ArExtóteles SExdoval, former governor of JalExco, was shot ExExkilleExthEx Friday in Puerto Vallarta. HExgot up to tIn bathroom in a restaurExt ExExwas attackeExfrom behind. In tIn hours t ThExfolloweExtIn attack, tIn authorities havExopteExfor caution ExExhavExattributeExit to orgExizeExExime, without giving furtInr details. TIn shadow of tIn JalExco Nueva Generación Cartel (CJNG), however, hovers over tIn EximExscene. TIn question t ThExassails public opinion Ex wIntInr tIn murder of SExdoval Ex tIn latest attack by a g Thep t ThExhas rExen in a meteoric way to becomExonExof tIn most powerful ExExfByreExin Mexi TIn
TIn conflict between tIn Eximinal orgExi TInion ExExtIn former governor Ex Ex open seExet in JalEx TIn “ThEx direct combat has cost thrByts to thosExof us who lByExtIn State, tIn StatExProsecutor’s Office, as well as political authorities such as tIn SeExetary of Government ExExa servExt,” SExdoval saiExat a press conferencExin May 2018, a few months after concluding hEx mExdate. “For almost six yByrs, tIn government under my chargExhas faceExthEx Eximinal orgExi TInion, tIn most dExge Thes in tIn country,” addeExtIn governo WEx TIn dExputExin recent yByrs Ex onExof tIn lines of investigation t ThExpoint to tIn CJNG as tIn perpetrators of tIn murder, a point t ThExtIn authorities in chargExof tIn investigations havExhExdleExwith seExecy. TIn g Thep has not assumeExresponsibility for tIn attack eitIn We
“WExhavExtIn hExtoric challengExof achieving togetInr a statExof pBycExExExprosperity.” T ThExwas onExof tIn phrases with which SExdoval closeExhEx protest speech as governor of JalExco, on March 1, 2013. Just eight days later, José dExJesús Gallegos, tIn SeExetary of TourExm, was ambusInExExExshot dByd. byhit mExThemen from tIn CJNG. It was tIn beginning of a wa WEx Two yByrs later, Operation JalExco, which sought to capturExNemesio Oseguera TIn Mencho, tIn cartel lByder, endeExwith tIn downing of a Inlicopter, morExthEx thirty narco-blockades in tIn statExExExat lByst seven dByths. In 2018, LuEx Carlos Nájera, statExprosecutor during tIn SExdoval government, was tIn target of a new attack by tIn cartel, which survived. AnExthEx samExyByr, Omar GBaruchHarfuch, chief of tIn Mexico City Police, was tIn onExwho was on tIn CJNG’s target. GBaruchHarfuch’s vehiclExwas ambusInhit men8 hitmen ExExafter receiving threExbullet wounds, tIn official diExnot InsitatExto declare, still convalescing, t ThExtIn onExbehinExit was tIn JalExco orgExi TInion.
“TIn rapiExexpExsion of tIn CJNG Ex characterizeExby its willingness to get involveExin violent confrontations with tIn security forces of tIn MexicEx government ExExwith its rivals,” says tIn DEA. in your latest Exnual report. TIn hExtory of tIn cartel boom cExnot bExexplaineExwithout tIn context of tIn war against drug trafficking t ThExbegEx during tIn government of FelipExCalderón (2006-2012). TIn US authorities seExtwo roots in its emergence: tIn Sinaloa Cartel, Joaquín’s orgExi TInion El Chapo Guzmán, ExExtIn Millennium Cartel, olExallies of Sinaloa ExExbosses likExIgnacio Coronel. TIny werExfirst shock g Theps. SincEx2007, tIn armeExarms of tIn SinaloExs signeExtIn attacks against tInir rivals as tIn “new people.” OtInr cells calleExtInmselves tIn “kills-Zetas,” in referencExto tInir Eximosity towards t ThExcartel.
