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

Tuesday, October 3, 2023

AMLO Acknowledges Forced Recruitment Of Youths By Organized Crime

"Sol Prendido" for Borderland Beat

During his morning press conference - held from the Salón Tesorería of the National Palace - President Andrés Manuel López Obrador acknowledged on October 3, 2023, that forced recruitment of young people by organized crime does exist in Mexico.

However, the politician from Tabasco said that this phenomenon could be happening because it was harder for criminal groups to find those who wanted to join their ranks, due to the fact that young people now had scholarships and better opportunities for development.

"The truth is that many young people are having opportunities to study and work, which was not the case before, and it is no longer easy for criminals to strengthen their ranks," said the president.

Likewise, López Obrador considered that organized crime no longer had a reserve army, as in previous governments, when the only thing that was done for the country's youth, according to him, was to call them "ninis aka children".

On the contrary, the President of the Republic mentioned that his government was handing out 4 million scholarships for high school students, thus reducing school dropouts. In addition, he said that through the Jóvenes Construyendo el Futuro program alone, 100 billion pesos in support had been allocated.

"This was not done before, in five previous six-year terms, 30 years, they allocated seven billion pesos to young people in general, and we have allocated 100 billion pesos in just one program in five years," added the head of the Federal Executive Power.

Before, the authorities only used to say "there are the spies, there are the young spies working for criminals, reporting who entered a town or who left, all this is what the strategy we have applied to address the causes of violence has meant, and we will continue to protect everyone", insisted López Obrador.


President Andrés Manuel López Obrador denied, on September 25, 2023, that Mexican drug cartels have around 175,000 members, representing the fifth largest employer in Mexico, according to a study published by the U.S. scientific journal Science, an organ of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).

"A note also came out from the right, from the conservatives, saying that the jobs generated in Mexico come from drug trafficking, that is false and I can prove it. Who is offering more jobs is the construction industry and it has to do with public investment", said the politician from Tabasco.

During his morning press conference -held from the Treasury Room of the National Palace-, the head of the Federal Executive Power said that the public works being carried out in the country generated thousands of jobs.

"50 thousand from a company that is working on the Mayan Train [...] public investment has helped us a lot and I would also like to comment to those who live in the north and those who live in the center that it does not mean that there is no growth in the north and in the center, we are now looking for balance and that growth is evenly horizontal", said the President.


Mexican drug trafficking cartels had around 175,000 members, representing the fifth largest employer in Mexico, according to a study published on September 21, 2023, by the U.S. scientific journal Science, an organ of expression of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), founded in New York in 1880, with financial support from Thomas Edison and later from Alexander Graham Bell.

However, according to the research signed by Rafael Prieto-Curiel, Gian Maria Campedelli and the late Alejandro Sebastian Hope Pinson -published on pages 1312 to 1316, Volume 381, Issue 6664, of the aforementioned US magazine-, strengthening the strength of the Mexican police and Army would only result in an increase in the number of victims.

The study entitled 'Reducing cartel recruitment is the only way to reduce violence in Mexico', indicates that the most important Mexican criminal groups must recruit between 350 and 370 people per week in order "not to collapse", therefore, the massive arrest of their members cannot be seen as a long term solution.

The research also suggests that incapacitating cartel members -- by placing them under arrest, for example -- will only increase violence and increase the recruitment of new members. Instead, according to the study's authors, a better strategy may be to reduce organized crime's recruitment of personnel.

Prieto-Curiel, Campedelli and the late Hope Pinson found that Mexico's drug cartels have a larger workforce than companies such as convenience store chain OXXO, bakery Bimbo, state-owned Petróleos Mexicanos (PEMEX), Sinaloa-based Coppel, Grupo Salinas - owned by billionaire Ricardo Salinas Pliego - and Adecco, a human resources company based in Zurich, Switzerland. It is also just below the number of employees of América Móvil, owned by magnate Carlos Slim Helú.

According to the study, Fomento Económico Mexicano (FEMSA), the retail chain Walmart, the US multinational corporation Manpower and the telecommunications multinational América Móvil have 321,000, 231,000, 203,000 and 181 employees, respectively. Mexican drug trafficking cartels have 175,000 workers.

OXXO (also owned by FEMSA, which bottles Coca-Cola, among other beverages), Bimbo, PEMEX, Coppel, Grupo Salinas and Adecco have 168,000, 138,000, 124,000, 114,000, 100,000 and 97 employees, respectively.

The authors of the research also estimated how many active members the main drug trafficking cartels in Mexico had. Of the 175,000 members in total, the Jalisco New Generation Cartel (CJNG) accounted for 17.9 percent, while the Sinaloa Cartel had 8.9 percent; the New Michoacan Family, 6.2 percent; the Northeast Cartel, 4.5 percent; and the Tepito Union, 3.5 percent.

According to the study published in the US scientific journal, Mexico's 10 largest cartels account for more than 50 percent of active affiliates in the country, but conflict between them only accounted for 15 percent of their members' fatalities.

The remaining 59 percent were distributed among other smaller groups. For the estimate, the study looked at data from 150 active cartels in Mexico, including information on their alliances and rivalries, as well as data on homicides, missing persons and incarcerations.

Prieto-Curiel, one of the study's authors, told Science that "it is likely to be a mix of threats against people's families, direct recruitment (advertising jobs as 'security guards,' for example) and young people looking to become cartel members for work.

According to the investigation, although clashes between different organized crime groups, defections and arrests could decimate the cartels' forces, but this hasn’t led to a real and sustained weakening of the cartels, as they had a higher capacity to continue recruiting members.

For example, the study estimated that "between January and December 2021, Mexican drug cartels recruited 19,300 people, losing 6,500 members as a result of conflict with other organized crime groups and 5,700 members as a result of incapacitation, resulting in "a net gain" of approximately 7,000 members during that year.

Taking into account the size of the cartels in 2022 and the trends observed over the last decade, the authors of the research predicted that organized crime-related casualties would continue to rise.

"We estimate that if current trends continue, cartels will continue to increase their power and we could see 40 percent more victims and 26 more cartel members by 2027," states the study published in Science.

"Doubling incapacitation, with all the costs and challenges associated with increased security resources (including police personnel, military, prisons, etc.), will still result in an 8 percent increase in the number of victims and a 6 percent increase in the number of cartel members. Even doubling incarcerations will result in an increase in violence," the research indicates.

On the contrary, "halving the cartel's ability to recruit will reduce weekly casualties by 2027 by 25 percent and the size of the cartel by 11 percent [...] Even in the hypothetical scenario in which recruitment drops to zero, it would take three years to return to the (already high) levels of violence observed in 2012," says the study published in the scientific journal.


  1. do people actually like this guy?

    1. 1:59 - Well, considering the fact that since becoming president his political party has grown a lot in popularity while other political parties in Mexico have lost popularity, I would say yes.

    2. His approval stands between number 2 and number 3 on a unbiased internet platform that tracts world leader popularity in their corresponding countries. 🤷🏽‍♂️

    3. Amlo is the best president mx has seen in recent times, don't listen to everything these incels say on the internet

  2. Would you fake joining them, then ma§§acяэ them after they hand you a weapon? I think I would.
    t. Perkele Suomi :DD (Finnish)

    1. Simmer down cowboy

    2. Wild imagination. What else do you conjure up in that little brain of yours?

  3. Stop blaming almo he do what he can, take his bribes like the rest do. Who cares. Our us government has been working with cartels since the beginning of time. They put on this act for tv and do nothing. Thanks cartels keep doing your thang. Please keep passing the knowlage down to keep this thang going. See you in another 20 years war on drugs


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