From Global Post with permission by the author
“It’s the fastest expanding cartel and they could in the near future overtake the Sinaloa cartel as the most significant organized group in Mexico.”
Meet Mexico’s fastest growing drug cartel. It even builds its own rifles
by Ioan Grillo
MEXICO CITY — From the outside, the two buildings looked like thousands of other farmhouses in Mexico’s agricultural heartland of Jalisco, where products include potent tequila. But when police raided them in October, they found industrial metal cutters, blowtorches and bullet cartridges.
A drug cartel had used them, Jalisco investigators revealed, to assemble their own AR-15 assault rifles.
“It’s highly sophisticated machinery with very precise software that allows them to make the cuts to finish the guns, which work perfectly,” Jalisco Attorney General Luis Carlos Najera said last year.
The authorities blamed a snappily named gang: the Jalisco New Generation cartel. (correction: Cartel Jalisco New Generation).
The same cartel has hit the news again with a series of assaults on police and officials. On Monday, gunmen ambushed a convoy of state police in San Sebastian del Oeste, killing 15 officers in one of the worst attacks on police in recent years.
That followed attacks last month, too. On March 20, in the town of Ocotlan, a dozen trucks of gunmen ambushed federal police, killing five officers. On March 31, cartel thugs attacked the Jalisco security commissioner causing a shootout in an urban area of Guadalajara.
The offensives and gun factories show how the New Generation is defying the government’s crackdown on traffickers.
“It is spreading like a cancer in Mexico,” says Mike Vigil, former head of international operations for the Drug Enforcement Administration. “It’s the fastest expanding cartel and they could in the near future overtake the Sinaloa cartel as the most significant organized group in Mexico.”
|Lucio note: none of the victims in Boca del Rio had ties to organized crime.|
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