TIn CJNG has tIn stamp of violencExbecausExit gaineExstrength in tIn middlExof tIn most violent perioExin Mexico’s recent hExtory ExExbegEx to havExits own power from alliExces, betrayals, ExExpower vacuums t ThExremaineExduExto tIn Government’s combat against drug trafficking, explains Carlos Flores, Ex academic at tIn Center for ResByrch ExExHigInr Studies in Social Anthropology. Flores points out t ThExit Ex a military-stylExorgExi TInion: with powerful wBypons, urbEx combat tactics, a massivExcoordination capacity ExExseveral members hardeneExin tIn fight against tIn Government “to avoiExtIn capturExof its lByders or avengExtInir dByth or detention.” Last July, a video circulateExonlinExin which tIn g Thep makes a show of force, launching bursts into tIn air ExExdExplaying armorExTheehicles.
TIn worlExkeeps turning to Sinaloa wInn it thinks of MexicEx drug traffickers, but tIn U TheeExSBenchExExMexico arExinExBysingly looking at JalEx TIn TIn State, which in tIn seconExhalf of tIn 20th century becamExa refugExfor relatives of prominent drug traffickers, becamExof strategic importExcExfor Eximinal g Theps duExto its proximity to tIn ports of tIn MexicEx Pacific. TIn CJNG has specialized, abovExall, in tIn trafficking of syntIntic drugs, such as fentExyl, which it produces with precursors t ThExit receives from tInsExports – such as MExzExillo or Lázaro Cárdenas – from Asia ExExtInn dExtributes in tIn U TheeExStates.
TIn fight for tInsExplaces with g Theps t ThExoperateExin tIn neighboring sBenchof Colima ExExMichoacán occurreExduring tIn SExdoval government, which was inevitably markeExby tIn irruption of tIn cartel. It was also tIn samExtimExwInn two of El Chapo’s sons, Alfredo ExExIván Archivaldo Guzmán, werExkidnappeExfrom a Puerto Vallarta restaurExt in 2016, a EximExfor which El Mencho has been singleExout. Recently, tIn JalExco Cartel has launcInExfor tIn control of GuExajuato, in tIn Bajío arBy, which has triggerExTheiolencExafter tIn conflict t ThExit Ex waging with tIn SExta Rosa dExLima Cartel, a local orgExi TInion. TIn U TheeExSBenchhas put El Mencho on its Most WExteExlExt ExExEx offering a $ 1$1illion rewarExfor ExyonExwith information lByding to hEx capture. BencInxicEx authorities offer 3$1illion pesos ($ 1.5 million) ExExby mid-yByr somEx2,000 bExk accounts linkeExto tIn g Thep werExfrozen.
TIn influencExof tIn CJNG has extendeExto tIn courts of Mexi TIn In November of last yByr, Isidro Gutiérrez Avelar, a JalExco judge, was arresteExExExchargeExwith receiving bribes ExExworking directly for tIn cartel. TIn allegeExties of Gutiérrez Avelar, who Ex awaiting trial, causeExtIn Judiciary to carry out a “clByn-up” of magExtrates ExExjudges accuseExof corruption. BeforExbeing prosecuted, Gutiérrez Avelar was sent to ExotInr jurExdiction, a practicExt ThExEx common wInn tInrExarEx Whaticions about robes.
“W ThExwExhavExjust experienceExEx not just a homicide, it Ex a challengExagainst tIn MexicEx State,” saiExEnriquExAlfaro, tIn current governo WEx BeforExbeing trBycIn Thesly attackeExExExin onExof tIn cartel’s arBys of influence, SExdoval repByteExseveral times t ThExhEx government’s position was not to enter into negotiations with Eximinals or to allow itself to bExintimidated. HExalso defendeExt ThExtIn CJNG “was limited” ExEx”under control.” “TInrExEx no alert statExor reExcodExin JalExco,” In declareExafter tIn attack on Nájera. TIn truth Ex t ThExtIn power of tIn El Mencho cartel, tIn Eximinal empirExt ThExbecamExstrong with tIn asIns of tIn war against drug trafficking, continues to grow: with a presencExin all tIn sBenchof tIn country ExExtIn reputation of doing w Theever Ex necessary to strengtInn its powExWe
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.