Blog dedicated to reporting on Mexican drug cartels
on the border line between the US and Mexico

Friday, March 13, 2015

The fight to control the Guerrero drug market-The most lucrative in Mexico

Translation  by Lucio republished from Nexos
By Víctor Manuel Sánchez Valdés 

Why have the levels of violence in Guerrero have increased over the past eight years? 

Why there are ten criminal organizations now vying for control of the municipalities of Guerrero? 

And why is there so much interest from the criminal organizations to co-opt and corrupt police forces in Guerrero? 

All these questions share a same answer: 

Guerrero is today the most lucrative drug market in the country, having strong incentives for several criminal organizations to be at war for control of regions of opium poppy and marihuana production.

While there are no statistics to help us precisely quantify the market size of the drug production in Guerrero, in the last 15 years, the Mexican army has managed to detect and destroy, an excess of 30,910 hectares of marihuana and  129,146 hectares of opium poppy; also found, were dozens of laboratories where heroin and methamphetamine were  processed.
                                                   Opium poppy eradication 

Drug farming found in all but three Guerrero municipalities

With only three exceptions; Ilatenco, Juchitán and Marquelia, spanning January 2000 to December 2014, federal authorities found at least a field of poppies or marijuana in all municipalities of Guerrero, this means that drug production is not focused on a particular area or region; it is a problem that permeates  the state.

Therefore, it is not strange that permanent presence of at least one criminal organization in 65 of the 81 municipalities of the state and in 47 of the municipalities are operating two or more conflicting criminal organizations, [2] which increases the odds violent clashes that occur in these districts.

                                                 Marijuana eradication map

Costa Grande-Tierra Caliente

There are four major areas of production or distribution of drugs that are being contested by 10 criminal organizations operating in Guerrero. The first of these areas is located west of Guerrero and covers most of the municipalities of the Costa Grande and some municipalities in the region of Tierra Caliente. 

For years, this has been an important area of ​​production of marijuana, the location of  the municipalities of Petatlán, San Miguel Totolapan, Técpan de Galeana and Zirándaro. 

In that area, it has also been a significant increase in poppy production, especially in the town of Tecpan de Galeana.

Until last year, this area was controlled by Caballeros Templarios, although there were still some pockets of resistance in Petatlán and Tecpan de Galeana, because in those municipalities still operating, is a criminal organization known as Los  Granados,  a cell of the Sinaloa Cartel. 

However, sending federal forces under the Plan Michoacán, weakened the structure of the Templarios in the region, which has been exploited by Cártel Jalisco Nueva Generación (CJNG), in addition to Granados, strongly pushed to seize the Templarios control of the municipalities of the region.

Northern and Central Entities 

The second disputed area covers most of northern and central entity, as well as a few municipalities in the upper region of Tierra Caliente, criminal cells operate in this region, from three different organizations: Guerreros Unidos, Los Rojos, and La Familia Michoacana. 

This area not only has a high density of poppy, especially the municipality of General Heliodoro Castillo.  The main highways of the region passes through this area, so that is the natural departure point of Guerrero drug product.  Thereby, shipment routes move toward the center and north of the country.

Central and Mountain Region

A third disputed area is located at the boundary between the Central and Mountain regions, in which several municipalities have an important poppy production. 

As is the case Atlixtac and Ayutla de los Libres; is also important to mention that in that area there were discoveries of laboratories, where opium is processed and various synthetic drugs are manufactured. The dispute in this area is between two remnants of the Beltran Leyva Organization: Los Rojos and Los Ardillos.

                                                     Zones in dispute

Retail Epicenter

Finally, the fourth conflict is not waged for control of an area with high drug production, but the epicenter of the retail sale of narcotics in Guerrero: The metropolitan area of ​​Acapulco. 

This conflict has turned Acapulco into the most violent city in the country for the third consecutive year and the organizations responsible for the escalation of violence are: El Cártel Independiente de Acapulco and La Barredora, the latter represents the interests of the Sinaloa Cartel in the region .

Each of these conflicts requires the immediate attention of the authorities, both state and federal, since these conflicts  affect the lives of thousands of citizens in Guerrero. 

