[QODLink]
Americas
Flaming roadblocks set off in west Mexico
Suspected armed gangs torch vehicles to block numerous highways in city of Guadalajara and surrounding Jalisco state.
Last Modified: 26 Aug 2012 09:07
Firefighters were deployed to extinguish lines of smoldering vehicles in Mexico's second largest city [Reuters]

Suspected armed gangs have set numerous vehicles on fire to block highways across Guadalajara, Mexico's second biggest city, amid a surge in drug-related violence.

Police confirmed 22 unauthorised barriers were caused by lines of charred, smouldering cars and trucks in the western Mexican state of Jalisco on Saturday. Seven of the roadblocks were in Guadalajara and the rest were in surrounding areas.

Luis Carlos Najera, police chief for Jalisco state, told reporters at a news conference late on Saturday that one man was seriously wounded by gunfire, but no arrests had been made.

"We don't know who is behind this operation," said Najera. He added that all of the roadblocks have since been cleared.

Guadalajara has not seen the level of drug cartel-related violence as other areas, but similar flaming roadblocks shook the city in early March as military forces successfully sought to arrest a prominent cartel leader.

Two people were killed during that operation in Jalisco state, which has been a stronghold of the Sinaloa Cartel since the 1980s, when traffickers first started to use Mexico as a base to smuggle cocaine into the United States.

It has recently seen an upsurge in violence as Sinaloa Cartel gunmen battle rivals from the upstart Zetas cartel, which is displacing older trafficking groups in many parts of Mexico.

More than 55,000 Mexicans have been killed in drug-related violence since President Felipe Calderon took office in December 2006 and launched his crackdown on cartels.

228

Source:
Agencies
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Featured on Al Jazeera
UNHCR says hundreds of people trapped in Yaloke town risk death if they are not evacuated to safety urgently.
'Justice for All' demonstrations swell across the US over the deaths of African Americans in police encounters.
Six former Guantanamo detainees are now free in Uruguay with some hailing the decision to grant them asylum.
Disproportionately high number of Aboriginal people in prison highlights inequality and marginalisation, critics say.
Featured
Long-standing dispute over Christian use of the word 'Allah' raises concerns about a very un-Merry Christmas.
The threat posed by ISIL has prompted thousands of young Kurds to join the PKK.
Baja California - with its own grim history of disappeared people - finds a voice in the fight against violence.
Russian feminist rockers fight system holding 700,000 - the world's largest per capita prison population after the US.
Weeks of growing protests against Muslims continue in Dresden with 15,000 hitting the streets last Monday.