HomeNewsBriefDrug Cartels Wield Power in 68% of Mexico: Representative
BRIEF

Drug Cartels Wield Power in 68% of Mexico: Representative

MEXICO / 19 JUL 2012 BY GEOFFREY RAMSEY EN

As Mexico’s president-elect sizes up the country’s criminal landscape, a congresswoman has claimed that nearly 70 percent of the country's municipalities have been infiltrated by organized crime.

After winning the presidency in Sunday's elections, Enrique Peña Nieto of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) has moved to back his campaign promises on security with specific goals. This week it was reported that he hopes to halve the number of kidnappings and murders during his term by shifting the emphasis of law enforcement away from high-profile arrests and drug busts to focus on local, small-scale gangs.

On the heels of this pledge, El Sol de Mexico reported that congresswoman Maria de Jesus Aguirre Maldonado (pictured) presented a sobering set of statistics to the Mexican House of Representatives which suggest it will be easier said than done. According to Aguirre, who is also from the PRI, and a member of the Public Security Committee, organized criminal syndicates have penetrated 68 percent of the country’s 2,438 municipalities.

The congresswoman argued that Security Minister Genaro Garcia Luna should be called to testify before Congress to explain the disturbing scope of control of criminal groups.

InSight Crime Analysis

The source of Aguirre’s statistics was not clear, but their content is nothing new. In January, Assistant Attorney General Cuitlahuac Salinas claimed that 23 of Mexico’s 32 sub-national entities (31 states and the federal district in Mexico City) had a significant presence of criminal groups.

Such assessments of criminal influence are always problematic. Even if Aguirre’s figures are accurate, the nature of criminal influence still varies from location to location. Just because a drug cartel exerts inflence in a municipality, or has corrupted some members of a local government, does not mean that they have complete authority over that government, as InSight Crime has pointed out.

Nevertheless, the remarks come as a reminder that Peña Nieto's election will not be a “quick fix” for the problem of insecurity. The pervasive presence of drug cartels throughout Mexico means that he will likely face similar problems as current President Felipe Calderon has in reining in violent criminal activity.

share icon icon icon

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

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

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

Related Content

MEXICO / 14 JUL 2017

New statistics on Mexico's police paints a picture of an overworked, underpaid and understaffed force that is not concentrated…

ARGENTINA / 29 JAN 2021

While unrest gripped much of Latin America in 2019, it was the coronavirus that took center stage and ripped through…

MEXICO / 2 AUG 2019

Who wouldn’t want a huge mansion, a full-sized pool and an escape tunnel at lower than market value? While the…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Venezuela Drug Trafficking Investigation and InDepth Gender Coverage

29 APR 2022

On May 4, InSight Crime will be publishing The Cocaine Revolution in Venezuela, a groundbreaking investigation into how the Venezuelan government regulates the cocaine trade in the country. An accompanying event,…

THE ORGANIZATION

InDepth Coverage of Juan Orlando Hernández

22 APR 2022

Ever since Juan Orlando Hernández was elected president of Honduras in 2014, InSight Crime has provided coverage of every twist and turn during his rollercoaster time in office, amid growing…

THE ORGANIZATION

Venezuela's Cocaine Revolution

15 APR 2022

On May 4th, InSight Crime will publish a groundbreaking investigation on drug trafficking in Venezuela. A product of three years of field research across the country, the study uncovers cocaine production in…

LA ORGANIZACIÓN

Widespread Coverage of InSight Crime MS13 Investigation

8 APR 2022

In a joint investigation with La Prensa Gráfica, InSight Crime recently revealed that four of the MS13’s foremost leaders had been quietly released from…

THE ORGANIZATION

Informing US State Department and European Union

1 APR 2022

InSight Crime Co-director McDermott briefed the US State Department and other international players on the presence of Colombian guerrillas in Venezuela and the implication this has for both nations.  McDermott…