It is worrisome, that even after the Iguala disappearance of the 43 students of the Normal Rural Ayotzinapa College, authorities have not implemented a strategy to neutralize revenue sources of criminal organizations operating in Guerrero. 

Additionally, authorities have not taken action to purge police corporations or municipal administrations that have been infiltrated by organized crime.

The situation in Guerrero no longer supports quiescence by authorities; it is why both the state government and the federal government should make concrete commitments, seeking achieve at least the following objectives: 

1) To reduce levels of violence that is experienced in Guerrero
2) Dismantle criminal organizations operating in the state, through targeted interventions,
3) Identify and remove public officials working for organized crime
4) Destabilize funding sources of criminal organizations, with particular emphasis on the reduction of drug cultivation in the region.

Víctor Manuel Sánchez Valdés is a doctoral student in Public Policy CIDE and specialist in public safety issues.

[1]  opium plant  to produce heroin.
[2]  The geographical location of the area of operation of each of the criminal organizations are made ​​from newspaper sources track municipality by municipality; when found a notification  stating that a criminal organization was present in a municipality, researching for a secondary source to confirm the information. 

Of those all were published in 2013 or 2014.
Note: many of the data used in this text, arising from  the Ministry of National Defense, the request for public information that I requested through INFOMEX system itself which is identified with  0000700213814.


  1. Guerrero will never change, it will just get worse, get out while you still can! What a shame.

  2. Nice story, very informative, two thumps up

  3. Good clarification.

  4. The costs associated with production are said to be 2%, for the slave owners, and from there, they pay the slaves their miserly wages...
    --That is why Guerrero children lucky enough to attend school, wear rubber boots to school or huaraches, many times no shoes...or their millionaire parents are playing possum and hiding their money, disappearing their children, getting killed like dogs while praying for God's help...
    --before lucio cabanas and genaro vazquez, Guerrero was more controlled by caciques and their sicarios, and after their smart drug trafficking narco-terrorist guerrilla ways, the state of Guerrero was flooded with mexican army and federal police (badly paid) and untold millions of pesos were spent just there, even creating the "fuerzas especialez gafez" to murder at will those hungry rancheros and Indians for their untold millions of pesos...
    --Nice try, lucio...
    --AYOTZINAPA DISAPPEARANCES, FUE EL GOBIERNO, EL GOBIERNO FEDERAL, TO HELP EMILIO CHUAYFFET CHEMOR "la emilia", also known as The Butcher of Acteal/Chenalhó deliver their "lesson" to the Ayotzinapos, the millionaire drug trafficking guerrillas kidnapping chicken coop buses and asking for money on the street as part of their spring break...BS $$$!
    --also left out of the report, the role of the mineras and power generation in desposessing the indians, and the artisan miners stealing from the mineras "exclusive federal concessions"...

  5. PS, YOU DO EXCELLENT REPORTS, LUCIO, well researched, and traduced, even Willito is happy, (my guess), except, some parts and pieces, look like propaganda for benefit of "save pena nietismo from the mexican drug trafficking indiada" made to order by Dr Frankenstain.
    I'm watching, don't quit my friend...

  6. It could be that amapola thats bad for the animals... savages stay away from it. Lol

  7. There is 12 millions here. lets rise 1 million man army and take it back

  8. the border first than Mexico

  9. The former President from which the State (the only one btw) gets its name has to be rolling around in his grave, as the saying goes. Sad.

  10. Guerrero has always been blood thirsty and feudal.. Can't pin point somewhere in the 90's. Two whole families wiped each other out at a wedding reception. Can't remember the area. But I believe it DIDN' T have to do with Drugs. So throw power , money and drugs in the mix. And it will be the most dangerous place in MEXICO!! These people have to rely on themselves it's kill or be killed. They're savages blood thirsty Indians.
    I wouldn't mess with those Savage Cochos.

    1. Thats true. My family is from coyuca de catalan guerrerro. Since i was a kid its been the same over there. Amapola has been growing there forever, nothing new. And people kill each other over petty shit. They dont play

    2. What has changed is the market. Heroin has made a comeback away from the much more expensive RX drugs of choice.

    3. -Heroine had a big strong performance in the 70's due to the vietnam war
      -After a while it was cocaine, it was closer and cheaper from colombia/mexico...
      -Afghanistan had been civilized into producing heroine again, but war is about over.
      -Mexico did it's best, grifa, coca, mota, meth,mass murder, selling out the country, and mexico's masters still are not happy or done
      -As always, the producers just get mined, when the mining is done, mexico gets to keep the holes all over and on its finances, but thanks for the memories...

