Subject Matter: The growth of the Cartel Jalisco Nueva Generacion
Recommendation: No prior subject matter knowledge required
Reporter: Juan Luis Garcia Hernandez
The first time that "Los Mata Zetas" revealed their existence was in two videos released in July of 2009. The then armed wing of the Sinaloa cartel had arrived in Veracruz with the objective of "adjusting accounts" with the armed group Los Zetas.
"For what cartel do you work?"
For Los Zetas
What is your function?
Go into town at night and find people with money and give that information to those who will come and kidnap them.
How long have you worked for Los Zetas?
How much do they pay you?
20,000 pesos for each person they kidnap
The above is an extract from one of the two videos.
The Cartel Jalisco Nueva Generacion has expanded from the States of Jalisco, Michoacán and Colima in 2010, until now it is a business that operates on four continents.
A grower of avacados in Tierra Caliente, Michoacán, turned into a leader of the largest band of traffickers of methamphetamine in the world. Maybe, none of this would have come to pass if Nemesio Oseguera Cervantes had stayed as local criminal. However, in the 80's he decided to go to the United States. There he learnt the business of distribution of synthetic drugs, and to his friend, today imprisoned, Abigael Gonzalez Valencia, leader of Los Cuinis, one of the most powerful in Mexico, according to United States authorities.
At 25 years old, "El Mencho" was arrested in Sacramento, California, for selling heroin. A court gave him five years in prison. He was deported as soon as his sentence was finished. On his return, he found shelter in an old faction of the Milenio cartel, that only produced synthetic drugs, and later he returned to the armed wing of the Pacific cartel to take on the cartels rivals.
Oseguera and Gonzalez have constructed an empire that exports drugs to countries in Africa, Asia, Europe and others in Latin America, as well as the United States. His principal plaza? Zapopan, Jalisco. In the same place where, six years previously, the capo of the Sinaloa cartel, Coronel Valencia was assassinated, and for who Nemesio worked when they were known as "Los Mata Zetas"
The war on narco trafficking has not affected all cartels equally. On the 8th of December, the then President Calderon Hinojosa declared at the end of his administration, the Pacific cartel ( or Sinaloa )
was at its strongest, assured specialist consultants. But with the change of Government, and with the sharing of power, the balance shifted to include new actors. With major destructive power, and influence in politics and money.
"Every administration in some manner appears to have some accord, as was the case with many presidents. A boss was born with that administration. It and he, now appear to be the most important organization among the leaders of crime. For example, in the administration of Felipe Calderon, the organization that had most power was the Sinaloa cartel, and it saw there consolidation of control in huge parts of the country. Now with EPN, the Cartel Jalisco Nueva Generacion started to appear as a small ally of the Sinaloa cartel, they left and started to have institutional power", considers Guadalupe Correra-Cabrera, professor of the University of Texas in Brownsville.
A helicopter of the armed forces was taken down 240 kilometres from Guadalajara on the 1st of May last year with a grenade launcher, known as an RPG. That day was among the darkest in the recent history of Jalisco. With a toll of 8 soldiers, and one Federal policeman dead.
The helicopter had carried out a patrol after a wave of blockages and vehicles set on fire that paralyzed 25 of the 125 towns of the State, including the capital. The then commissioner of national security, Monte Alejandro Rubido Garcia, appointed much of the suspicion on the CJNG for being behind the incidents.
Since then the media resonance of the leader of the group El Mencho has not appeared on the radar. Since then Rubidio has intensified the search for him. A reward of 2 million pesos has been put on the table by the Federal Government for information that leads to his capture.
The capo was part of the organization that he would convert in the CJNG after the death of Ignacio "Nacho" Coronel Villareal, plaza boss of the Sinaloa cartel in Zapopan. His death on the 29th of July of 2010 handed El Mencho the reins and initiated his expansion into new territories.
"It is an organization that has taken advantage of the vacuum created by the fragmentation of others. Particularly, in the case of the Knights Templar in Michoacán. It is positioned highly in some markets particularly methamphetamines", said Alejandro Hope a security analyst.
Diverse allies of Oseguera Cervantes have been detained. Among them, two of his sons, Nemesio Oseguera Gonzalez "El Menchito", in June of 2015, later being freed; the same as Julio Alberto Castillo Rodriguez, son in law of Oseguera Cervantes, who also was captured in June of 2015, set free and recaptured in April.
