Reporting on the Mexican Cartel Drug War

What Jalisco's Constellation of Gangs Shows about Mexico

Thursday, February 9, 2012 |

The Mexican Army says that six different gangs are currently fighting for control of Jalisco, making the populous Pacific state a microcosm of the shifting alliances and ever-changing fronts of battles raging across the nation.



by Patrick Corcoran
In Sight Crime



As Excelsior reported, General Genaro Fausto Lozano pointed to six gangs fighting for control of Jalisco: the Sinaloa Cartel, the Jalisco Cartel New Generation (CJNG, for its initials in Spanish), the Resistance, the Caballeros Templarios, the Familia Michoacana, and the Beltran Leyva Organization.

The absence of the Zetas from this list is striking. If Lozano is correct in excluding them, this would mark a sudden shift in the local landscape, but logic suggests it was simply an oversight by the military commander. Last fall, the Zetas were blamed for the massacre of dozens of youths, whose bodies were left inside a truck parked in the middle of Guadalajara. In October, an Excelsior reporter rode along with a military detachment as they searched for Zetas (and other gangs) along the Zacatecas-Jalisco border region. And last year, an article by two government officials, one of whom was Interior Secretary Alejandro Poire, detailed the incursion of the Zetas into the region as far back as 2010.

In any event, the collection of gangs mentioned by Lozano includes both recently emerging, primarily local groups (the Resistance and the CJNG) and the transnational gangs for which Mexico is notorious (principally the Sinaloa Cartel). The larger gangs often pair up with locals to fight a common enemy, but the patchwork of alliances does little to smooth over what is an increasingly chaotic situation.

Indeed, it is often exceedingly difficult to determine the composition of the alliances on a given day, or tell where the dividing lines are. The CJNG are said to be the local agents of the Sinaloa Cartel, because they have a common enemy (the Zetas) and because they are thought to be staffed by the former lieutenants of deceased Sinaloa capo Nacho Coronel.

But it’s not clear that the links between the two groups are particularly extensive or that they will prove enduring. It’s perhaps noteworthy that Coronel’s old subordinates regrouped under a new name, rather than incorporating themselves into the Sinaloa Cartel. It is also worth mentioning that the CJNG play for the Zetas stronghold of Veracruz comes without any conspicuous role from their supposed masters in the Sinaloa foothills. And on at least one occasion, a message left with a dead body and signed by the CJNG has taunted Sinaloa.

The nuances of the relationships among the other gangs operating in Jalisco are similarly unclear. The Resistance has been described as allied to the Zetas and to the Familia Michoacana, though other reports have depicted them as enemies of both these groups. This interplay among the Jalisco gangs demonstrates that, contrary to the widespread belief that all smaller groups are subsidiaries to one of the larger networks, the low-level gangs have been able to carve out an autonomous toehold.

The local gangs operating in Jalisco and elsewhere also demonstrate that the model of the transnational group, controlling every step of production and transportation, is less and less relevant to today's Mexico. Many of the gangs in Jalisco have no known connections to Colombia, nor do they control valuable plazas in the border region, nor do they have retail partners in the US. These groups, and others like them in Acapulco and elsewhere, either buy into another gang's smuggling network in order to ship drugs northward, or they extract their profits from the local population, whether through extortion, kidnapping, car-jacking, or retail drug sales.

In this sense, Jalisco reflects one of the most important criminal dynamics across Mexico. Around the country, such smaller groups have emerged from the splinters of larger gangs brought down by competition and government pursuit. The growth of these regional gangs and the relative weakening of the hegemonic gangs has typically been a force for bloodshed. The upsurge in killings in Mexico amid this process is well documented, and has affected Jalisco over the past two years in particular: according to the National System of Public Security, the number of murders in the state leaped from 570 to 882 from 2009 to 2010, and jumped to more than 1,100 in the first 11 months of last year.

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44 Borderland Beat Comments:

Anonymous said...

