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

Monday, December 27, 2021

The Old "Kingpin Strategy" is New Security Strategy for Mexico and the US

Yaqui for Borderland Beat

Failed ‘Kingpin Strategy’ at heart of new Mexico-US security plans

The "Bicentennial Framework" is looking a lot like the Mérida Initiative

By: Parker Asmann Dec 27, 2021

Insight Crime / MND

The United States and Mexico have officially entered a new phase of their partnership to tackle transnational organized crime groups and the evolving regional drug trade, yet recent announcements suggest the two countries are relying on some of the same failed strategies.

Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard met with U.S. government officials December 14 to mark the official start of the Bicentennial Framework. First announced in early October during a “high-level security dialogue,” the plan proposes a “new shared vision of regional security and collaboration.”

In particular, it aims to prevent substance abuse using a public health focus; reduce arms trafficking through enhanced tracing and investments in better technology; improve information sharing to dismantle illicit financial networks; increase cooperation to facilitate extraditions; and target drug labs and precursor chemicals to disrupt illegal supply chains, among other priorities.

Ebrard said the new initiative signified the two countries were “leaving the Mérida Initiative behind.” Launched in 2007, that multibillion-dollar binational security effort largely failed to improve citizen security, quell violence, reign in corruption or confront the scourge brought on by organized crime groups trafficking in drugs, weapons and other contraband.

A day after the U.S. and Mexican governments started their new security efforts, the State Department announced “significant steps to enhance … efforts to disrupt and deter transnational criminal activity.” Specifically, officials said they would now offer up to $20 million in total to anyone that could provide information leading to the arrests of Sinaloa Cartel members Ovidio Guzmán López, Ivan Archivaldo Guzmán Salazar, Jesus Alfredo Guzmán Salazar and Joaquín Guzmán López.

The four sons of former Sinaloa Cartel leader Joaquín Guzmán Loera, alias “El Chapo” — now jailed in the United States after being convicted and sentenced to life in prison on a number of criminal charges — are known collectively as “Los Chapitos.” They are currently battling for internal control of the group with Ismael Zambada García, alias “El Mayo,” one of the group’s oldest members.

                                                                     "Tio Guano''

U.S. authorities also recently upped the reward for help in arresting Aureliano Guzmán Loera, alias “El Guano,” the older brother of "El Chapo" and another major Sinaloa Cartel figure who Los Chapitos are also reportedly at odds with.

In addition, the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) announced new designations to Los Rojos and Guerreros Unidos crime groups in Mexico for their role in moving drugs into the United States. In Mexico alone, the U.S. government has pledged up to $50 million for information facilitating the capture of a number of organized crime leaders: “Los Chapitos” and “El Mayo” of the Sinaloa Cartel and Nemesio Oseguera Cervantes, alias “El Mencho,” of the Jalisco New Generation Cartel, among others.

President López Obrador said that capturing "El Chapo’s", Los Chapitos , sons is a “priority,” and if they’re in Mexico, it should be the responsibility of Mexican authorities to bring them to justice.

InSight Crime Analysis:

U.S.-Mexico security relations may be entering into a new phase on paper, but the targeting of various organized crime groups and leaders with multimillion-dollar rewards and sanctions suggests the plan moving forward will continue to rely in part on a seriously flawed approach: the Kingpin Strategy.

“The U.S. government is making a big statement by announcing that the first concrete actions taken within the new "Bicentennial Framework" are a reaffirmation of the Kingpin Strategy, and it’s very unfortunate,” said Guadalupe Correa-Cabrera, an expert on U.S.-Mexico relations and organized crime in Mexico.

Since Felipe Calderón launched an offensive against organized crime groups in 2006 backed by the United States and a shared vision of arresting and extraditing criminal leaders, or what has come to be known as the kingpin strategy, violence in Mexico has surged to unprecedented levels.

To be sure, homicides have jumped nearly three-fold in the last 15 years, as the national government reported 34,515 murders and almost 1,000 femicides in 2020. And since 2007, the number of homicide investigations reported by Mexico’s National Security System has tripled, according to data collected by the Justice in Mexico Project at the University of San Diego.

“Leadership disruptions — especially due to the targeting of drug ‘kingpins’ by Mexican and U.S. law enforcement — has contributed to the … pattern of internal schisms and encroachment by rival organizations that has fueled violence,” according to a recent Justice in Mexico report on organized crime and violence in the country.

Not only that, but Mexico’s criminal landscape has fragmented substantially thanks to the outsized focus on crime bosses. The International Crisis Group estimates there are some 200 active criminal groups operating in Mexico today, many of which are factions that have splintered off from once-mighty groups like Los Zetas and Beltrán Leyva Organization, only to become incredibly predatory groups in their own right.

Unintended consequences from the heavily militarized kingpin strategy were among the core arguments for needing to completely reform the Mérida Initiative. The "Bicentennial Framework" promised a shift to addressing the root causes of violence and the public health problem that is substance abuse.