To the eyes of the USA
In August of last year, the Department of Treasury of the United States catalogued the CJNG and Los Cuinis, as two of the emerging cartels in Mexico thanks to corruption and violence. So that all of the assets of these international crime organizations that have bases in the United States or citizens from that country are frozen.
"In recent years we have seen an erosion of the historically powerful cartels together with a surge of new cartels like CJNG and Los Cuinis. These two organizations have expanded rapidly their criminal enterprises in recent years", said John E Smith, director of OFAC.
The Department of the Treasury expounded that CJNG has consolidated in Colima, Michoacán and Jalisco. But its character also is international, with businesses outside of the United States, they have arrived in countries in Africa, Europe, and Asia, alerted the Federal dependency.
In a recent interview with Sinembargo, the Mayor of Guadalajara, for the Partido Movimiento Ciudadano, Enrique Alfaro Ramirez confirmed that presence of the narco trafficker in the second biggest city in Mexico. However, he expounded the fight against crime must be at the top of the priority list with support from the State and Federal entities.
For his part, the Governor of Jalisco Aristoteles Sandoval Diaz, of the PRI, accused on the 15th of April 2015, in an interview with Radio Formula, that the CJNG organization " had entrenched itself in the previous administration, not during my administration, it is from the previous Government."
However, Sandoval left the position in 2013 of District Attorney of the Secretary of Public Safety, his replacements Luis Carlos Najera and Alejandro Solorio both resigned the first in July 2015 and the second in December of that year.
"We know that the criminal organization does not operate along. In reality many of the circumstances have been protected by authorities on all levels, some local, State and Federal. We can think that here has been some complicity of the authorities of some type, or of various. We don't know well, but, definitely it coincides with a new administration. With new political leaders and possibly linked to various businessmen and politicians", expounded the Professor Correa Cabrera.
Kidnapping of the son/s of El Chapo
On 15th of August, six people that were in the restaurant La Leche in Puerto Vallarta, were kidnapped. Later authorities confirmed that among them was Alfredo Guzman, son of El Chapo Guzman, the recaptured leader of the Sinaloa cartel.
The prosecutor of Jalisco, Eduardo Almaguer, points the blame at the CJNG for being responsible for the event. A case was immediately launched by the PGR.
Four days passed, when members of the Guzman family said that Alfredo had been set free, together with the others. According to overseas international agencies, they believe he was freed on the night of the 19th of August. An event that lifted the suspicions of who really did it.
"It is interesting that they were kidnapped and released alive. Who does that? During a moment when El Chapo Guzman very probably is going to be extradited to the United States. With information that he has about politicians, heads of criminal groups, and the same about CJNG, that information is very important. We could plant the hypothesis that the kidnapping was a type of currency exchange to hide some information that he could give out", said Correa Cabrera.
"In fact, while El Chapo is where he is, unable to lead, re-organization should already be underway in his criminal organization. However, I think that unlike other groups, this is a very well structured cartel. Having the characteristics of a multinational. And given that, there are internal mechanisms to keep things moving, so it is clear we have not seen the end of it", he explained.
However the escalation of aggression of the Sinaloa cartel has been augmented. Alfredo Guzman, whom it is said, waits to inherit the criminal organization of his father, has not been seen with the seriousness of the cartel members that he would lead, says the editorial of CNN. Having been kidnapped, has not changed their opinion of him.
In the same type of sentiments, concern the average American, of the recent attack on the house of El Chapos mother in June, is a sign of weakening of the Sinaloa cartel. The mugging of the 86 years old woman occurred in La Tuna, in the municipality of Badiraguato, during which three men were murdered, as reported in various media.
While EPN promised that the Jefe would be extradited after his last recapture, the ringleader of the Sinaloa cartel languishes in Cefereso #9 in Juarez city.
No doubt his eventual extradition would create a new dynamic of violence, Stated the professor of the University of Texas.
"I believe that yes, there will definitely be violence. It was seen in the North East Mexico in the base of Los Zetas, because Osiel Cardenas Guillen gave testimony in the United States about the leadership of the Gulf Cartel and Los Zetas. That triggered a war. That's at least my version of events. It may be that El Chapo agrees to give information as part of a plea bargain, and this will unleash violence of the same type that will weaken the Sinaloa cartel, due to infighting and internal fragmentation. This is definitely an advantage to the CJNG", he explained.
Original article in Spanish at Sinembargo