    4. Yes people are asking for heroin and crystal out in the streets more than weed and coke

    5. For sure chiva is back for various reasons. The Yale historian Musto points to the sociological phenomena of "generational forgetting" which applies to an increase in demand. Demand drives supply just as it did in the Opium Wars of the mid 1800's. Much more complicated in the 21 Century because of abject poverty and the 'Better Living Thru Chemistry' mentality. One can only hope and pray for empowerment of families and communities and healing. K.Onda

    6. Yea but the cartels that dominate that region are from michoacan. Cjng, ct, and familia michoacana. Guerrero only has guerreros unidos, and los rojos and litle gangs. There's a lot of sicarios from guerrero on many cartels though, Guerrero is the place where it's last on education and no work so they go to orginized crime.

    7. Chiva is back because she loves me!!!

    8. I think guerrero has a good recipe for peace,for more money flow and less blood flow.Why??because good alliances are being made cida is strong with mazatlecos,granados are strong with our neighbors from michoacan, federacion sinaloense is coming to an end la federacion calentana is coming to a start.La union ase la fuerza ,puro michoacan y guerrero pues alcabo somos vecinos o no?.La federacion calentana apenas empieza,yo no apoyo el narco yo apoyo buenas alianzas pues producen paz en mexico

    9. La federacion calentana, se le calienta el horno muy facil, por nada

  11. I feel so bad for Acapulco, now garbage-strewn with deserted shops and businesses. Friends had to literally give away their condo, having spent two years trying to sell. The veneer of glam is very thin, indeed!

  12. Now that pain pills are hard to get, heroin is huge business and relatively new. Black tar and now mexicans are makin China white. They used to run all the H from Chicago west, now it's the whole country

    1. East Coast heroin is China white. It's definitely not new here nor is it Mexican. Opium has been grown in the Andes and produced by Colombians for over a decade ... The rest is still from Asia.

    2. Yeah it's from Asia but who are the ones who push it Mexicans

  13. I see 20 kilos 4 times a week of heroin coming in from the border I can imagine the cartels that pass tons of this shit

  14. Does Guerrero have a Zeta representative?

    1. They are allies of GU... not that it matters anymoar hence GU are getting their ass kicked now without leaders, so much for being allies of 1 of Mexicos largest cartel

    2. YES!
      --posing as PRD pos election winners as a part of pri come back strategery of killing
      1, 2, 3 muchos (maybe 43) indios, I mean pajaros, de una pedrada...
      (Killing 2 birds with one stone was the goal;
      - 1, 2, 3 muchos is a miracle;
      -43+3+3+1 and 20 injured,
      -- IS a miracle from GOD HERSELF!... who needs cowboy tales from televisa now?

  15. I cant believe the ppl of mexixo areso blind, as of the ppl here in the states!!. That they think the whole war on drugs isnt a planned war pittin ppl from all over to fight over the shitty state of guerrero!!!. It disgustss me!!

  16. Guerrero is a state in which Columbia and Mexico choose to avoid most of Mexico in order to get drugs into the US by boats and vessels via California, Washington, Oregon, and Alaska. Small shipments, multiple vessels, more chances of introducing more product to an addicted American public.

  17. Amapola has become most popular drug because u.s doctors r creating more and more drug addicts every day!They give it to people when they r hurt then cut u off cold turkey .With maryjane beeing legal in alot of us state opium is were the demand is and is easier to move.Also mex weed is very low grade or is it better now? I puff only top shelf indica here in norcal

  18. How sad to see Mexico like this. It sure is a beautiful country.

  19. Original RCQ attorney assassinated Saturday March 14, 2015 in the Port of Guaymas. Pedro García Palazuelos Nogales was executed as he left church. This was a planned execution where one of the shooters shot him 8 times to make sure he was dead. RCQ? CIA? This was no random hit.


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