November 5, 2013
Mexico- The arrest of Miguel Angel Trevino Morales, Z-40 (July 16, 2013), led to a restructuring of the Gulf cartel and its expansion into territories that were held by Los Zetas.
Moreover, the criminal group seeks to penetrate area markets of synthetic drug production in the possession of The Knights Templar and the Sinaloa cartel. Officials have noted this trend while participating in the national security cabinet.
Changes in drug consumption have also generated changes in criminal groups operating in Mexico, spurring restructuring; from 2012, the Attorney General of the Republic “found it was difficult to penetrate organizations to meet their leaders, to learn their methods of operation, areas of action, communication networks, and links with other international criminal gangs,” noted in a report by the former head of the Attorney Specialized Investigation of Organized Crime (SEIDO) José Cuitláhuac Martínez Salinas.
Throughout the 90s and until 2000, the market for the production, marketing and trafficking of synthetic drugs was in the hands of the Amezcua Contreras brothers, known as the bosses of Colima cartel, subsequently the Milenio Cartel, led by Valencia family members, a group that in 2005 created La Familia Michoacan Family. And January 2011 founded the organization known as The Knights Templar.
SEIDO officials noted that the reports are forwarded to an information base that integrates the National Center for Planning, Analysis and Information to Combat Crime (Cenapi) reported that marijuana and poppy crops have dropped , but also observed the number of clandestine laboratories detected and dismantled.
Between 2006 and 2012, the federal government had considered that criminal group’s interest in crop cultivation had decreased but their interest in the trade of illicit synthetic drugs rose by 120 percent. Their calculations were based on the number of clandestine laboratories dismantled in that period: 340 in Michoacan, 194 in Sinaloa and 162 in Jalisco, which is the area considered to be “the main producer of methamphetamine in the country.”
The first report of the Enrique Peña Nieto government refers that in 2011 the federal government destroyed 13, 430 hectares of marijuana and 16,389 hectares of poppy, in the first half of 2012, there were 9,164 of cannabis and 15,786 and poppy destroyed; in the first seven months of this year there were 3,096 acres of cannabis destroyed and 10, 719 acres of poppy destroyed.
According to information from the federal officials, the Sinaloa cartel has a presence throughout all the Pacific, and having moved on to Tijuana, now their routes cover, starting from Colima and Jalisco to Sonora and Baja California, and then send their shipments to the United States through San Diego, California, as well as it controls part of Ciudad Juarez because it now shares the territory with the Juarez cartel led by Vicente Carrillo Leyva (brother of Amado Carrillo, the late Lord of the Skies).
Likewise, the sources noted, in Michoacan control of the reception center of precursor chemicals is disputed, as Knights Templar maintain a partnership with the Sinaloa cartel , but both face the Beltran Leyva organization.
The Gulf cartel, with Homero Cárdenas Guillén, and Juan Mejia Gonzalez, El Kike or El R-1 (was leader of the armed wing of the Cárdenas Guillén family, a group known as Los Rojos), has regained territories such as the municipalities of Matamoros and Nuevo Laredo, and disputes Reynosa with some cells of the Zetas in Coahuila, Quintana Roo, Veracruz, Tabasco, Guerrero and Nuevo Leon.
Source: El Diario