Jalisco New Generation Drug Cartel, Rapidly Increasing its Power in Mexico

The Jalisco New Generation Cartel (in Spanish: Cártel de Jalisco Nueva Generación, CJNG), also known as the Matazetas (“Zeta Killers”), is one of the fastest-growing drug-trafficking criminal groups in Mexico.

The Jalisco Nueva Generacion organization was created in 2010 as a cell of the powerful Sinaloa drug cartel and operated in Jalisco under the command of Ignacio “Nacho” Coronel.

Coronel’s death in 2010 triggered a turf war between the Jalisco Nueva Generacion cartel and La Resistencia, a gang allied with the Los Zetas cartel.

They have been fighting the Michoacan based “Knights Templar Cartel” and “Los Zetas” for control of the city of Guadalajara, Jalisco and the states of Michoacán and Veracruz.

The CJNG also operates in the states of Nayarit, Colima, and Guanajuato. While this cartel is best known for fighting the Zetas, it has also been battling La Resistencia for control of Jalisco and its surrounding territories.

Jalisco New Generation Cartel expanded its operation network from coast to coast in only six months, making it one of the criminals groups with the greatest operating capacity in Mexico as of 2012.

The Sinaloa Cartel used the Jalisco New Generation Cartel as its armed wing to fight off Los Zetas for several years, but in the end, after the arrest of Sinaloa’s leader “Chapo” Guzmán on February 2014, they became one of the best trained, more equipped and better organized cartels in Mexico.

Cartel Jalisco Nueva Generación (Photo: Proceso)
Cartel Jalisco Nueva Generación (Photo: Proceso)

Noticieros Televisa dubbed Jalisco Nueva Generación “Mexico’s most powerful and most dangerous cartel,” adding the organization is controlled by the González Valencia brothers. In addition to Jalisco, the cartel’s operations are concentrated in the states of Colima, Michoacán, Guanajuato, Tamaulipas, Veracruz and Guerrero.

Cartel Jalisco Nueva Generación (Photo: www.narcoviolencia.com.mx)

Jalisco Nueva Generación “is the most global of the Mexican criminal organizations,” according to Mexico City Newspaper El Universal.

Unlike its competitors, this network did not waste its efforts competing for the trafficking routes that cross the border between Mexico and the United States. The (U.S. market) is not the one it is most interested in,” the newspaper added.

The cartel’s head, Nemesio Oseguera Cervantes, alias “El Mencho,” is one of Mexico’s richest drug lords“, José Reveles, author of several books on drug trafficking, told the AP. “Cervantes’ operations include the trafficking of narcotics to locations across Europe, Asia, Australia and South Africa“.

“Nevertheless, it is critical that the government act decisively against the organization, which in April ambushed a Jalisco police convoy and killed 15 officers; and on May 1, shot down a military helicopter, killing nine people”. stated Reveles.

Everything points to an increase in violence because there hasn’t been a cartel this strong in the state since the 1980s,” he concluded.

José Reveles (Photo: snn.imer.gob.mx)
José Reveles (Photo: snn.imer.gob.mx)

Duncan Tucker is a British journalist based in Guadalajara, Mexico. He covers a wide mix of news, politics, business, the war on drugs, culture and sport.

Aside from Global Delivery Report, he writes regularly for the Guadalajara Reporter, the Huffington Post and Soccer365.com. Much of his work can be found on Mexico-themed blog “The Tequila Files.”


Tucker says that Jalisco New Generation is a paramilitary organization that “has rocket launchers, grenade launchers and was even caught manufacturing its own assault rifles at a clandestine factory in Guadalajara last year.” “And as we saw on Friday May 22nd, the group is willing to challenge State and Federal authorities “in almost warlike situations.”

Follow Duncan on Twitter @DuncanTucker.