but a busy one as my Wednesday’s always are…it started with me picking up Gail and Larry and we went into town and parked and then went into the main Jardin where we joined a walking tour of down town SMA I have known about this tour for a long time but never taken it and the three of us really enjoyed the tour guide Marmie, she was a hoot and very knowledgeable and I learned a lot and also saw things I had not seen before. Well worth taking if in town!!!!
Check out some of the photos…
My shot of the day!!!
I bailed out a few minutes early and left G & L and went to my poker afternoon where I am very happy to report my winning ways returned in the sum of 200 pesos
We had to move out of the restaurant where we have played for a long time they are doing renovations so one of the guys invited us to come to his home so a nice setting..
…immediately after I went and picked up Paola and drove her to her class and then came home and got cleaned up and got my class notes ready and then went back for Paola, we stopped for a chicken dinner for her to take home and after I dropped her home went straight to my English class.
Tonight we did some book work, then a spelling test and then read an article I had printed out for them on the drug cartels in Mexico which we all found interesting and finished off with a game and chocolates as rewards…another great class.
This is the article we read and talked about!!!
Most of the violence is attributed to fighting between rival drug gangs
Tens of thousands of people have been killed in drug-related violence in Mexico over the past seven years.
Most of the violence is attributed to fighting between rival drug gangs for control of territory and drug shipment routes. Who are these groups and who are they fighting against?
Who are the main players?
The Zetas are one of Mexico's largest cartels, with operations in Central America as well as Mexico
Mexico's largest and most powerful drug gangs are the Zetas and the Sinaloa cartel. The Zetas operate in more than half of Mexico's states and, according to US geopolitical analysis firm Stratfor, overtook their rivals from the Sinaloa cartel in 2012 in terms of geographic presence. Stratfor says the Zetas' brutal violence gave the gang an advantage over the Sinaloa cartel, which prefers to bribe people.
However, the Zetas have reportedly been weakened by the loss of their long-time leader Heriberto "El Lazca" Lazcano, who was killed by the Mexican military in October 2012, and his replacement, Miguel Angel Trevino, who was arrested in July 2013.
Mexico's government hailed the arrest of Zetas leader Miguel Angel Trevino as a great success
Other influential and violent cartels are the Knights Templar, the Gulf cartel and the Cartel Jalisco Nueva Generacion.
What do the cartels do?
Cartels control much of the heroin, cocaine, methamphetamines and marijuana trades
Mexico's cartels control much of the illegal drugs trade from South America to the United States.
They import cocaine from South America and smuggle it on to the US. Some groups grow and smuggle marijuana, while others have specialised in manufacturing methamphetamines, importing precursor drugs from as far away as China.
Most cartels also extort local businesses and bolster their finances through kidnappings for ransom. They have also been involved in people smuggling, prostitution rings, intimidation and murder,
Who is fighting whom?
Vigilante groups have entered the fray in Mexico, arguing that federal forces cannot protect them
Government security forces are fighting the drug cartels in an attempt to re-establish law and order. Rival cartels are at war with each other in bitter territorial battles.
There is also internecine warfare between cartel members, and the emergence of break-away factions is not unusual.
The Zetas, for example, were first created as the enforcement arm of the Gulf cartel, but later turned on their former allies and have been at war with them ever since. The Knights Templar are an off-shoot of La Familia Michoacana, a cartel that was weakened after the killing of its leader in 2010.
Allegiances shift, and former rivals sometimes band together to fight emerging groups.
Vigilante groups have emerged in the western states of Guerrero and Michoacan
Dressed in their trademark white clothes, they have taken control of a number of villages and towns
Vigilante groups made up of civilians who say they are fed up with the lack of action by the security forces emerged in 2012 in the western states of Michoacan and Guerrero to fight the Knights Templar.
The Knights Templar have accused them of being in league with their rivals from the Cartel Jalisco Nueva Generacion.
What has been Mexico's strategy to tackle drug-related violence?
The army has been deployed to Michoacan where violence has been on the rise over the past months
Before taking up office, President Enrique Pena Nieto said he would break with the approach of Felipe Calderon, his predecessor.
Mr Calderon had deployed the army to go after cartel kingpins and had declared "war" on the drug gangs.
Mr Pena Nieto promised a lower-profile approach aimed at tackling the violence on a local level by setting up a national gendarmerie to take over from the troops.
But with growing violence in Michoacan, he too sent the army to back up federal and local police forces.
He also struck a deal with vigilante groups, allowing them to keep their weapons as long as they agreed to be integrated in the official security forces.
Where are the worst hit areas?
According to a study by international think tank Institute for Economics and Peace, northern Mexico continues to be the region worst affected by drug-related violence due to its proximity to the United States, the region's most important market for illicit drugs.
But Guerrero on the Pacific coast and central Morelos state have joined the list of most violent states, suggesting the cartels are extending their area of influence.
A study by Mexico's Citizens' Council for Public Security and Penal Justice suggests the city of Oaxaca has the highest occurrence of violent crime, followed by the resort town of Acapulco and Cuernavaca in Morelos state.