HomeNewsBriefReported Narco-Summit Could Herald Upheaval for Mexico Underworld
BRIEF

Reported Narco-Summit Could Herald Upheaval for Mexico Underworld

BELTRAN LEYVA ORG / 1 SEP 2014 BY JAMES BARGENT EN

The leaders of some of Mexico's principal drug cartels recently staged a narco-summit to reconfigure the criminal landscape, according to reports in local media, which, if accurate, could mark the start of a new anti-Sinaloa Cartel criminal alliance.

Mexican newspaper Reforma reported that it obtained US and Mexican intelligence documents which indicate that the Zetas, the Beltran Leyva Organization (BLO), the Jalisco Cartel – New Generation (CJNG), and the Juarez Cartel met in June in Piedras Negras, a town on the US border in the state of Coahuila.

According to the documents, the summit was attended by Juarez Cartel chief Vicente Carrillo Fuentes, alias "El Viceroy," the head of the CJNG Nemesio Oseguera, alias "El Mencho," the ostensible head of the Zetas, Omar Treviño Morales, alias "Z42? and Fausto Isidro Meza, alias "Chapo Isidro", an up-and-coming power in the BLO and trusted lieutenant to cartel chief Hector Beltran Leyva, "El H."

According to Reforma, the purpose of the meeting was to form an alliance to redraw the map of drug trafficking in Mexico.

InSight Crime Analysis

The reports of the top-level narco-summit are based on one as-yet unconfirmed source and so should be approached with caution, but if the meeting did take place it could mark the start of major changes in the world of Mexican organized crime.

The groups involved are some of the biggest names in drug trafficking, and together have a presence in 20 of Mexico's 31 states, according to Reforma. However, they are also a mix of groups struggling to maintain their position in the face of a rapidly evolving underworld and the threat of the Sinaloa Cartel juggernaut.

At one point the Zetas were the main threat to the Sinaloans, but infighting and the loss of leaders have left a fragmented force of ever-more independent cells reduced to living off the proceeds of localized crimes such as extortion and kidnapping.

SEE ALSO: Mexico News and Profiles

Similarly, the Juarez Cartel was a bitter enemy of the Sinaloans, but the long and vicious war for the Juarez border crossing left the group a defeated shadow of the powerful organization it once was.

In contrast, the BLO was once part of the same federation as the Sinaloa Cartel, but since 2008 the two have been engaged in a bitter war, which has taken a toll on the BLO's leadership.

Meanwhile, the CJNG is a relatively new organization that has grown in power rapidly but whose influence remains confined to a relatively small geographical area.

It is likely that a key aspect of any pact between these groups would be an alliance to take on their shared enemy, the Sinaloa Cartel. However, any agreement may also involve reconfiguring drug trafficking operations to reflect new realities.

None of the groups involved have the expansive territorial presence or hierarchical organizational control they once enjoyed, making the business of drug trafficking much more difficult. To adapt to this new decentralized, fragmented reality, it would make sense to adopt the model now used by Colombian drug trafficking groups, which underwent a similar process.

This would involve cooperating in a decentralized network that plays to the respective strengths of the different groups, such as drug trafficking contacts, production facilities, or control of movement corridors and border crossings.

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

GULF CARTEL / 31 AUG 2012

In what is shaping out to be one of the most prominent investigations ever into a Mexican politician’s alleged links…

GUATEMALA / 28 DEC 2010

It's appropriate that Alta Verapaz, the province where the Guatemalan government has decided to start its fight against organized crime,…

ELITES AND CRIME / 22 JAN 2016

Spanish authorities have detained the ex-governor of Mexico's northern Coahuila state on corruption charges, a case that highlights the…

About InSight Crime

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…

THE ORGANIZATION

Informing US State Department and European Union

1 APR 2022

InSight Crime Co-director McDermott briefed the US State Department and other international players on the presence of Colombian guerrillas in Venezuela and the implication this has for both nations.  McDermott…