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& In the annals of the Mexican criminal underworld, the son of a powerful drug lord was announced captured and paraded before cameras only for the authorities to later discover they had the wrong guy. Another gang leader was killed, but then associates stole the body. On Sunday, a kingpin presumed dead for more than three years reappeared in the news, to be declared really dead this time. The authorities said Nazario Moreno, a powerful gang leader known for his quasi-religious preachings that undergirded first the gang La Familia and more recently its spinoff, the Knights Templar, had died Sunday in a confrontation with the military. Officials were understandably cautious but said they had confirmed the man was Mr. Moreno this time. At least six people died in a wave of shootings over the weekend of March 8-9 in Mexico State. Gunmen opened fire on patrons leaving the Chelitas bar early Sunday, killing three people and leaving a fourth person seriously wounded. The gunmen left a banner outside the bar with a threatening message signed by the Familia Michoacana drug cartel. Six people were murdered in two separate shootings in Valle de Chalco, Mexico State, late March 23. At a residence, police found five bodies and another on a street near the house; the deaths might have been related to a gang fight. One person was killed and two others were injured at a market in another part of the municipality. Valle de Chalco is located about 15 km (9 miles) southeast of Iztapalapa, Mexico City.

On March 3, federal police and troops seized multiple illicit shipments of an unspecified mineral at the Port of Lazaro Cardenas in Michoacan. Authorities are analyzing the roughly 119,000 tons of minerals to determine where they originated.

Members of rural self-defense groups and their supporters marched to Apatzingan City Hall on March 3, demanding the resignation of Mayor Uriel Chavez Mendoza. The demonstrators claimed that Chavez Mendoza is corrupt and has ties to the Knights Templar criminal organization. Chavez Mendoza has denied the allegations, saying they are baseless and could incite violence. Federal Police officers were dispatched to Apatzingan City Hall to prevent clashes between vigilante groups and the mayor's supporters. Nazario Moreno Gonzalez, (aka "El Chayo"), died in a confrontation with military forces March 9 in Tumbiscatio, Michoacan. Moreno was a founding member of La Familia Michoacana drug trafficking organization (DTO), and later a leader of the Knights Templar. Authorities believed he had died in 2010, but have now confirmed he died in the March 9 confrontation with Mexican Marine troops. On March 12, federal police arrested Hipolito Mora, leader of a Michoacan State vigilante group, in the town of La Ruana for his alleged involvement in the murder of two men March 7. The two victims, believed to be members of a rival vigilante group, were burned to death in the neighboring town of Buenavista Tomatlan. Mora reportedly surrendered to police two days after hundreds of police, military, and paramilitary forces deployed to La Ruana and Buenavista Tomatlan in an effort to begin disarming the competing vigilante groups. On March 15, near Los Olivos, La Huacana Muncipality, Federal Police arrested Rey Santibanez Cornejo (aka "El Rey"), a leader of the Knights Templar drug trafficking organization (DTO). He was found with narcotics and several firearms. About 300 Michoacan State Preventative Police (PEP) officers stationed in Morelia began an indefinite strike March 27 to demand backpay, higher salaries, and better equipment. They have threatened to protest outside the Michoacan legislature until the government addresses their grievances. Officials with the Michoacan Public Security Secretariat (SSP) has said that they plan to negotiate with the striking policemen.

Multiple flyers that were signed in the name of a group called the Alberto Carrera Torres Brigade were distributed throughout Ciudad Victoria, Tamaulipas on March 4. In the messages, the Alberto Carrera Torres Brigade, which identified itself as a community selfdefense group, claimed to have killed or wounded 16 members of Los Zetas. Assailants carried out a grenade attack on a residence in the Campestre neighborhood (map) of Ciudad Victoria, Tamaulipas, early March 24. Unconfirmed reports indicate that the property belongs to the parents of Mayor Alejandro Entienne Llano. Police say that two hand grenades were used in the attack, which did not result in any injuries.

On March 27, 10 suspected members of Los Zetas criminal organization were killed during a shootout with troops and police in the city of Perote, Veracruz (map). According to officials, the gunfight broke out after a security patrol came under fire it they drove past a house. Police say that the suspects were members of a Los Zetas kidnapping ring. Perote is located about 120 km (75 miles) northwest of the city of Veracruz.

On March 3, Federal Police forces detained hundreds of protesters in Cualican, Sinaloa State who were demanding the release of world-renowned drug trafficking leader of the Sinaloa Cartel "El Chapo" Guzman. Early March 3, local social media outlets

instructed citizens throughout the state to gather at the shrine of Jesus Malverde and proceed toward the city center. Later in the day, police authorities issued arrest warrants to those who were "disturbing the peace" and justifying the criminal organizations. Protesters refused the initial order to disperse until a gunshot from an unknown source went off, ending the rallies.

Four people were killed and another 11 were injured during a shooting at a festival in the Primo Tapia area of Rosarito, Baja California, late March 16. Police reported that a group of men armed with AK-47s drove up to celebration in a white SUV and opened fire in the direction of a group of musicians. Officers are focusing their investigation on one unidentified victim, who they believe was the target of the attack. According to officials, most of the victims were from Tijuana or Rosarito.

On March 4, three Federal Police officers were arrested for robbing a group of Chinese tourists in Zihuatanejo, Guerrero. According to officials, the suspects beat the victims and robbed them of about USD 2,300.

On March 5, Oaxaca State Police arrested 12 men who claimed they were part of a vigilante group based in the municipality of San Sebastian Rio Hondo. State Public Security ordered the suspects' arrest after they made an appearance in the municipality's central plaza on March 2. During the appearance, the self-proclaimed community militia said that their objective was to provide security for San Sebastian Rio Hondo.

Security Mexico Monthly Newsletter - March 2014  
Security Mexico Monthly Newsletter - March 2014