Push for peace agreement with cartels gains momentum following support from AMLO

Drug cartels negotiate peace, inspired by a heartfelt plea from mothers seeking closure for Mexico's forcibly disappeared victims.

At the end of May, Delia Icela Quiroa Flores, spokesperson for the “Union of Searching Mothers’ Collectives” in Tamaulipas, asked ten Mexican drug cartels to sign a “peace agreement and eradication of the forced disappearance of persons.”

In a recording, the human rights activist and spokesperson for the Colectivo Nacional de Víctimas Diez de Marzo personally addressed the Jalisco Cartel – New Generation (CJNG), the Sinaloa Cartel (CDS), the Gulf Cartel (CDG), the Northwest Cartel (CDN), the Old School Zetas Cartel, Los Salazar and the Tijuana Cartel.

As well as the Ciudad Juarez Cartel, the Beltran Leyva Cartel, the Familia Michoacana and/or the Knights Templar.

“I, Delia, sister of Roberto, who disappeared on March 10, 2014, in Reynosa Tamaulipas, have decided to speak to you directly through this document,” Delia Icela said in a video.

Una mujer que pertenece a la ONG Madres Buscadoras muestra restos humanos localizados en una fosa clandestina, el 24 de noviembre de 2021, en Hermosillo (México). EFE/ Daniel Sánchez
A woman from the NGO Madres Buscadoras shows human remains in a clandestine grave, on November 24, 2021, in Hermosillo, Mexico. EFE/ Daniel Sánchez

She added that her “collective longs for our missing relatives to return, dead or alive, as well as for this practice to be eliminated in the national territory (…), and that is why we need your help and collaboration.”

She pointed out that the letter’s objective is that the criminal structures can sign the document, which she called: “Social Pact to Prevent and Eradicate the Disappearance of Persons in Mexico and Promote Peace.”

In that message, the activist argued that the leaders and members of drug trafficking were seen by the people as heroes “because they were among the few who stood up to abuses of authority.” But now, he said, most drug traffickers enter the criminal world because of “hunger, discrimination, and the lack of opportunities that prevent them from getting ahead.”

“You and we have something in common, our government abuses us, you when you are detained, and we, as victims, who are looking for our relatives, having no one to defend us, because both victims and accused, we are forced to go through judicial procedures that are an endless torture, and those who suffer all this are our families,” he explained.

Los colectivos de familiares que buscan a personas desaparecidas han intentado contrarrestar este grave problema que vulnera a todo el país. (FOTO: FERNANDO CARRANZA GARCIA /CUARTOSCURO)
The collectives of relatives searching for missing persons have tried to counteract this serious problem that affects the whole country. (PHOTO: FERNANDO CARRANZA GARCIA /CUARTOSCURO)

He added that the only thing the “Searching Mothers” want is to know what happened to their missing relatives and, if they have passed away, access to a dignified burial.

President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador supported the activist’s petition in his morning conference on May 30 following the call.

I agree. I wish peace could be achieved, it is what we all wish for, that there be no violence, homicides, and no aggressions because it affects everyone (…) I approve of everything that means setting aside or not using violence”, he said.

Delia’s petition was joined by “Searching Mothers” from other states, such as Sonora and Jalisco.

Almost a month after the petition, the Northeast Cartel responded to the request of the “Searching Mothers” and the approval of President Lopez Obrador.

“This organization responds to their call for a truce and joins them. In no way signifies weakness, but rather seeks the peace and well-being of Mexico,” said a member of the CDN in a video showing nine other people with their faces covered with balaclavas, tactical equipment, and long weapons.

The subject of the CDN, an organization that was derived from the Zetas Cartel, pointed out that “we are all Mexicans. We also have mothers, fathers, children, and siblings. We are human, and we want to tell you that we, regardless of your call, have spoken with the CDG(Matamoros Gulf Cartel) of Matamoros, and we are in peace talks”.

La veracidad de la grabación fue confirmada a Infobae México por Cecilia Flores, líder de las madres buscadoras de Sonora. (Foto: Twitter/ @buscadorasonora)
The veracity of the recording was confirmed to Infobae Mexico by Cecilia Flores, leader of the “Searching Mothers” of Sonora. (Photo: Twitter/ @buscadorasonora)

The integrity of the recording was confirmed to Infobae Mexico by Cecilia Flores, leader of “Searching Mothers” of Sonora, who mentioned that they had received calls from people from organized crime groups who had told them that they had no objection to their searching.

In addition, she said, they have been given the location of places where they can find missing private persons. However, these individuals have never identified themselves as belonging to a criminal structure.

He added that another letter would be sent in the next few days so that the missing drug cartels join the truce signed by the Northeast Cartel.

Why fentanyl is no longer being manufactured in Sinaloa

On the other hand, the Culiacán newspaper Ríodoce reported on June 14 that in Sinaloa, there is a rumor that the Los Chapitos faction of the Pacific Cartel ordered to stop the production and trafficking of fentanyl.

“We were told not to cook because if we did, it would be very bad for us. That’s why nobody is making fentanyl right now. Everything is stopped,” a local “cook” told the newspaper.

Los Chapitos dieron la instrucción de no hacer fentanilo con el afán de apartarse del foco luego de que el gobierno de los EEUU los señalara como los principales productores del opioide sintético altamente adictivo Foto: REUTERS/Alexandre Meneghini
Los Chapitos gave the instruction not to make fentanyl to get out of the spotlight after the US government pointed out that they were the main producers of the highly addictive synthetic opioid Photo: REUTERS/Alexandre Meneghini.

According to various sources consulted by the media, Los Chapitos gave this instruction to remove themselves from the public spotlight after the U.S. government identified them as the main producers of the highly addictive synthetic opioid, which has killed approximately 110,000 Americans by 2022, according to estimates by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Following the increase in deaths from the fentanyl epidemic in the U.S., some Republican senators have tried to pressure Joe Biden’s administration to consider Mexican drug cartels as Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTOs) so that the U.S. military can enter Mexico to combat these groups; however, these initiatives have not passed in Congress.

The latest proposal was presented on June 22, when Senators John Cornyn and Angus King introduced the PARTNERS Act, which seeks to have the U.S. Department of Defense instruct Mexican military forces in the U.S. to combat the criminal organizations responsible for drug trafficking.

“This bill would equip Mexican forces with the training they need to help them confront the murderous cartels and keep our countries safe and secure,” said Senator Cornyn, who indicated that the violence unleashed by these drug trafficking groups must be stopped.