Monday, November 28, 2016

'Only two powerful cartels left': rivals clash in Mexico's murder capital

Posted by DD republished from The Guardian

DD:  Most of the events and incidents included in this story have been reported in detail previously on Borderland Beat, but this story encapsulates the activity in one story.

 Amid a 10-year crackdown on cartels, the drug trade continues and factions have splintered – leaving Sinaloa and CJNG facing off in Colima state
Mexican soldiers walk next to the site of the incineration of more than 20 tons of cocaine in Manzanillo. Photograph: Alfredo Estrella/AFP/Getty Images 
Standing guard at the scene of the crime, the two police officers surveyed the shattered glass and bullet-pocked bodywork of the Mercedes Benz hatchback and offered their analysis.


“It’s an eye for an eye,” said one, repeating a phrase often heard in this coastal city, about 200 miles south-west of Guadalajara. “It’s two groups getting even with each other.”

As the officers spoke, a group of children kicked a football just beyond the yellow crime scene tape, and customers wandered unperturbed in and out of a row of shops.

Only an hour before gunmen on a motorcycle had opened fire on the car which crashed into the side of a health clinic; miraculously the two occupants survived.

Manzanillo and the surrounding state of Colima were once best known for their black sand beaches, lime groves and a smoldering volcano that erupts every century or so.

Over the past year, however, the region has claimed a new title: murder capital of Mexico. According to federal figures, Colima registered 434 homicides in the first nine months of 2016 – a huge number in a population of just 700,000.

Local officials blame the killings on outsiders or describe it as score-settling between petty criminals.

But analysts of the drug war say the violence is part of a nationwide realignment of organized crime – and a bitter struggle to control the port of Manzanillo, one of the biggest on Mexico’s Pacific coast.

Ten years of a militarised campaign against the cartels has not ended the trade in drugs, or helped enforce rule of law in Mexico. It has, however, weakened or splintered several crime factions, leaving a handful of powerful survivors fighting for the spoils.

Colima is currently the setting for a confrontation between two of the most formidable: the Sinaloa Federation – led by imprisoned capo Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán – and the Jalisco New Generation cartel, known by its Spanish initials as the CJNG.

“Most of the [Mexican] cartels have been weakened,” said Mike Vigil, a former Drug Enforcement Administration agent who worked undercover in Mexico. “The only two powerful cartels left are Sinaloa and the CJNG.”

Graphic: Jan Diehm/The Guardian
The CJNG – based in the neighbouring state of Jalisco – has already established a reputation as one of the country’s fastest-growing and most aggressive groups, willing to confront both rivals in the underworld and federal forces.

It emerged in 2010 following a fight for the spoils of a prominent Sinaloa cartel boss, Nacho Coronel, who was killed by the army, and for the past five years or so it has used Manzanillo to import chemical precursors from Asia for the production of methamphetamines.

Last year, while Guzmán was still on the run after escaping from a high-security jail, Sinaloa made a move on Colima.

The cartel publicly announced its arrival in October 2015, with a narcocorrido song and a Facebook message entitled “Sinaloa is now in Colima”. The message heralded the launch of “Operation Cleanup”, striking a familiar tone in Mexico, where criminal groups try to cloak their activities in the language of social activism.

But within months, Guzmán was recaptured; and with El Chapo currently awaiting extradition to the US, a violent rearrangement of the underworld appears under way – and Colima is one of its principle battlegrounds.
   
The conflict between the cartels burst into the open this summer in a confusing episode when six men – including Guzmán’s son Jesús Alfredo Guzmán – were kidnapped from a restaurant in Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco.

Authorities blamed the abduction on the CJNG, suggesting that the upstart cartel was trying to take advantage of Guzmán’s imprisonment.

But Guzmán was later reportedly released, and observers say that the reports that Sinaloa has been weakened by El Chapo’s arrest may well prove premature. 

“The CJNG is gaining ground, but doesn’t have anywhere near the power of the Sinaloa cartel,” said Miguel Ángel Vega, a reporter with the Sinaloa-based news organization Ríodoce.

Vega said the cartel was well entrenched – both in the rugged Sierras where it produces heroin, marijuana and methamphetamines, and in the corridors of power, where it maintains connections at all levels of government.

“The Sinaloa cartel is not just El Chapo,” he said.

