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Tijuana Cartel

The Tijuana Cartel, also known as the Arellano Felix Organization, is based in one of the most strategically important Mexico border cities for trafficking drugs into the United States. Due to infighting, arrests and the deaths of many top leaders, the organization is a shell of what it was in the 1990s and early 2000s, when it was considered…

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Latest News

MEXICO / 11 FEB 2019

Two death threats were made against the president of Mexico in the same week from two different criminal groups, suggesting…

HOMICIDES / 26 JUL 2018

A new report says that executions linked to organized crime in Mexico have skyrocketed to record levels during the first…

MEXICO / 28 JUL 2017

In "Confessions of a Cartel Hit Man," former Tijuana Cartel enforcer Martin Corona traces his rise through the ranks of the hegemonic…

JALISCO CARTEL / 20 OCT 2016

A bloody cartel war raging in the state of Baja California Sur hints at the new strategies and alliances forming…

JALISCO CARTEL / 23 MAR 2016

Authorities in Mexico have voiced fears the Jalisco Cartel has arrived in Baja California state, the most substantial indication yet…

BOLIVIA / 1 APR 2015

Bolivia's capture of two Peruvians who allegedly worked for the Tijuana Cartel highlights Bolivia's central role in the region's cocaine…

Key Actors

Edgardo Leyva Escandon, alias ’24’

MEXICO / 2017-03-09 19:02:45

Edgardo Leyva Escandon, alias "24" has worked with Mexico's Tijuana Cartel, also known as the Arellano Felix Organization (AFO), since 1994, and is a specialist in arms and security. The…

Fernando Sanchez Arellano, alias ‘El Ingeniero’

MEXICO / 2016-10-20 20:29:31

Fernando Sanchez Arellano, alias "El Ingeniero" or "Fernandito," was the enigmatic head of the Tijuana Cartel, until his capture in June 2014. El Ingeniero is the son of Enedina Arellano…

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InSight Crime Events – Border Crime: The Northern Triangle and Tri-Border Area

ARGENTINA / 25 JAN 2021

Through several rounds of extensive field investigations, our researchers have analyzed and mapped out the main illicit economies and criminal groups present in 39 border departments spread across the six countries of study – the Northern Triangle trio of Guatemala, Honduras, and El…

BRIEF

InSight Crime’s ‘Memo Fantasma’ Investigation Wins Simón Bolívar National Journalism Prize

COLOMBIA / 20 NOV 2020

The staff at InSight Crime was awarded the prestigious Simón Bolívar national journalism prize in Colombia for its two-year investigation into the drug trafficker known as “Memo Fantasma,” which was…

ANALYSIS

InSight Crime – From Uncovering Organized Crime to Finding What Works

COLOMBIA / 12 NOV 2020

This project began 10 years ago as an effort to address a problem: the lack of daily coverage, investigative stories and analysis of organized crime in the Americas. …

ANALYSIS

InSight Crime – Ten Years of Investigating Organized Crime in the Americas

FEATURED / 2 NOV 2020

In early 2009, Steven Dudley was in Medellín, Colombia. His assignment: speak to a jailed paramilitary leader in the Itagui prison, just south of the city. Following his interview inside…