The first two accompanying references are from NarcoNews, a non-governmental investigative website that has been looking at the illegal drug phenomenon in Mexico for a number of years. The recent surge in drug-trade violence in the border town of Nuevo
Laredo (across from Laredo, Texas) is the immediate subject of the two-part series. In the first part of the series, the author asks an interesting question. How is it that in spite of losing gun battle after gun battle against government forces, the locally dominant Northeast Cartel never seems to lose control? The author ends part one with the assertion that people do not trust the government. In the second part, the author starts by noting a relationship between local politics and the cartels, then goes on to outline a complicated political intrigue too detailed to fairly capture in this comment. The overall assertion is that local political leaders are deeply corrupt and attempting to play off one cartel against another. The third accompanying reference, from Infobae, gives additional commercial and geographic context. The article reaffirms that the two principal cartels, both with international reach, are the New Generation Jalisco Cartel (CJNG) and the Sinaloa Cartel. According to the report, there are at least 19 competitive cartels, with the CJNG being the most expansive.

…Nobody in Nuevo Laredo likes the CDN, but nobody has confidence in the [explicative] government…

Source: El Parece, “La Batalla Por Nuevo Laredo (The Battle for Nuevo Laredo),” Narco News, 19 September 2020. https://www.narco.news/la-batalla-por-nuevo-laredo

“You can’t kill us out of existence. Consider the CDN [Northeast Cartel, also sometimes known as Los Zetas], the current criminal hegemon in Nuevo Laredo. In spite of years of attrition, its dominion has been resistant to invasion from rivals and the efforts of state and federal governments to eliminate them…

One of the forms with which they maintain control is by way of armed confrontations with the state, a contest that they lose almost 100% of the time. Nevertheless, they persist in Nuevo Laredo in spite of suffering far more losses than they inflict. How is that possible?…

Nobody in Nuevo Laredo likes the CDN, but nobody has confidence in the [explicative] government.”

…The main targets are the self-defense groups that formed to defend themselves…

Source: El Parece, “La Batalla Por Nuevo Laredo – Parte II (The Battle for Nuevo Laredo, Part II),” Narco News, 19 September 2020. https://www.narco.news/la-batalla-por-nuevo-laredo-parte-ii

“The violence in Tamaulipas also has a complex political dimension…the security strategy of the state government is principally centered around retaking Nuevo Laredo and Reynosa. These are possibly the two most important Tamaulipas cities economically and politically. The cities of Nuevo Laredo and Reynosa interconnect with Monterrey in Nueva León, the financial capital of northeast Mexico. The great part of the drug traffic coming from the states of the east and center of Mexico move by way of Monterrey and Reynosa or Nuevo Laredo. Nuevo Laredo might be the most important crossing point of Mexico with approximately 40% of all the commercial export traffic passing through the city toward I35 in the United States…”

At least 19 criminal organizations threaten the country.

Source: El nuevo mapa del narco en México: CJNG se extiende como una plaga por todo el país (The new narco map in Mexico: CJNG expands as a plague in the whole country),” Infobae, 22 September 2020. https://www.infobae.com/america/mexico/2020/09/22/el-mapa-delnarco-en-mexico-cjng-se-extiende-como-una-plaga-por-todo-el-pais/

“The Sinaloa Cartel also maintains its dominant presence in spite of the fall of Chapo Guzmán…

At least 19 criminal organizations threaten the country. The violence is a long way from stopping in Mexico. In spite of the fact that the federal government of Andrés Manuel López Obrador ordered the deployment of the armed forces in the country, the expansion of the narcos in the territory continues…

At a little more than ten years after its appearance, the CJNG overtook the Sinaloa Cartel and is now the aggrupation with the most
expansion in Mexico. From a presence in four states (2010), it expanded to dominate 24 states [Mexico has 31 states, not counting the capital district]…”

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