- Mexican drug cartel control some parts of the country.
- The Jalisco New Generation Cartel, the Sinaloa Cartel, and the Gulf Cartel are the prime drug trafficking organizations in Mexico.
- President Lopez Obrador’s administration has said that the government is making progress in fighting crime.
A new report by the Washington Post reveals that Mexican drug trafficking groups control approximately 20 percent of the territory. The startling finding was documented in 2018 following a research investigation launched by the Central Intelligence Agency.
This was before current President Lopez Obrador came to power. It highlights that the Mexican government is still far from attaining total control over the country.
The study names the Jalisco New Generation Cartel, the Sinaloa Cartel, and the Gulf Cartel as the prime drug trafficking organizations in Mexico.
It illustrates that there are about 200 smaller criminal groups linked to the three major syndicates. Many of them operate as enforcement and drug distribution gangs. Most of the smaller groups reportedly survive through extortion, stealing oil, and kidnappings.
President Obrador’s administration has hit out at the new report and said that it was compiled before he became president and is therefore not an accurate reflection of the current situation. The following is part of the message posted by the Secretariat of Security and Civilian Protection in regard to this.
“With the @GN_MEXICO_ the presence of the #Security forces was spread throughout the national territory, in all corners and regions, many of them previously dominated by criminal organizations.”
A Spike in Violence
Mexico has experienced a spike in homicides in the past two years. Cumulatively, over 70,000 murders were reported in 2018 and 2019. Many of the murders were found to be gang-related as the numerous drug trafficking organizations squabble over trafficking territory.
President Lopez Obrador’s administration has failed miserably in implementing some of its anti-cartel policies, hence these results. In October last year, a contingent of military officers launched an unsuccessful operation aimed at capturing Ovidio Guzman, the son of famed Mexican drug lord, ‘El Chapo’ Guzman.
The arresting authorities were pinned down by gunfire after Sinaloa Cartel hitmen swarmed into the state. The authorities were eventually forced to release him.
A more successful operation was carried out more recently in Guanajuato. It was aimed at dismantling the Santa Rosa de Lima Cartel which is based in the state.
Its leader, José Antonio Yépez Ortiz, also known as El Marro was arrested. Adán Ochoa who emerged as the new head of the organization following El Marro’s arrest was incarcerated soon after.
The arrests were aimed at reducing drug-related violence in the region. Much of it was precipitated by battles between elements of the Jalisco New Generation Cartel and the Santa Rosa de Lima Cartel. The violence has, however, yet to subside.
Elsewhere, the state of Zacatecas is experiencing an escalation in gang-related violence. The main dueling factions in the area are reported to be the CJNG and the Sinaloa Cartel. A reorganization of smaller loyalist groups is said to have triggered the most recent upsurge in attacks. The authorities seem to have little control over what’s going on there.