HomeNewsBriefMexico Captures Alleged Head of Once Mighty Juarez Cartel
BRIEF

Mexico Captures Alleged Head of Once Mighty Juarez Cartel

JUAREZ CARTEL / 20 APR 2015 BY DAVID GAGNE EN

Authorities have captured the alleged head of the Juarez Cartel, once one of Mexico's most powerful drug trafficking organizations that has since declined into a minor player in the country's fragmented underworld.

On April 17, Mexican marines captured Jesus Salas Aguayo, alias “El Chuyin,” in the town of Villa Ahumada, which is located approximately 80 miles from the US border in the northern state of Chihuahua, reported Proceso. Mexico's national security commissioner said Salas became the head of the cartel following the capture of long-time Juarez boss Vicente Carrillo Fuentes in October 2014 and his successor, David Aaron Espinoza Haro, in January, according to the New York Times.

Salas is on the US Drug Enforcement Adminstration's (DEA) most wanted list, who accuse him of drug trafficking and ordering the 2009 killing of a protected witness in El Paso, Texas. He is reportedly wanted by Mexican authorities for homicide, kidnapping, drug trafficking, and gasoline theft. 

Authorities arrested four other Juarez Cartel operatives during the operation, according to Proceso.

InSight Crime Analysis

Salas' capture underscores the extent to which the Juarez Cartel has been weakened in recent years, and the general atomization of large drug cartels across Mexico. Now that almost all of the major drug lords are either captured or killed, Mexican authorities are targeting their replacements. However, this next generation of cartel leaders has neither the power nor the criminal life expectancy of their predecessors. Vicente's leadership of the Juarez Cartel stretched back decades, and he was considered one of the most powerful figures in Mexico's underworld. Salas was in power for just three months, and it is unclear how much control he actually wielded over the cartel. 

SEE ALSO: Juarez Cartel News and Profile

The Juarez Cartel is one of Mexico's oldest drug trafficking organizations, and established a firm foothold in the city from which it took its name. The cartel orchestrated the aerial trafficking of thousands of tons of Colombian cocaine to Mexico, then across the US-Mexico border by land.

However, the cartel would lose a long and bloody battle with the Sinaloa Cartel over Juarez, and Vicente was reportedly forced to regroup in neighboring Sonora state. By 2011, the Juarez Cartel was a shadow of what it had once been. According to authorities, the Juarez Cartel is currently only operating in Chihuahua, where the remnants of the cartel are still fighting the Sinaloa Cartel for control of drug trafficking routes.

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.

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

EXTORTION / 8 APR 2021

Criminal groups in one of Mexico's most popular tourist regions have found yet another sector to extort and terrorize: hotel…

GULF CARTEL / 15 MAR 2022

Mexican armed forces have captured the reported leader of the feared Northeast Cartel, but this arrest may only stoke further…

MARIJUANA / 13 DEC 2022

The legalization of marijuana at the state level in the US has forced organized crime groups in Mexico to adapt…

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…