HomeNewsBriefMexico Mayor's Death Sheds Light on Jalisco Cartel Influence
BRIEF

Mexico Mayor's Death Sheds Light on Jalisco Cartel Influence

ELITES AND CRIME / 11 AUG 2014 BY MARGUERITE CAWLEY EN

Two local officials in Mexico's Jalisco state have been arrested following the murder of a mayor who was allegedly targeted by the Jalisco Cartel - New Generation, in a case highlighting the vulnerability of municipal governments to organized crime. 

Manuel Gomez Torres, the mayor of the Ayutla municipality, was killed on August 3 together with his bodyguard on a ranch he owned outside the town.

Days later, authorities arrested Jose Alfredo Sanchez Dueñas, the mayor's former political advisor, and Luis Alberto Zepeda Grajeda, the assistant director of the Ayutla municipal police, for their suspected involvement in the murder. Zepeda allegedly ordered municipal police agents to remain in their barracks on the day of the murder, which prosecutors said indicated his intention to leave the mayor unguarded, reported Milenio. He is also believed to have links to the Jalisco Cartel - New Generation (CJNG), reported Proceso. Sanchez was the person who recommended Zepeda for the post. 

In their testimonies, both men pinned the murder on a former police chief from the Jalisco town of El Grullo who is an alleged CJNG leader, named Sergio Hernandez Gonzalez, alias "El Comandante," reported El Universal. Authorities are now searching for Hernandez. 

Furthermore, they claimed the mayor himself had ties to the CJNG, reported El Universal. The mayor's political party refuted these claims, saying it was Torres' refusal to work with the cartel that led to his death.

InSight Crime Analysis 

Mexico's mayors have for several years been heavily targeted by organized crime groups, who look to exercise control over municipal affairs and take a cut of the budget. Sixteen mayors were murdered between January 2013 and July 2014. 

In the current case, it is plausible that both the mayor and the police official had CJNG ties. Poorly paid and poorly equipped municipal security forces in Mexico are highly susceptible to the influence of organized crime. Faced with death threats, many mayors also choose to collaborate with criminal groups

SEE ALSO: Coverage of Elites and Organized Crime

As InSight Crime has noted, the desire to influence local government is partly linked to the changing focus of many criminal groups, which now derive much of their profits from localized crimes like extortion. 

The CJNG is a group with a regional reach that appears to thrive on public relations campaigns and relationships with local officials: police in at least three Jalisco towns have been accused this year of ties to the cartel. The cartel is known for using violent tactics and, despite the arrests of two top leaders, appears to retain significant power in Jalisco

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

COLOMBIA / 28 JUL 2021

Mexico's largest criminal groups are outsourcing the retrieval of cocaine shipments to smaller groups posing as fishing cooperatives, providing another…

COCAINE / 20 JUN 2022

Gustavo Petro will be Colombia's next president. Cocaine, Venezuela, deforestation - criminal challenges face him in droves.

COCAINE / 16 SEP 2021

South Korean authorities have arrested a drug trafficker suspected of importing up to a ton of methamphetamine from Mexico for…

About InSight Crime

WORK WITH US

Open Position: Full Stack WordPress Developer

28 NOV 2022

As Full Stack WordPress Developer You Will: Work collaboratively with other developers and designers to maintain and improve organizational standards.Demonstrate a high level of attention to detail, and implement best…

THE ORGANIZATION

Join Us This #GivingTuesday in Exposing Organized Crime

24 NOV 2022

For over twelve years, InSight Crime has contributed to the global dialogue on organized crime and corruption. Our work has provided policymakers, analysts, academics, journalists, and the general public with…

THE ORGANIZATION

Like Crime, Our Coverage Knows No Borders

18 NOV 2022

The nature of global organized crime means that while InSight Crime focuses on Latin America, we also follow criminal dynamics worldwide. InSight Crime investigator Alessandro Ford covers the connections between Latin American and European…

THE ORGANIZATION

Using Data to Expose Crime

11 NOV 2022

Co-director Jeremy McDermott made a virtual presentation at a conference hosted by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). The ‘Sixth International Conference on Governance, Crime, and Justice…

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime ON AIR

4 NOV 2022

InSight Crime Co-director Steven Dudley was interviewed for the podcast The Rosenberg Case: A Tale of Murder, Corruption, and Conspiracy in Guatemala, which explores the potential involvement of then president, Álvaro Colom,…