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 / 16 APR 2021

After the discovery of several elaborate tunnels used to siphon fuel to two hidden warehouses, it's clear that Mexico's gas…

GUATEMALA / 4 FEB 2022

A former Guatemala mayor and his family have been accused of smuggling more than a dozen migrants later massacred in…

COCAINE / 25 APR 2022

Mexican authorities have arrested a leader of the initially Guerrero-based Los Rojos crime group in the neighboring state of Michoacán,…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Europe Coverage Makes a Splash

20 JAN 2023

Last week, InSight Crime published an analysis of the role of Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport as an arrival hub for cocaine and methamphetamine from Mexico.  The article was picked up by…

THE ORGANIZATION

World Looks to InSight Crime for Mexico Expertise

13 JAN 2023

Our coverage of the arrest of Chapitos’ co-founder Ovidio Guzmán López in Mexico has received worldwide attention.In the UK, outlets including The Independent and BBC…

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Shares Expertise with US State Department

16 DEC 2022

Last week, InSight Crime Co-founder Steven Dudley took part in the International Anti-Corruption Conference organized by the US State Department’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, & Labor and…

THE ORGANIZATION

Immediate Response to US-Mexico Marijuana Investigation

9 DEC 2022

InSight Crime’s investigation into how the legalization of marijuana in many US states has changed Mexico’s criminal dynamics made a splash this week appearing on the front page of…

THE ORGANIZATION

‘Ndrangheta Investigation, Exclusive Interview With Suriname President Make Waves

2 DEC 2022

Two weeks ago, InSight Crime published an investigation into how Italian mafia clan the ‘Ndrangheta built a cocaine trafficking network from South America to ‘Ndrangheta-controlled Italian ports. The investigation generated…