The CJNG has also demonstrated a capacity to corrupt officials: a recording surfaced in September in which a cowed police chief can be heard taking orders from the group’s boss, Nemesio Oseguera Cervantes, AKA “El Mencho”.

Under El Mencho – himself a former police officer – the CJNG has made violence its calling card. The group launched itself on the national stage in 2011 by dumping 35 bodies under a bridge in the Atlantic coast state of Veracruz; at the time, the group called itself the Zeta-killers, and professed to be targeting the powerful Zetas cartel.

But the CJNG also showed itself willing to take on the Mexican state.

As federal forces closed in on El Mencho in May 2015, the CJNG launched a coordinated show of strength across Jalisco and neighbouring regions, blocking dozens of roads with hijacked vehicles and setting banks and petrol stations on fire.

In 2015, CJNG gunmen ambushed a police convoy, killing 15 officers in the single bloodiest attack on Mexican security forces in recent history, and shot down an army helicopter.
 
A marine stands guard near packs of cocaine at a naval base in Manzanillo. ‘It’s a war over the local market,’ said a reporter. Photograph: Daniel Aguilar/Reuters
 The cartel has also been implicated in a string of vigilante attacks on petty criminals in Jalisco – including six people who were recently found with their hands chopped off – and a string of attacks on state officials, including the murders of the tourism secretary and a federal lawmaker.



Colima state officials did not respond to interview requests, though they have previously attempted to downplay talk of a cartel war.

State prosecutor Felipe de Jesús Muñoz Vázquez told local media in August that 90% of homicides were related to organized crime – with 85 of those slayings explained by low-level drug dealing.

And despite the spiraling murder rate, local people in the state capital also seem at pains to insist that the situation is in hand.

“There’s no panic on the streets here,” said Miguel Ángel Vargas, news director of radio station Ángel Guardian, adding that people in Colima city worried about personal finances and local issues such as corruption and spending cuts.

Authorities in Manzanillo also insist their city is safe, even though an analysis by the news organization Animal Politico ranked it as the third-most violent municipality in the country – trailing only Acapulco and Tecomán, another Colima municipality – with 103.87 homicides per 100,000 residents.

“Up until now, we have not found innocent people mixed up in these events,” said Manzanillo police chief Miguel Ángel García, a retired vice-admiral, repeating a refrain heard often in Mexico.

Local journalists say that much of the violence stems from the lack of a strong boss to control the “plaza” – the local turf or trafficking routes. Others suggested that the conflict was triggered by defections from CJNG to Sinaloa.

“It’s a war over the local market,” said one longtime reporter, asking for anonymity for security reasons. “Cartel de Jalisco sells ice [methamphetamine], while Sinaloa sells cocaine.”

But few local residents expect either side to win a victory by force – they believe that the solution will come from a political deal.

Some believe the violence will continue until one of the cartels gains control with help from the government, noting the Sinaloa cartel’s arrival in a state with a strong CJNG presence at the same time as a change in the governor’s office.

“There’s no ‘pacto’” in Colima, one of the journalists said, referring to an arrangement between authorities and one of the cartels. “It won’t calm down here until there is.”









49 comments:

  1. This article does not prove that the two " most powerful" cartels left in Mexico are fighting against each other. My guess would be that if CGNJ and CDS were really going at it in Colima there would be at least one strong leader in any of the two sides taking charge of the sitiation for their particular cartel but in which the authorities say there is a lack of one such person. Second even the same local authorities describe the situation as clashes between petty criminals.
    My guess is that both cartels CDS and CJNG are out arming and druging the population in Colima and letting them organize as well as battle each other out while these two sit back and collect money. If any one person comes out to be that missing "strong" local leader then they might just be absorbed into one of these two cartels if anything.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. it is a war for the drug trafficking port, and only the military can win it, they will need it, the US will not be subsidizimg the mexican military forever, maybe as security guards on the former pemex oil fields, but if they hire chinese security guards, there will be nothing left but keep kidnapping and extorting pal maruchan...or become illegal immigrants with taco trucks on every corner of every trump building, to sell the rich and the beautiful their shit 24/7.

      Delete
  2. very good article! sinaloa cartel rules!!!

