Reporting on the Mexican Cartel Drug War

Vicente Carrillo Fuentes Organization The Juarez Cartel

Monday, September 14, 2009 |

The Vicente Carrillo Fuentes organization, also known as the Juarez cartel, is based out of Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua state, across the border from El Paso, Texas. It also has a presence in much of northern Chihuahua state and parts of Nuevo Leon and Sonora states.

The cartel is led by Vicente Carrillo Fuentes, brother of original leader Amado Carrillo. Believed to be second-in-command is his nephew, Vicente Carrillo Leyva.

The Juarez cartel has had a long-standing alliance with the Beltran Leyva brothers, based on family and business ties. This past year, however, Carrillo Fuentes has turned to Los Zetas to aid in the defense of Juarez.

Over the past year, the Juarez cartel has been locked in a vicious battle with its former partner, the Sinaloa cartel, for control of Juarez. The fighting between them has left more than 2,000 dead in Chihuahua state so far this year.


The Juarez cartel relies on two enforcement arms to exercise control over both sides of the border: La Linea, a group of current and former Chihuahua police officers, is prevalent on the Mexican side, while the large street gang Barrio Azteca operates in Texas, in cities such as El Paso, Dallas and Austin.

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