A report by the United States Congressional Information Service criticized the lack of action by the government of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador against organized crime and drug cartels.
According to the document “Mexico: Organized Crime and Drug Trafficking Organizations,” the Mexican president has consistently avoided large-scale police operations against drug cartels, which since 2018 they significantly expanded their role in the production and trafficking of synthetic opioids, such as fentanyl, to the United States.
The publication describes that the Chief Executive has achieved little of his objectives in criminal justice and against corruption, in addition to the fact that his militarized strategy through the deployment of the National Guard has not effectively weakened criminal groups. .
“Elected in 2018, López Obrador has advocated for policies that focus on the causes of crimebut his government has not carried out counternarcotics operations consistently.
“He said he would not wage war against criminal groups, but would target the social conditions that allow criminal groups to thrive, a strategy he summed up as ‘hugs, not bullets.’ After three years in office, as of January 2022, López Obrador has avoided large-scale police action against cartels and the legal cooperation between the United States and Mexico has decreased“.
And “he continued with the militarized security strategy of the two Mexican administrations before him. The National Guard, which President López Obrador began deploying in mid-2019, has had fewer complaints of abuse than the Armed Forces of the previous government of [Enrique] Peña Nieto, but the militarized strategy to combat TCOs [Organizaciones Criminales Transnacionales, por sus siglas en inglés] has not effectively weakened criminal groups“.
The document on the criminal panorama of the country, based on different sources of information, warns of nine important criminal groups currently operating in the country, which have fragmented and diversified, whose violence “remains difficult to repress, despite years joint effort” between Mexican and US authorities to contain it.
They are 2l “Sinaloa Cartel”, “Jalisco New Generation Cartel”, “Gulf Cartel”, “Tijuana Cartel”, “Juarez Cartel”, “Los Zetas”, “Northeast Cartel”, “Cartel of the Beltrán Leyva”, “La Familia Michoacana” and “Los Rojos”.
“The fragmentation of Mexico’s criminal groups continued during the first two years of the COVID-19 pandemic, possibly due to increased competition within the cartel. However, the largest groups, such as the ‘Jalisco New Generation Cartel’, managed to consolidate their expansion throughout Mexico,” he indicates.
The report states that the rise in violence in Mexico coincides with a transition from criminal organizations to synthetic drug production and trafficking, including both fentanyl and methamphetamine.
And he adds: “The violence has spread from the border with the United States to the interior of Mexico. It has broken out in the Pacific states, such as Michoacán and Guerrero; in the central states of Guanajuato, ZacatecasMorelos and Colima, and in the northern border states, Tamaulipas, Chihuahua and Baja California, where Mexico’s largest border cities are located.
He mentions that the “Jalisco New Generation Cartel” maintains a bloody dispute with the “Sinaloa Cartel” in the states of Baja California, Sonora, Zacatecas and Quintana Roo, and with “Los Viagras” in Michoacán, Guanajuato and part of the State of Mexico .
Likewise, it refers that the CJNG, headed by Nemesio Oseguera Cervantes, “El Mencho”, fights with “Los Zetas” and the “Gulf Cartel” in northwestern states, such as CoahuilaNuevo León, Tamaulipas and San Luis Potosí.
The document concludes that the continuous revelation of high-level corruption in Mexico, linked to criminal groups and their apparent control of the national territory, shows that they are more entrenched than ever.
“Furthermore, in 2022, US-Mexico law enforcement cooperation remains weaker than in the previous 15 years.”