News / Americas

Mexico Beefs Up Security After Attacks on State Energy Firms

A plainclothes Mexican police officer takes pictures with his cellphone of a gas station following an arson attack in Morelia, Oct. 27, 2013.
A plainclothes Mexican police officer takes pictures with his cellphone of a gas station following an arson attack in Morelia, Oct. 27, 2013.
Reuters
— Mexico has stepped up security in a troubled western region after a string of attacks on electricity installations at the weekend that temporarily knocked out power for hundreds of thousands of people.
 
Energy Minister Pedro Joaquin Coldwell told reporters security forces had increased their presence at facilities of the state-run electricity company the Federal Electricity Commission (CFE) and oil monopoly Pemex in the violent state of Michoacan.
 
An unspecified number of substations were attacked and damaged early on Sunday, and six gas stations were also damaged, Michoacan's interior minister, Jaime Mares, told Mexican radio on Monday.
 
Local media said blackouts affected more than 400,000 people across the mountainous state of some 4.4 million. Parts of Michoacan have fallen under the control of criminal gangs who are fighting among themselves and against authorities.
 
Mares declined to say who may have been behind the attacks in Michoacan, where clashes between the powerful Knights Templar drug cartel and rival gangs have sparked much violence.
 
Raul Benitez, a security expert at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), said he believed the strikes had been carried out by the Knights Templar in retaliation for government efforts to crack down on the gang.
 
“It's a decision to carry out general terrorism,” Benitez said. “And this will now lead to a very strong response by the government, backed by the population.”
 
Petrol bombs were used in some of the attacks, which involved at least 19 CFE installations, local media said.
 
Mares said there were no deaths in the attacks, although local media reported that five suspected cartel henchmen were gunned down by vigilantes in the town of Aguililla near the city of Apatzingan, a stronghold of the Knights Templar.
 
Michoacan has been rocked by repeated explosions of civil unrest this year, and protesters have repeatedly blocked major streets and highways in the capital and other cities.
 
Compounding matters, vigilante groups have sprung up in the region this year which complain that state and federal police are not protecting them from the gangs.
 
President Enrique Pena Nieto in May sent a general to take over all police and military operations in the state.
 
Michoacan was where former President Felipe Calderon launched his military-led crackdown on drug cartels shortly after taking office at the end of 2006.
 
Though he succeeded in capturing or killing many capos, Calderon could not contain the violence between the gangs, which has since claimed around 80,000 lives.

You May Like

EU Court Fines Poland for Hosting CIA 'Black Sites'

Ruling is first time a court has acknowledged suspects were held and tortured at the sites, under US program launched following the 9/11 terrorist attacks More

Migrant Issues Close to Home Spur Groups to Take Action

Groups placing water, food in the desert, or aiding detainees after release, have one common goal: no more deaths of migrants crossing illegally into the US More

Video At AIDS Conference, Prevention Pill Stirs Excitement

Truveda shows promise, spurring debate over access and other approaches More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debatei
X
Shelley Schlender
July 24, 2014 6:43 PM
In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Death Toll From Israel-Gaza Conflict Surpasses 700

Gaza officials say a shelling hit a compound housing a United Nations-run school in the Gaza Strip, killing more than a dozen people, during an Israeli offensive in the area. Heavy fighting between the Israeli military and Hamas militants continued on Thursday, pushing up the death toll. So far, more than 730 Palestinians and 35 Israelis have been killed in the conflict. VOA's Scott Bobb has the latest from Jerusalem.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnels

The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video Researchers Target Low-Cost Avatar Technology

Scientists at the University of Southern California Institute for Creative Technologies say 3-dimensional representations could revolutionize social media. Elizabeth Lee has more from Los Angeles.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.

AppleAndroid

More Americas News

S. Africa Launches Campaign Against US Cuba Sanctions

ANC pledges to work against long-standing US sanctions
More

Honduran President Links Border Crisis to US Policy Divide

Human, drug traffickers 'perversely' exploit confusion about US immigration policy, Juan Orlando Hernandez tells reporters on Capitol Hill
More

Migrant Issues Close to Home Spur Groups to Take Action

Groups placing water, food in the desert, or aiding detainees after release, have one common goal: no more deaths of migrants crossing illegally into the US
More

House Republicans Present Border Plan for Child Migrant Crisis

Proposal, they say, offers alternative to emergency funding requested by President Obama to deal with massive influx of illegals
More

US Ambassador Calls for LGBT Rights

John Berry spoke at the 20th International AIDS Conference in Melbourne
More

China's Xi Praises Close Ties with Cuba

Head of China's Communist Party hails common socialist bond between his country and Cuba as he kicks off a state visit in Havana
More