.