Meet Mexico’s Most Violent & Terrorizing Drug Cartel


The Jalisco New Generation Cartel (CJNG), currently fighting the Knights Templar Cartel and Los Zetas for control of the cities of Guadalajara, Jalisco and the states of Michoacán and Veracruz, is one of the newest and fastest-growing drug-trafficking criminal groups in Mexico.

The CJNG was originally formed in 2009 as the armed wing of the Sinaloa cartel. It severed ties after the Mexican army shot dead a dominant regional trafficker called Ignacio Coronel in the Guadalajara urban area in 2010. After the Mexican authorities captured Sinaloa cartel’s kingpin Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman on 22 February 2014, the resulting power vacuum paved the way for the meteoric rise of the CJNG making it one of Mexico’s most powerful and dangerous drug cartels.

The group is believed to be involved in widespread kidnapping, extortion, and gasoline theft in western Mexico. They sent shockwaves through Mexico last spring, when its gunmen killed scores of federal policemen, set up dozens of road blocks in Jalisco state and even shot down an army helicopter with a rocket-propelled grenade.

Along with its bloodshed, the CJNG releases propaganda videos, where they show off their guns and claim they defend citizens against more predatory cartels. However, federal prosecutors say that while the CJNG claims to protect people, it carries out its own shakedowns and kidnappings.

It is a very dangerous organization. It operates on a local level, hitting business, like other newer cartels. But it also has international trafficking links like the older cartels,” a prosecutor from Mexican government’s organized crime unit told GlobalPost.

They warned me that if I didn’t pay, then I’d be in trouble. I changed my phone number and everything, but the extortion continued,” Eduardo Pérez, a tequila producer, told VICE News. For almost two years, Pérez paid his extortionists 200,000 pesos each month (about $13,400) to keep himself and his business “protected” and avoid repercussions. He was forced to shut down operations after the constant payments as the strain on his company’s finances took its toll.

In October 2014, police in the western state of Jalisco busted a clandestine factory where traffickers assembled their own assault rifles. Hidden in two farm houses in the tequila-producing region, the factory used industrial metal cutters and blow torches to assemble AR15 rifles from components.

“It’s highly sophisticated machinery with very precise software that allows them to make the cuts to finish the guns, which work perfectly,” said Luis Carlos Najera, Jalisco Attorney General.

The offensives and gun factories show how the CJNG is defying the government’s crackdown on traffickers. The cartels’ ability to make their own guns, customized vehicles and spike ejectors make them difficult for Mexico’s government to wipe out. The cartel is also expanding its territory, with tentacles stretching from its base in the mid-western state of Jalisco as far as Cancun in the south-eastern tip, and even up to the border with Texas. According to officials, the powerful new drug cartel is now targeting Hong Kong’s lucrative cocaine market and reaping huge profits.

Members of the Jalisco New Generation cartel (CJNG) record themselves with prisoners from a rival cartel.

They are spreading like the bubonic plague. They are the fastest-growing cartel and if they continue to grow as they have been, they will become more powerful than the Sinaloa cartel and the Zetas combined,” said Mike Vigil, former head of international operations for the Drug Enforcement Administration.

Cartel chief Nemesio Oseguera, alias “El Mencho”, was added to the US Treasury Department’s kingpin sanctions list in April 2015. Oseguera is a new challenge to Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto, who had been able to boast about the captures of the leaders of the Sinaloa, Zetas, Gulf and Knights Templar drug cartels since taking office in 2012. In a little success, Rubén Oseguera González, alias “El Menchito”, the son and alleged second-in-command of the CJNG, was captured in Jalisco in June 2015.

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