Mexico’s Attorney General’s Office (PGR) has identified seven new criminal organizations that it has identified as cartels for their range of criminal exploits.
The new organizations are smaller, less entrenched, and are less powerful than the older generation of Mexican cartels, which were massive criminal enterprises.
Instead the new cartels, Insight Crime notes, have largely spawned from mid-ranking members of former Mexican cartels, such as the Zetas.
Mexico is currently carrying out a “kingpin strategy” against criminal organizations in the country.
The strategy has largely been successful in apprehending the country’s top cartel members. However, it has done little to alleviate the underlying conditions which spawned the cartels. As such, the kingpin strategy has done little other than cause the previous Mexican cartels to implode leading to the creation of multiple new criminal organizations.
We have profiled the seven latest cartels to enter the Mexican criminal scene below.
“Cartel del Estado” (“The State Cartel”)
The State Cartel operates primarily in the State Mexico, in the center of the country. It draws its income from diverse sources, including charging other organizations for the transport of drugs through its territory, local drug dealing, and kidnapping, the PGR notes.
The State first formed as a faction within the now defunct Familia Michoacana cartel, Insight Crime notes.
The fall of the Familia previously gave rise to a number of gangs, including the Knights Templar cartel.
“Cartel de los Precursores Quimicos” (“The Precursor Chemical Cartel”)
- Thomson Reuters
The Precursor Chemical Cartel, as its name implies, deals largely with the sourcing and distribution of the precursor chemicals needed for large-scale drug production, PGR writes.
This group’s specialization in the dealing of only precursor chemicals is illustrative of the balkanization of the cartels.
Whereas the larger cartels in Mexico would have previously attempted to control all facets of drug production, the implosion of the cartels has allowed the Precursor Chemical Cartel to flourish.
“Cartel de los Mazatlecos” (“Mazatlecos Cartel”)
The Mazatlecos Cartel, Insight Crime notes, was first formed by the crippled Beltran Leyva Organization and the Zetas Cartel.
The Mazatlecos was largely a local gang in the Mexican state of Sinaloa, started specifically to disrupt the Sinaloa cartel’s operations in their home state.
The Mazatlecos has since grown in power. It’s now involved in drug dealing, kidnapping, and extortion. The group also makes use of training camps to prepare its members, and it has large-scale associations with street gangs throughout its areas of operation.
“Cartel del Chapo Isidro” (“Chapo Isidro Cartel”)
The Chapo Isidro Cartel, the PGR notes, is responsible for large-scale drug distribution networks. The cartel specializes in methamphetamines, heroin, and marijuana.
The cartel aims to deal drugs largely in the US, but its larger international operations have led to the cartel’s leader being wanted by the US and the EU for extradition.
“Cartel de la Oficina” (“The Office Cartel”)
- Jorge Lopez/REUTERS
The Office Cartel is comprised of defected members from the armed portions of the Beltran Leyva Organization, Zetas, and Sinaloa Cartel.
The group is known for its extremely violent tactics, the PGR notes, including kidnapping and murders that are intended to scare the local population into compliance.
“Cartel Gente Nueva del Sur” (“New Southern People Cartel”)
- Reuters/Henry Romero
The New Southern People Cartel is one of the most operationally diverse cartels to have formed.
Based throughout large portions of southeast Mexico, the PGR notes that the group is involved in drug dealing, kidnapping, extortion, and the theft and sale of oil.
Additionally, Insight Crime notes that the cartel also raises funds by charging other gangs to move supplies through its territory.
“Cartel del Aeropuerto” (“Airport Cartel”)
The PGR admits that it has little information about the Airport Cartel, but the group is thought to be spread across Mexico and is the most technically proficient at smuggling drugs through aerial operations.
Insight Crime notes that the cartel likely uses commercial airports and private airstrips to smuggle drugs throughout the country and to an international audience.