    ReplyDelete
  3. If they are at war why did mencho let the guzman alive , im guessing he got scared to go on a full scale war knowing he would had lost i just hope theres no more deaths in my love mexico i hope to visit my home state michoacan in December

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They probably made a deal to let them go, cjng does have a few of cds plazas now...who knows, but something happened

      Delete
  4. Here we go cjng @ss lickers saying whit their fantasy on how mencho will save the world and controlled the world like napoleon or hitler lmao

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's what cds groupies used to say about cds until mencho came in and shattered their dreams. Lol

      Delete
    2. Puro tierra caliente michoacan fuck cds

      Delete
    3. How mancha got punked for the Guzman bros hardcore

      Delete
    4. If anything chapitos got punked and kicked and kidnapped lol

      Delete
    5. 1:24 nobody uses michoacan like the government sicarios, and nobody kills like the mexican military death squads, some days here, and some days there, until they get to you.
      --on the other hand, the TELETHON IS COMING, please help us help the children of mexico, we will let them travel in our yatch TV on a free trip to china, they will buy them there for organ donations and sex slaves. Send money, please!

      Delete
  5. Whats so impressive of a low life like mencha who order's coward attacks on federal forces and when they go looking for him he runs out like a pussy yeah very impressive lets not forget his 50 men who got slaughter were they especial force's lmao guess not

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 2:27 Tanhuato is now a crime of state under investigation, nobody was happy with the government's "historic truths" of Ayotzinapa, Apatzingan, Tlatlaya, and Tanhuato, among other heroics of the mexican state sponsored terrorism.

      Delete
  6. Mayo Zambada, quiet!!!

    ReplyDelete
  7. I remember a crime scene here in Chihuahua. It was in the parking lot of Home Depot. There was a red Volkswagen with Durango plates parked in it's stall, and behind it lay a man that had been just mowed down with automatic weapon fire. He was a car salesman. The parking lot was full of cars and shoppers going in and out of the store. The man was attacked in the middle of the day and after shooting him the man started shooting raped fire above the heads of the shoppers. Either to scare them or to make sure they did not get a good eyewitness account. Maybe because he was just on drugs. After the man entered a car and drove off with squealing tires the people it seems just quickly shrugged it off and went about their business. People walked by the body and entered the store and it was business as usual. This was about 5 years ago when shootings and robberies in parking lots and in restaurants and more at a rapid pace here.

    As a man was having his ritual morning coffee in Denny's, 3 men walked in with smiles on their faces and assassinated him gangland style. It was a bloody and brutal scene. I knew the man and he was as good as a person as you could ever hope to know. Denny's as usual was packed. This was a little up close and personal for most of the diner's and the business took months to recover after this tragedy. He was known by almost all the people in Denny's and I am sure this had something to do with the slow down. It looks like things are heating up here in Chihuahua again and I am hoping that it does not get to this level again here. A relative of my wife's who was a young man of 18 years with a girlfriend and child had disappeared month ago. His body found a few days later with shots in the head. It did not even make the newspapers like so many killings. I never thought people could be desensitized to murders like this, but it does happen. I could go on about the killings around me, even personal ones where I knew the people, or were relatives or friends of someone. Me being a US citizen and living here just 7 years. In more than 55 years living in the USA I never experienced even one thing like I have experience's I have confronted here in Chihuahua. To be honest I have now become a little desensitized after seeing this happen all to often. I am now very cautious about where I travel and keep my head on a swivel. I am even being told by my wife that it is not a good idea to make new friends. Mexico is so beautiful with many wonderful people. When will this end, if ever? Many killings are not an eye for an eye here, but for wanting what you have.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Commandante R18 owns the Colima plaza for CDS! He drinks Buchanan del 18 , he has a AR-18 rifle .

    Atte : El ERE 18 .

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 730. Are you placing an ad for him? If so, you forgot the ing's, his likes...hiking, running, walking, biking, etc,. and also black cocktail dresses

      Delete
    2. Can't wait until they find him with 18 bullets.

      Delete
    3. Lol sounds like a corrido haha

      Delete
    4. That dude is long gone hiding in some rancho in mazatlan. Building a house from a those bricks he shit it.

