HomeNewsBriefMexico's Jalisco Cartel Expands to Baja California: Official
BRIEF

Mexico's Jalisco Cartel Expands to Baja California: Official

JALISCO CARTEL / 23 MAR 2016 BY SAM TABORY EN

Authorities in Mexico have voiced fears the Jalisco Cartel has arrived in Baja California state, the most substantial indication yet the powerful criminal organization is expanding northward, potentially setting the stage for a deadly turf war between rival cartels. 

Gualberto Ramírez Gutiérrez, head of the kidnapping unit within Mexico's Attorney General's Office (Procuraduría General de la República - PGR), said authorities believe the Jalisco Cartel - New Generation (Cartel de Jalisco - Nueva Generación - CJNG) is moving into the border state as he announced the capture of a suspected Sinaloa Cartel hit man, El Universal reported. 

Marco Tulio Carrillo Grande, alias "El Marlon," allegedly the Sinaloa Cartel's head of assassins in the area, was arrested in Tijuana -- Baja California's largest city.

Authorities suspect Carrillo Grande of organizing recent violent attacks against members of rival cartels, including the Arellano Félix Cartel (also known as the Tijuana Cartel) and CJNG.

Baja California's location affords valuable smuggling routes into the United States. It was previously contested by the Sinaloa Cartel and the Arellano Félix Cartel, and the former emerged as the predominant organization following a 2008 - 2010 turf war.

Headed by Nemesio Oseguera Cervantes, alias "El Mencho," the CJNG already has an established presence in the states of Colima, Guanajuato, Guerrero, Jalisco, Michoacán, Morelos, Nayarit, and Veracruz, according to El Universal, despite being a relative newcomer to Mexico's criminal landscape. 

The group has developed a particularly brutal reputation for violence and bloodshed. In April 2015, the CJNG carried out an attack on a police convoy that killed 15 officers. The following month the cartel shot down a military helicopter with a rocket propelled grenade.

InSight Crime Analysis 

Ramírez's statements are the highest-profile claim yet made by a Mexican official placing CJNG in Baja California. While previous official comments suggested the CJNG might be attempting to expand its influence in the region, they stopped short of suggesting the group had established a significant foothold there. 

SEE ALSO: Coverage of the Jalisco Cartel

Speculation the CJNG was moving into Baja California arose earlier this year as authorities sought an explanation for an uptick in violence in Tijuana, which saw nearly twice as many murders in January 2016 as it did in January 2015.

Ramírez Gutiérrez's claim about the CJNG's presence in the state appeared to be linked to evidence suggesting Carrillo Grande organized attacks against CJNG operators on behalf of the Sinaloa Cartel.

A straightforward narrative about warring cartels, however, may be too simplistic an explanation of the reality on the ground in Baja California. Previously, it has been difficult to parse when and where the Sinaloa Cartel and CJNG are in open conflict, versus where they engage in varying degrees of collaboration.

As such, it is too early to definitively conclude what type of organizational alignment or turf war might ultimately emerge in Tijuana -- if the CJNG is in fact seeking to expand its presence in region. 

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

KIDNAPPING / 26 AUG 2021

The ongoing search for members of Mexico’s Yaqui Indigenous community, missing for well over a month, has become a rallying…

FENTANYL / 10 JUN 2022

Authorities in Mexico's northern state of Sinaloa have made a string of synthetic drug lab busts, underscoring how the state…

HUMAN TRAFFICKING / 21 JUN 2022

A motorcycle gang, known as the Motonetos, which draws its membership from Indigenous communities is terrorizing the Mexican state of…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Escaping Barrio 18

27 JAN 2023

Last week, InSight Crime published an investigation charting the story of Desafío, a 28-year-old Barrio 18 gang member who is desperate to escape gang life. But there’s one problem: he’s…

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…