In its attempt to expand its illicit business throughout Mexican territory, the Jalisco Cartel – New Generation (CJNG) has had to confront other criminal organizations for control of the plazas. While it has managed to form alliances with certain criminal groups, it has also formed enmities with opposing cells.
A report by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) indicates that the four-letter cartel has the largest presence in Mexico, operating in 21 of Mexico’s 32 states. In second place is the Sinaloa Cartel, whose area of influence is in 19 states.
Although Yucatán has one of the lowest common crime rates at the national level, according to figures from the Executive Secretariat of the National Public Security System (SENSP), in recent years it has been besieged by organized crime, as it is a key territory for drug trafficking activities.
Intelligence reports indicate that the organization led by Nemesio Oseguera Cervantes, alias ‘El Mencho’, has a quarrel with the Sinaloa Cartel, the Gulf Cartel and Los Pelones in Yucatán, as mentioned in a report published in El Sol de Yucatán.
Although Yucatan is a strategic zone for drug trafficking, in the last couple of years the crimes have diversified, as it is now considered a “money laundering center”, as well as a reception point for chemical precursors used in the production of drugs.
That is why since 2017, cells attached to the CJNG have broken into the municipalities of Progreso, Mérida, Ixil, Río Lagartos, Chemax and Tizimín. Their objective, according to the aforementioned media outlet, is to take control of the Gulf routes via Yucatan and Quintana Roo.
In contrast, the Sinaloa Cartel maintains its main strongholds in Panabá and Tizimín, where they traffic drugs and people from Central and South America and the Caribbean. Their cells are headed by Carlos Alberto Torres, alias ‘El Chore’, Héctor Elías Flores, ‘El 15′ and Jonjairo Ku Uch, alias ‘Zeus’, who maintain their operations in the area bordering Quintana Roo.
Likewise, in their attempt to establish themselves in Yucatan, the CJNG have confronted the “remnant criminal cells of the Gulf Cartel”, led by Pedro Galdámez Orozco and Dorian Eduardo Trejo Peña.
Another criminal group that the CJNG has had to confront is Los Pelones, led by Omar Alejandro Lara, alias ‘El Soldado’. This individual is in charge of overseeing criminal operations in the Yucatan and Quintana Roo plazas.
In addition, the four-letter cartel has had violent disputes with the Epitacio Family, previously headed by Herbert Armando Bautista Epitacio, alias ‘La Hamburguesa’, arrested in 2019 in Merida. This cell has a presence in Progreso and Kanasin, where it is dedicated to drug trafficking.
Today, the CJNG is considered one of the most prolific organizations in the world, as according to the DEA it has a presence in 100 countries and has more than 18,000 members and associates.