That is why the government or the cartels in Mexico will never take out Los Zetas. Los Zetas are VERY different from the cartels in Mexico, they are more of a mafia group/organized crime group rather than drug trafficking group or cartel. The big difference between Los Zetas and the Sinaloa Cartel, Beltran Leyvas, CT, Tijuana and even the splintered groups is that. In Los Zetas the money goes up not down, meaning that the crews of the cells have to kick up money to the cell leader, the cell leader kicks up money to the plaza boss, the plaza boss kick up money to the commadante and the commadantes kick up money to the Zetas Viejos or bosses. The Los Zetas structure is more of a hierarchy rather than a network(like most if not all cartels in Mexico), hence that's why they don't splinter when the military kills or captures a cell leader, plaza boss, commadante etc. There is no competition in a hierchy because the replacement is already established before the cell leader, plaza boss, commadante, Zeta boss is killed or captured. In a network, there is no hierarchy or established replacement. So when the military kills or captures a guy operating in a town or so, they leave a power vacuum behind and hence the infighting and splintering we see in all of the cartels except Los Zetas.

Anonymous said...

Yea u stupid fuck, Los Zetaputoz and all the cartels are a bunch of pussies who prey on the weak, if their so tough why do they hide when the Mexican. Military cruises through Zacatecas...........fuck you all who praise the cartels.

Anonymous said...

....dude you been doing to much meth and watching" American Me" to many times. Get some sleep....

Anonymous said...

I don't know what you are talking about but in my town the zetas have been wiped out of the picture..

Anonymous said...

Interesting ,interesting that's why ZETAS said GO FORWARD AHEAD OR STAY LEFT BEHIND.

Anonymous said...

@February 9, 2012 7:16 PM

Good fantasy cheer leading butdude come on know
if anything your gods Los Zetas are just a bunch of low lifes.That extort, kidnap, rape etc..
They are street, the only reason they are still around it's because they are a bunch of idiots that either claim or just get in like U.S. gangs.
They are not a Cartel!!!

Anonymous said...

These pinche sssholes r all the same, nothing but scum bag, worthless SOBs!!!
Nothing but fucked up, doped up illiterate no good for nothing stupidos!!!
Any criminal who kills for pleasure as it seems these shit heads do,has a major fucking problem , and should be the first ones to be killed and taken off the streets of society!!
Forgive me Lord, I am sooo upset as to all the violence and corruption!!!
Have a good weekend!! And happy st valentines day!!!

Anonymous said...

Can someone translate this?

El pacto de “El Coss” Ejército y Marina lo cobijan parte 1 parte 2 parte 3

http://www.historiasdelnarco.com/2012/02/el-pacto-de-el-coss-ejercito-y-marina.html

http://www.historiasdelnarco.com/2012/02/el-pacto-de-el-coss-ejercito-y-marina_07.html

http://www.historiasdelnarco.com/2012/02/el-pacto-de-el-coss-ejercito-y-marina_4510.html

Thanks.

Anonymous said...

I have no idea if that's true but I have no way of saying its not true. But all the same I thank you for the insight.

Cheers!

Anonymous said...

That could still be true. I am thinking because if you take out enought Z's in one area then perchance no one wants to replace them and/or there is not enough Z's (or no Z's) to replace them. Or perchance just driven out.

So maybe your both correct?

Anonymous said...

Zetas dont splintered? Where do u think la familia michoacana came from and later los caballeros templarios in case u dont know la FM splintered fromthe zetas and started fighting off their creators to control mich. And

Anonymous said...

Would be nice to know what plazas in jalisco these 6 control , also they forgot los Valencias

Anonymous said...

I think the Zs operate much like a traditional mafia in their hierarchy, but the original Zs are the glue that holds the group together tactically. Chop off the heads of the original Zs and watch the cells start fighting with each other.

Anonymous said...

