Twelve people from the same family were killed Monday in Mexico in a massacre that has shocked the country. The victims, relatives of Mexican activist Julián LeBarón, were shot dead and burned in his car when they traveled in the State of Chihuaha.

The massacre is only one of the most extreme episodes of a country that lives at the hands of violence. On October 14, 13 police officers were killed in an ambush of a cartel. And, four days later, armed men from another cartel rescued the son of "El Chapo" after being captured by the troops.

Recent events put the police in the spotlight. Overflowed by events and with limited means, agents are unable to control the violence, as it counts The guardian. One of the agents has publicly denounced that officers are forced to buy their own bullets.

"We don't have the means to defend ourselves", said. "We don't have the support we need to face any criminal group."

The ambush on October 14 was claimed by the Jalisco de Nueva Generación cartel, or CJNG, a fast-growing group that is currently trying to dominate the Tierra Caliente region of Michoacán. Although the CJNG is aggressive, well funded and particularly well equipped, it faces smaller local groups that are very integrated in the area and maintain better relations with local politicians and police chiefs.

Audio recordings that circulated after the ambush, implied that the operation was designed to end those alliances.

For the residents of El Aguaje, the ambush simply confirmed what they had suspected. "This is the territory of Jalisco now. It used to be the territory of other groups, "one woman told the newspaper." The police are with another group, so they don't usually come here without an army escort. "

"Hugs, don't bullets"

For those who live amid the ever-changing fronts of the poster wars, it is vital to understand which faction controls what part of the territory. And that includes watching which side the police are on.

Corruption between police ranks is encouraged by bad salaries with which agents must buy bullets and uniforms. Several families of officers who died in El Aguaje refused to attend the tributes, protesting the miserable financial support they receive after their efforts.

One of the analysts consulted by The guardian points out that the crisis in the region is intensifying due to the security strategy "hugs, don't bullets" of President López Obrador. The president is determined to correct the militarized and hard-handed approach of his predecessors and has given orders to avoid direct confrontations with the cartels.

Peace will come, he says, once the new social programs provide new ways, beyond crime, to get out of poverty. Meanwhile, the president insists that his newly formed militarized national guard will enforce the law, but so far the new force has been busier preventing immigrants from reaching the United States than chasing organized criminals.