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”)
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.