Bishop denounces spread of gangs in southern Mexico


The new Archbishop of Antequera-Oaxaca, José Luis Chávez Botello, has denounced the rapid spread of Central American gangs in southern Mexico, and called attention to the “lack of resources and capability” of the local governments to combat them.

“Sometimes not even the state has the capability and we should be honest, not because they don’t want to, but because they do not have the resources, or because they see our laws and sometimes it is outside their competence,” explained the bishop, adding that the gangs are examples of organized crime and that therefore it is necessary y that all three levels of government—federal, state and local—take coordinated action against them.

 “The reason these gangs engage in violence is not because of injustice, it’s now something else.  It’s now organized crime, and therefore the response has to be different,” the bishop added.

Therefore, he continued, “the rapid and articulated presence of local, state and federal governments is urgently needed to be aware of these outbreaks and not allow them to create serious problems.”

National Migration Institute has acknowledged that the gangs have become a security problem for Mexico, deporting last year over 188,000 illegal aliens, mostly Central Americans, to their countries of origin.

Archbishop Chávez warned that if the gangs are not stopped, they could cause serious harm to society “and new gangs could spring up and would have to be watched.”  He concluded reaffirming the necessity of combating the lack of education and values which exists in Mexican society.

In recent months southern Mexico has seen a surge in the number of gangs on the border areas with Guatemala and Belize due to ant-gang laws that we passed in 2003 in El Salvador and Honduras.

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