Likewise. Well stated. Sophisticated minds all around the mota y jale con los beltranes chapo y El mayo lazca y Z40. Remember they were brought in by cardenas guillen. Say what you want about all of them but those hombres are getting feria. Guillen was making 41 mil over a three month frame in Atlanta alone when he had his little window. That's alot of volume. Judgment day comes for all of us sooner or later. El Diablo ahuevo.

Anonymous said...

1:42 Well the thing with Los Zetas is that they don't really have several heads but only one head that being Lazcano Lazcano. Z-40 is the only one that might give Lazcano run for it's money because of the political/law enforcement connections established via his family but besides that we have witnessed again and again that the Los Zetas don't splinter. Over the past years several commadantes and founding Zetas have been captured/killed, yet to be replaced quickly because of how they are structured. I'm just waiting for the fall of Lazcano or Z-40 to witness how the base of Los Zetas structure reacts or does.

PUEBLO said...

who exactly are "La resistencia" are they Valencia members? ex-familia members, CT members? who are they?

Anonymous said...

The key phrase is "no known connection to Colombia". Just because they aren't aware, doesn't mean it is not happening. I find this hard to believe as I know for fact there are Colombians in Guadalajara who do not work in Mexico and yet travel back to Colombia for "business".

Zeta have been kidnapping wealthy businessmen in Vallarta for 2 years now and the Federales are aware of it, so I have no clue where this guys information is coming from. He sounds a little antiquated.

There are also rumors of a Zeta/Sinaloa agreement to share Vallarta. This would be almost impossible to confirm.

Vallarta murder rate doubled last year. A lot of the killings resemble Zeta killings. All people shot or killed indiscriminately. The Sinaloans ever handled it this way.

Plaza boss of the area is in jail and has been running things from there. Zeta's killed his brother in front of a seafood place a month or so ago. It was nothing more than a statement that they plan to take the plaza.

I would really be careful what you read as it pertains to Mexico. 90% of the information coming from the net has no credibility. This usually makes for amusing reading, but people in the US really should not write about what they do not witness with their own eyes. Making assumptions from thousands of miles away and based on an un-trained diagnostic thought process is also not the best way to go about things.

There has been a conscious effort to contain the news of the violence along the Mexican Riviera. If the gingos leave, the smallest beach towns will collapse. Much of these places is completely dependant on tourist dollars.

I have listened to gringos argue in the bars about the violence. Some actually believe there is no violence but only because they are the ignorant sort who refuse to learn to speak spanish and can't read the newspapers. Even with this ego, they should still be able to see the front pages with their eyes. The photos on the newspaper here are quite raw.

Many of these people have a vested interest in tourism so they will remain in denial until it is time for them to open their eyes. At this time it will be too late. The safety on even the quietest of towns is being threatened. If you hear someone say the violence has not hit Jalisco as yet, tell them they are blind and should go to Jalisco and see for themselves.

Anonymous said...

Sure what you say might be true but everyone gets tired of scraps with time. And if most of the money goes to the higher bosses then the soldiers will eventualy get tired for working close to nothing and splinter off. In the world of the cartels not one cartel stays strong they ALWAYS fall your only on top for so long and you slip up its was demonstrated in the past and it will happen in the future.

Anonymous said...

February 10, 2012 12:15 AM
motherfucker la familia michoacana works for gulf cartel with zetas. if u dont know then shut ur hole.

Anonymous said...

Who currently runs Puerto Vallarta? Things there seem very very tranquil from what I've seen in comparison to other parts of Mexico. I'm just curious if that's positioned to change and turn into a disaster like Acapulco given the rivalry going on and I'd assume Puerto Vallarta from an extortion and retail sales perspective is very lucrative..Just curious

Anonymous said...

@February 10, 2012 9:13 AM
"la familia michoacana works for gulf cartel with zetas."

Are you kidding us? :D
Zetas are battling against golfos.

Anonymous said...

So many of u guys have no clue about who is with who.But anyways fuck these cartels. They need to be wiped out so i can go party in mex again.

