The criminal shadow of the CJNG: how it took advantage of the pandemic to spread through Mexico

The Jalisco Nueva Generación Cartel took advantage of the pandemic to expand its territory (Photo: Jovany Pérez Silva / Infobae México)

Despite the pandemic of COVID-19 hit drug trafficking operations, groups like the Jalisco New Generation Cartel (CJNG) adapted and even They took advantage of the situation to expand their territory, as the authorities would be distracted attending to the health emergency.

Under the assumption that the security forces are engaged in activities related to the pandemic such as the surveillance of hospitals, and with a reduced capacity to intervene in shootings”Revealed a report by the International Crisis Group (ICG).

Considered the third criminal force in the world by the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the CJNG dominates in 24 of 32 Mexican entities.

Power that tried to expand in the middle of the pandemic, as revealed by (ICG), an organization whose purpose is to prevent and resolve deadly conflicts around the world. In 2010, those led by Nemesio Oseguera Cervantes, The MenchoThey barely had a presence in four states of the republic, which has shown their growth in a decade.

On behalf of Mencho, the CJNG has directed messages in videos, where he shows his ability to fire (Photo: Screenshot)
On behalf of Mencho, the CJNG has directed messages in videos, where he shows his ability to fire (Photo: Screenshot)

But those led by Nemesio Oseguera Cervantes, The Mencho, they have not managed to consolidate their hegemony in most states. Even in Guanajuato, where it has gained more presence after the fall of José Antonio Yépez Ortiz, The Brown, once head of the Santa Rosa de Lima Cartel who maintained a checkpoint in the state, moving from fuel theft to other crimes such as assault, kidnapping and extortion.

“‘They are still a long way from being in full control … [y] the state remains extremely hot‘, said [el 21 de agosto pasado] a source that works with the upper echelons of the cartel, referring to the prevalence of the conflict between groups competing for power ”.

Guanajuato is an entity in the center of the country, therefore considered a strategic site for the transit of drugs from the Pacific to the coast of the Gulf of Mexico. and its connection with the northern border in the United States. The Brown he was arrested last August 2 and his lieutenant a couple of months later. Since then, the Santa Rosa de Lima Cartel has operated in cells to prevent the CJNG from leaving the territory free.

The ICG report indicates that the 198 criminal groups operating in Mexico were forced to suspend their illicit activities by interruptions in trade and restrictions on mobility. But the pause was brief. Well, the traffic of narcotics is already returning to normal.

The delivery of pantries is strategic for the drug cartels, because with it they buy loyalties (Photo: Screenshot)
The delivery of pantries is strategic for the drug cartels, because with it they buy loyalties (Photo: Screenshot)

“The Jalisco Nueva Generación Cartel, the criminal group with more force now, has shown its teeth during the pandemic in struggles for control of illicit markets such as drug trafficking and the collection of ‘taxes’ on legal primary products. It has also shown its paramilitary power in the media, ”the report detailed.

According to reports from the CJNG to the ICG, the tough measures of cocaine producing and exporting countries in South America put pressure on the criminal economy. For example, Colombia closed its maritime and land borders, except freight trade, since March 17. All international flights were suspended with gradual reopening in September.

End of may, referred an informant from Mencho a la ONG, imports to Mexico of chemical precursors were already “flowing very well again”. With which it is sustained that the commercial interruptions were brief.

Other actions reported by the ICG, which criminal factions carried out during the pandemic, was the delivery of pantries to vulnerable communities. The CJNG, for example, gave away goods in municipalities of Guanajuato like Cuerámaro, Romita, Salamanca, Manuel Doblado, Pueblos del Rincón; also in Zapopan, Jalisco; as well as south of Veracruz in Coatzacoalcos, Córdoba, Tlacotalpan and Medellín.

El Marro and El Mencho began a bloody battle for the territory that Guanajuato has suffered in the last year (Photo: Special)
El Marro and El Mencho began a bloody battle for the territory that Guanajuato has suffered in the last year (Photo: Special)

Although some analysts refer that the Mencho group surpassed the historic Sinaloa Cartel (with links on the five continents). The DEA offers a reward of 10 million dollars for data leading to the capture of the leader of the CJNG, what It has allegedly spread to the very capital of the country, although local authorities deny that presence.

MORE ON THIS TOPIC:

Highway ditches, the strategy of the settlers in Michoacán to avoid the CJNG siege

The fight against the CJNG in Michoacán: in photos, the destruction of the roads to prevent the advance of the criminal group

The dangerous arsenal of war in the hands of the CJNG: Barret rifles, grenade launchers, anti-aircraft machine guns and Russian rocket launchers

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