However, at this initial stage it doesn’t appear as if the framework marks a “fundamental change” to the way in which the two countries operate on joint security efforts, according to Jaime López, a security policy consultant and former police official in Mexico. He said it’s possible that direction could change in the future as the plan moves forward, but so far the response seems to be the same scenario with a different name.

Correa-Cabrera agreed, adding that it looks more like a cosmetic change. “It’s the same initiative under a different name, just with makeup,” she told InSight Crime.

Reprinted from InSight Crime. Parker Asmann is a writer with InSight Crime, a foundation dedicated to the study of organized crime.


  1. Animo Sicarios !
    Pura Chapiza #701.

    "Siempre al tenton, cuarenta tiros doble cargador bien
    Enfierrados traigo a los plebes listos para la acción
    Un blindado bien empotrado traigo el sincuenton camuflajeados
    Como los guachospero con un cuernon
    De un señoron traemos charola Sinaloa al millón 300 locos
    Que dan la vida por el cazador.
    Noches de acción anda encargado puro guerrero
    Que no la piensan 2 3 veces para darse un topon
    Traemos nuevas plazas para que sepan
    Allá por Santana y Magdalena
    Traigo un Clikon
    Más de 100 carros cuidando al viejón
    Van bien marcados por el Noveno para que no haya confusión
    Un Refuegon el que cargamos en el terreno
    Brownis y tostones portamos pa defender el pueblo
    Un equipon Plebada
    Bélica del cazador
    Un minimil cada carro
    Para cualquier situación
    De un señoron traemos charola Sinaloa al millón 300 locos que
    Dan la vida por el cazador
    Pura gente nueva es la que pesa
    Y pura Chapisa para que sepan"

    1. You can't even spell the names right in one post your puro chapete

  2. I'm very big on LOYALTY. Specially if you happen to have good friendships or relationships with some family members. What's sad about these cartels, are the amount of back stabbing that goes on. Without loyalty, there's never anything good. Things don't last long.
    It's interesting to see these family members fighting each other instead of looking to work as a stronger unit.

    ( Again this is solely my opinion )

    1. No loyalty amongst crooks and thieves.

    2. @ 728. I hear you brother. It makes you wonder though. What percentage of their time do they invest in being paranoid. Bit trusting anyone.

    3. 836 you mean Rubio is the red panties guy, why the nickname?
      Nevermind sounds wierd.

    4. Interesting comment & point of view. Yes it would make perfect sense to join an alliance with all while everyone prosper. However,GREED in my opinion from those within and those conspirators from government officials have led to the breakdown of a civil enterprise.
      Imagine if all gangs here & abroad were to unite in a civil society? The outcome will be a frightening experience for any government. The sheer number of those individuals surely outnumber police and create challenges for any government.
      Current history shows the imprisonment of a few who threaten the foundation of this democracy.
      There is plenty of money out there. It's this planning that disrupts all others from profiting; reference to those elite of course.
      It would be ideal if such groups can abide to respecting its citizens and their communities.

    5. 7:14 delete just my opinion
      You already stating a comment.

  3. $5 million reward for Chapitos and el Guano.
    Yet the leaders of the terrorist cartel group BLM continue to incite murder,hate crimes ,looting government assistance fraud among other crimes and there are no rewards for them.
    The biggest threat to America

    1. Keyboard warrior
      Give off your butt and help your mom with chores, you think money grows on trees?

  4. They are relying on the sttategy that doesnt work because they dont want the drug cartels to stop drug suply to the US. The war on drugs is a big lie!

  5. Why is AMLO saying IF they are in Mexico? Maybe IAG went to collmbia to hide once again while protected by FARC members or some colombian paramilitary force or guatemala i forgot

    1. They are in Mexico dont kid yourself huge disadvantage if they leave Mexico.

  6. Yet they say too capture chapitos but amlo released ovidio in culiacanazo fucken lame man up an do what you gotta do too shut them out

  7. Sounds like new blood moving up! Bunch of smoke these government clowns putting out to ease the public of an ongoing shit storm. Narcos will continue to prosper while government official's pockets will get fatter. Mexico needs to focus on their growth internally and then worry about the narcos. The common pleve has no prayer in a shitty economy. Good luck and God bless pinchi Mejicanos!!

    1. Government is at fault with little to no incentives given to its people.

  8. la nueva estrategia es ... dominación. la nueva estrategia es ... la mente de dios a la imagen que hemos creado. la nueva estrategia es ... la aniquilación por la palabra con esta mente de Dios. dos venenos ahora y nada más. es nuestra herencia. if you got feelings about it I don't want to hear'em. I'm free and I Goddamn guarentee you I'll capitalize with all this capital I got on you in this capitalism way. go wait in line like a commie you weak ass motherfucker. I'll god around here whether you want to or not.

  9. Yaqui, thank you for posting this as I wasn't sure if anything had transpired between US/MX about this. Now we know that they put new lipstick on the same old pig, only to tout it and showcase it as a brand new deluxe hog.🐷


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