HomeNewsAnalysisReports of New Criminal Groups in Mexico May Challenge Current Policy
ANALYSIS

Reports of New Criminal Groups in Mexico May Challenge Current Policy

MEXICO / 11 JAN 2011 BY INSIGHT CRIME EN

A recent investigation by Mexico City’s Attorney General may shed light on the effect of assassinating cartel leaders, a strategy that American officials often describe as “HVT (high value target) takedowns.”

According to the Mexican daily La Cronica de Hoy, the Attorney General of the Mexico City stated that the recent capture or killing of certain organized crime bosses may have resulted in their subordinates creating new organizations seeking to establish market dominance.  The article cites as evidence the emergence of two new criminal groups, known as “La Oficina” and “La Mano con Ojos,” which have begun leaving threatening messages to authorities in the Mexico City area.

Mexico City’s Attorney General will meet with the National Attorney General later this week to share information on these two groups and determine their level of sophistication.  Although the National Attorney General’s office has no information on “La Oficina,” they reportedly have a file on “La Mano con Ojos,” which they believe is responsible for a beheading last week in the Tlalpan area of Mexico City.

The emergence of such new organizations coincides with outcry from civil society organizations, who argue that the HVT takedown approach to cartels simply molds them into smaller and more agile groups.  A recent report by the Congressional Research Service noted a growing body of criticism arguing that the current policy, far from eliminating the cartels, transforms them from more professional, hierarchical organizations with clear chains of command to organizations where the more violent, unsophisticated elements compete to fill frequently-occurring power vacuums.

According to President Calderon’s security spokesman Alejandro Poiré, however, these newer organizations are unstable and short-lived.  In a recent press statement, Poiré told El Milenio that about half of the 37 most dangerous criminal leaders of Mexico have been captured or killed. “This represents a severe and irreparable damage to the structures of operations of all organized crime organizations,” Poiré said. “In an historic feat, we have done more than half of the task at hand. During the last year in particular we made rapid progress.” 

As reports surface of new criminal organizations such as “La Mano con Ojos,” however, it remains to be seen if Poiré’s words will ring true.  If these new organizations pose a serious threat to citizen security in the country in the coming months, then it will almost certainly mean an electoral defeat for President Calderon’s National Action Party (PAN) in the upcoming 2012 elections.

Compartir icon icon icon

What are your thoughts? Click here to send InSight Crime your comments.

We encourage readers to copy and distribute our work for non-commercial purposes, with attribution to InSight Crime in the byline and links to the original at both the top and bottom of the article. Check the Creative Commons website for more details of how to share our work, and please send us an email if you use an article.

Tags

Related Content

DRUG POLICY / 11 JAN 2013

The incoming Mexican ambassador to Washington called for renewed debate on drug prohibition and on gun control…

INFOGRAPHICS / 10 MAY 2012

Authorities in Jalisco, Mexico have discovered 18 human heads, along with other body parts, in two abandoned vehicles, possibly the…

INFOGRAPHICS / 6 DEC 2011

Mexico's drug gangs do not just fight each other with bullets, but through tactics like having rivals' birthday parties busted…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

We Have Updated Our Website

4 FEB 2021

Welcome to our new home page. We have revamped the site to create a better display and reader experience.

THE ORGANIZATION

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…