ARRIVA TAMAULIPAZZZ said...

Most of you people just talk talk and talk blah blah.zetas this zetas that zetas are not a cartel haha quit your dumb shit and recognize that the zetas are a cartel that keeps expanding world wide.now all of you are going to hate on me disagree or whatever but the zetas do comitt stupid crimes against the general public but duck you every cartel does that shit only that sinaloa plays it safe as in commuting crimes n murders of inocent people but right away they blame it on their rivals.zetas are zetas not golfas chaputas matazetas...you say the zetas are cowards cause they hide from the military but that's not coward that's being smart at some times.talk shit golfas n chaputas bit the zetas keep making lots of money and keep recruiting soldiers and civilians to help grow the organization. When was the last time the o fucking chapos shot it out with the military like the zetas do.you can talk shit but I don't see you guys joining the armed forces and fighting for what they believe. At least the zetas die in shootouts like real men and ir don't matter for what cause you fighting but you fighting and that's what counts. Arriva tamaulipaz Dondee no hay gente DE miedo

Anonymous said...

I thought Sinaloa was but I've heard the Vallarta shared pact between Zetas and Sinaloa like @7:31 said. I've also witnessed those Gringos in denial "GIDs". (refusing to get current). They are in every Mexican town that caters to tourists and are equally clueless.

Anonymous said...

Heriberto Lazcano Lazcano.The main asset of Los Zetas,he is the head and tactical brain of the organization,bolstered by Z40 who has a lot of clout and connections.If you people think they so mickey mouse,how have they managed to become one of the most fearsome of these so called cartels,in a little over ten years?You people are dreaming,they still recruiting as we speak.

Anonymous said...

@4:31 AM
I do believe Lazca is the brains behind their tactical expansion. If they get him, someone will step into his shoes, or there would be a war to determine who steps into his shoes.

The original Zs were commandos and highly trained experts. They would probably be replaced by sicarios. Sicarios think with their cajones, not their brains. I guess we will just have to wait and see how it plays out.

Anonymous said...

GIDS..LOL...I can relate to that...I'm definitely not a GID, but seriously PV compared to Mazatlan or Acapulco is a lot more secure and experienced substantially less. I also reckon who ever runs extortion rings there, is somewhat reasonable as you don't see many places closing up shop as you do in other cities. It's obviously controlled by one dominant mafia to keep shit that calm.....You have to search hard to find law enforcement down there even late at night where in other parts of Mexico, every branch of law enforcement patrolls day/night in huge convoys...Obviously things are calmer there with so many tourists wandering around care free and not many being victimized by crime...someone powerful has a tight grip down there.......My local friends say it's El Chapo's place. They say it with what appears to be a proudness of it....that in of itself is a bit disheartening, but heck....if they are not terrorizing the public and shit is safe and doing well...who really gives a crap.

Fredy said...

Jalisco is protected by el chapo. Even though their are other groups in Guadalajara ; its run by JGL. Im not in favor of anyone but better him then z.

Anonymous said...

Puerto Vallarta Jalisco is run by the Beltran Leyvas.There is no agreement between Zetas and Sinaloa,there might be an non agression agreement between the Sinaloa Cartel and the Beltran Leyvas in Jalisco since Puerto Vallarta is a Beltran Leyva plaza.

Anonymous said...

Puerto Vallarta in Jalisco aswell as Acapulco,Mazatlan,Cabo San Lucas are Beltran Leyva plazas.For those that dont know.

Anonymous said...

Heriberto Lazcano is the brain that is Correct,Z-40 is the power,Z-42 is just there beacuse of his brother,Z-50 is important for his drug the drug distribution, Mellado (Z-9) is important too,Vera (Z-7), Chocotorro (ex-Gafe),El Cuije (Z-18),And Where is the 30 Kaibiles Lazcano recruited.....plus there was a big rumor that Lazcano and Mellado created "The New Zetas" they where Ex-Gafes just like them......Do u know how many Elite Soldiers have been missing in this past years.....round 1,200 elite Soldieres most probably The Zetas have recruited from there.... Being Honest is going to be very Hard to deal with the Zetas, This guys are not like The CDG,CDS,FM,etc.They have a Military hierarchy is way diffrent from the other Cartels...

