HomeNewsBriefMexico President’s Account Suggests Cartel is a Megastructure
BRIEF

Mexico President’s Account Suggests Cartel is a Megastructure

JALISCO CARTEL / 2 SEP 2016 BY TRISTAN CLAVEL EN

Mexico President Enrique Peña Nieto says nearly 2,500 members of the Jalisco Cartel - New Generation have been apprehended just in the state of Jalisco since May 2015, a statement which would make the cartel a megastructure should the numbers be accurate.

Mexico’s government presented the 4th Report of Enrique Peña Nieto’s Presidency to Congress on September 1. Amidst the various assessments of Peña Nieto’s policies were the results of the military-led 'Operation Jalisco' launched on May 1st last year to tackle the growing Jalisco Cartel - New Generation (CJNG).

The president said that 2,448 individuals were arrested in Jalisco since the beginning of the operation less than 18 months ago, according to El Informador. Of those, 1,890 were apprehended for crimes under common law. The other 558 were arrested on federal charges.

Among the detained were several alleged high-ranking figures of the CJNG, according to the document, including five ‘plaza bosses’ – who manage criminal activities in a given city or region, a ‘cell boss,’ who runs a unit of criminals at the behest of a plaza boss, and two financial operators.

More than 190 firearms and 3,000 vehicles were also reportedly seized. The report says these successes led to a decrease in intentional homicides in 2015 of more than 14 percent in comparison with 2012, the year Peña Nieto took office.

InSight Crime Analysis

The magnitude of the CJNG arrests reported by the president raises questions concerning the figure's accuracy. The arrest of nearly 2,500 criminals in Jalisco in less than 18 months would suggest that total membership in the CJNG -- the only cartel currently operational in the state and the target of the military's operation -- is a much higher number, given that the group is still operational.

Or the arrests figure might be accurate, but the arrests themselves misrepresented. This would be the case if the arrested suspects included a significant proportion of people not linked to the CJNG. That could explain both the elevated number and why the cartel hasn’t been visibly diminished by the military-led operation against it.

Not only does the CJNG operate in eight states – more than any other cartel – but it is reportedly the sole cartel operating in five of them, including Jalisco. It is largely responsible for the high level of violence in that state, which, according to recent statistics, suffered 546 intentional homicides during the first semester of 2016.

SEE ALSO: Coverage of Homicides

While President Peña Nieto emphasizes the 14.1 percent decrease in intentional homicides between 2012 and 2015 for the state of Jalisco, the 4th Report shows that this is nearly 8 points under the national average reduction of 21.7 percent. That fact, combined with the presence of four of Jalisco's municipalities among the 50 most deadly in the country, casts serious doubt on the authorities' attempt to depict 'Operation Jalisco' as a successful exercise in improving security for the state.

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

MEXICO / 12 MAY 2016

Vicente Fox, former president of Mexico, is urging the country's current administration to negotiate with drug cartels to put an…

HOMICIDES / 10 AUG 2015

The recent release of murder statistics for 2014 in Mexico reveals that the North's longstanding role as the…

MEXICO / 7 OCT 2016

The number of Mexican soldiers in policing roles has doubled under President Enrique Peña Nieto, but a new report illustrates…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Venezuela's Cocaine Revolution Met With Uproar

6 MAY 2022

On May 4, InSight Crime launched its latest investigation, Venezuela’s Cocaine Revolution¸ accompanied by a virtual panel on its findings. The takeaways from this three-year effort, including the fact that Venezuela…

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…