      Delete
  9. My Dad just came back from this area last week. He was in Tecoman, Cahuayana, and went to El Resumidero, Mich. He says all is calm . The authorities recommend you dont go out at night, thats when the soldiers are out doing their thing. He says the Auto defensas are doing a significalty better job of patrolling their areas becuase they genuinely care. He also found it wierd that entering GDL via Chapala there was a soldier blockade then a blockade with people in civilian clothes

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 8:09 nice, el Resumidero is a GOOD NAME FOR A TOWN, if i ever go back to mexico i'll visit

      Delete
  10. Just a matter of time before cds go running out of that plaza like they did in Juarez and tamaulipas lol

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. cds runs juarez tho..lol another zeta nut hugger sad his cartel is now a fart in the wind..lol

      Delete
    2. 7:17. Go shout out arriba Sinaloa in Juarez and see what happens.

      Delete
    3. 5:34 amado carrillo used to shout arriva sinaloa all the time nobody said nothing boy

      Delete
    4. @5:20 You just don't understand.

      Delete
    5. I just shouted arriba Sinaloa!!! And all I heard were gritos from everyone else lol

      Delete
  11. Cds are overrated and CJNG knows that, that's the reason cjng are taking cds plazas. CJNG has better sicarios than them and that's onother reason they are taking their plazas.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. lol k...mencho was so scared when he had Chapos sons he released them immediately and turned over the attackers to Ivan..

      Delete
    2. los linces have a liitle bit sicarios but are the best and most trained sicarios

      Delete
  12. CJNG is receiving to much credit, They have no border city along the U.S.A to move their product. This cartel had 5 differnt names in the last 15 years, and guess what in 5 more years they will have a new name. They have no guts to take out Chapos kids

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. CJNG receiving too much credit? CJNG works at mental institution, encourages the hook, line, and sinker with crank, and...

      Delete
    2. 10:49 What about Tijuana smart guy.

      Delete
    3. Veracruz, with all the oil platforms and people traveling to europen and the US needs no borders on the Rio Grande to make a living for themselves and cjng and la mencha.

      Delete
  13. La nueva familia michoacana and cds are fighting cjng/la familia michoacana there. I guess the familia split for the 3rd time. But seems like la nueva familia is the weaker one because they are only in colima. CJNG had colima on lock but somehow that faction split off and now fighting cjng with cds and la nueva familia.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Simon tienes razón pro pa mi en mi opinión personal es que el cds solo esta asiendo esto estratégica mente xq la nueva se les metió fuerte en la tia Juana.

      Delete
  14. Colima is not Mexico's murder capital

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 3:07 "per capita" Colima is the capital of murder, about 170 per 100 000 people deaths, violent.

      Delete
    2. come on 3:43 why lie? it is bad enough at 18 per 100k which is what it is.

      Delete
    3. According to federal figures, Colima registered 434 homicides in the first nine months of 2016 – a huge number in a population of just 700,000.

      Delete
  15. This is how it works in Mexico,the strongest in strength and moneymaking get a deal from local government who sell the plaza to them but even local government can be rats and sell the plaza again or stand by as in BCS ?

    ReplyDelete
  16. Cjng no puede perder colima eso nunca

    ReplyDelete
  17. to every huge cartel - there's an end. escobar thought he was big too)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 8:14 Don Pablo Escobar Gaviria Was Big.
      where he failed is, he was not as greedy and evil as alvaro uribe velez and his puppet masters, now open for business in "plan Mexico", they are the big cartels, even john gotti saw that, for example, gambling was a vice, until the american visionaries turned it into a "business".
      --robbing people's savings and loans, and banks, and the government were crimes, until "businessmen" turned politicians made it a government failure due to taxing too much the interest free loans made to amerikkka's corporate welfare queens that hey did not even have to repay, but had to be subsidized too...

      Delete
  18. Sinaloa needs colima bad because China brings their ships to either colima or michoacan full of the main ingredient to cook that Ice. Those ships don't go to sinaloa do cds would lose MORE power

    ReplyDelete
  19. mazatlan has a port they could just bring there own shipments through there

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That port belongs to Los H's. Cartel De Mazatlan. And they do bring it through there then hide it in all the Ranchos surrounding Mazatlan.

      Delete

Comments are moderated, refer to policy for more information.
Envía fotos, vídeos, notas, enlaces o información
Todo 100% Anónimo;

borderlandbeat@gmail.com