ARRIVA TAMAULIPAZZZ said...

Trust me brother ignorant people still won't believe and agree with you. Your right and good points you made!!

Anonymous said...

Pueto vallarta= CDJNG beltrans are getting their asses kicked jaja

Anonymous said...

Arriva tamaulipaz Dondee no hay gente DE miedo lol ya sacate la cabeza del culito una tras otra vez se les demuestra que los criminales son culitos cuando no andan en monton.

Anonymous said...

Oh and by the way Acupulco is not a beltran plaza anymore many cartels are fighting there so its more disputed/contested

Anonymous said...

Wheres the proof?? Or is that just you favoring CDJNG.Of what I know the Beltrans operate heavily in Puerto Vallarta and also have a presence in Guadalajara.

Anonymous said...

February 10, 2012 10:30 AM
i think u r kid
read history of golfos or los zetas

Anonymous said...

9:15 Where is your proof? oh the irony It seems like you are favoring the beltrans They dont have a presence in guadalajara wtf dude.... cant take you serious

Anonymous said...

@11:05Are you sure the South Pacific Cartel doesnt operate in Guadalajara??

Anonymous said...

February 10, 2012 9:27 PM Brother is Mellado ,Vera,El Cuije,El Chocotorro,we know 50 is still bangin,but a lot of them are gone.El Guerrero was supposed to be a straight up fuckin loony tune,he loved to go to the firefights.DETAINEES,Miguel Angel Soto Parra, The Vine, Daniel Perez Rojas, El Cachetes (arrested in Guatemala), Jaime Gonzalez Duran, The Hummer, Nabor Vargas García, The Deborah, Matthew Diaz Lopez, Commander Matthew, Omar Lorméndez Pitalua, The Pita, Eduardo Salvador Lara Lopez, Chavita, Alfonso Lettuce Licona, The Reeds, Isidro Lara Flores, The Mattress, Jose Ramon Davila Lopez, El Cholo, Raul Hernandez Barron, The Flander, Jesus Enrique Rejon Aguilar, El you baby, Sergio Ruiz Tlapanco, The Tlapa, and Flavio Mendez Santiago, El Amarillo.STILL ON DECK,(the main man)Heriberto Lazcano, Jorge Lopez, The Chuta; Galindo Mellado Cross, Mellado, Gonzalo Escribano Jerezano, The Cuije, Gustavo González Castro, The Erotic, Carlos Vera Calva, The Vera, Victor Nazario Castrejón Peña, Daniel Enrique Marquez Aguilar, The Chocotorro; Priscillian Yepis Ibarra, Rogelio Ramirez War, The War, Eduardo Gonzalez and Ernesto Estrada Zatarín Beliz, the strake.MURKED,Braulio Arellano Dominguez, El Gonzo, Raul Trejo Alberto Benavides, Alvin, Luis Alberto Guerrero Reyes, El Guerrero, Oscar Guerrero Silva, The Winnie the Pooh, and Efraín Teodoro Torres, El Efra or Spark.they tried to get Lazca at the same race meeting too.

GKF said...

Ppl on here like to pretend they are Z. Cybernet thugs...so tuff flexing behind ur
Keyboard while u hide in ur ranchitos.
*yawn*

Anonymous said...

I have a Sinaloa hologram on a bag of weed that says the Beltran-Leyva's don't run shit in Jalisco. I don't know where you gringos come up with these fairy tales.

Anonymous said...

NEW WORLD ORDER 133 .....
To work

Anonymous said...

NEW WORLD ORDER 133 at work

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