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Fresnillo, Zacatecas: The City of Fear

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Video translation is as follows:

An anonymous call had alerted them that an armed criminal cell had torched a house. And that the fire threatened to spread through the San José subdivision community. The firefighters went to the address who gave them that trembling voice.

And they followed the protocol that was installed years ago  in the municipality of Fresnillo, Zacatecas. Wherever firefighters go they must be escorted by the police. Because fire in this city of 148,000 inhabitants is almost never an accident, it’s the way in which the narco trafficker signs his crimes.

And so tow trucks and the police accelerated towards the fire. Only to find that it was not one, not two, but three houses that were burning. And in front of them there were 6 recently murdered corpses of people with blood damp scalps. 

The Fresnillo municipal policeman, an expert in murders from seeing them daily, quickly connected the dots.

Some armed criminal cells entered the houses, took those people out, kneeled them to the ground, shot them dead, and burned their houses. So that not even their families were left with anything.

That day, February 16, three people were murdered in Fresnillo. A city that welcomed President Andrés Manual López Obrador’s visit with a desperate clamor. “Please do something for us, they are killing us.”

Fresnillo, Zacatecas, once a mining town with a quiet, almost boring life, is the new epicenter of national pain. Homicides have grown at a rate of 300 percent in the last year.

And no one is safe. In the last few days they have assassinated policemen, municipal workers, professionals, students, workers, children, and even a trainer from the national electoral district who was seeking to recruit functionaries for the upcoming elections.

Organized crime doesn’t rest. One day it burns houses. Another day it left corpses in the streets. They install narco laboratories, extort jewelry salesmen who live off of the sale of silver. And even places that sell religious articles of the Santo Niño de Atocha.

Too much violence for a municipality with the soul of a small town. The reason why Fresnillo is a war zone today is the same story that has been repeated frequently for several years.

One damn day in 2018, the Cartel Jalisco Nueva Generación entered the city. They wanted to claim her as their own and the blood began to flow as if the dead were infinite.

Zacatecas is criss crossed by El Mencho’s gunmen who want to wrest control of the state from the Sinaloa Cartel. Those who feel that they are the historical owners of this key region for moving drugs towards the United States, the Gulf, and the Mexican Pacific.

Ever since both cartels have clashed with each other. Fresnillo lost its luster of the vibrant city that had a large corridor of mining, automotive, and industrial manufacturing. Very little is now left.

When the sun goes away, so do the people. A species of forced confinement against the epidemic of murders that has destroyed the local economy. And for which they find no cure. A report from the government’s security cabinet portrays the drama in Zacatecas.

More than half of 58 percent of municipalities are threatened by organized crime. They pay extortion to criminals or distrust even their own police. More than a half.

And the other half tend to say in a macabre joke: They are so afraid that the mayors preferred to lie in the survey because in the state the drug trafficker has ears and eyes everywhere.

But the situation is especially critical in Fresnillo. The municipality where people feel most insecure throughout the country. This according to a national urban public safety survey conducted by INEGI stands above the city of Ecatepec or Ciudad Juárez.

There is a a fear to roam through the streets and not have your life affected by any of this.  Any sudden noise makes people tremble. And any fire in the distance is interpreted as someone’s luck has run out. They burned his house and probably his body is already lying on some dirt road. This is the city with the most favor in Mexico. Fresnillo, the city of fear. The one that cries out for help, but isn’t heard from much.


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