Wednesday, July 10, 2013

In Guadalajara, 20 local gangs work with organized crime

Guadalajara -
The Jalisco government reported this week that 20 local gangs are involved with organized crime in this state, most of them devoted to narcotics distribution.

Guadalajara is home to at least 300 gangs, 50 of which the government characterized as violent. Another 20 have direct links to much larger organizations. Mexico's attorney general reported in December that 60-80 drug cartels are operating in the country.

The news will come as no surprise to drug war security analysts. As MGR reported in June 2012, experts have predicted for more than a year that many of those cartels will morph into "super gangs." Mexico says they will be particularly difficult to track and fight because of their small size, fluctuating membership and mobility. Not infrequently, gangs are founded by disaffected former cartel members.

U.S. authorities reported in January that Mexican drug cartels operate in 1,286 U.S. cities, relying upon an estimated 33,000 street gangs to distribute their merchandise north of the border.

"Gangs are practically a tradition in Guadalajara," said a Jalisco security spokesman. "Larger groups recruit them to form the lowest level of organized crime, where they're usually involved in street drug sales. Lots of benefits are offered to the gangs, including a regular income stream, vehicles and easy access to high powered weapons."

The same phenomenon has been at work along Mexico's southeast coast for many months, where splintering cartels and regional gangs remain locked in a brutal contest - seldom reported upon - to control local narcotics markets and allied industries such as commercial extortion. Quintana Roo prosecutor confirms: expanding Gulf Cartel likely behind three recent Riviera Maya atrocities.

Although newly installed PRI president Enrique Peña Nieto said late last year that he would "move from punishing crime to preventing it," the administration's drug war strategy remains quite similar to that of the previous government. New York Times finally figures it out: Enrique Peña Nieto = Felipe Calderón Hinojosa. And in some instances it has been a virtual replay of tactics first employed when the war was launched 79 months ago, in December 2006. Fiasco in Michoacán suggests little has changed under new government, while security prognosis remains poor.

July 14 - Over 60% of Jaliscans earn less than subsistence income
May 14 - Drug cartels behind three recent Guadalajara attacks
Apr. 23 - Guadalajara's mayor: "I'm worried about security"
Apr. 14 - Eight found executed in Cancún; taxi drivers suspected
Apr. 2 - Mexico's March drug war tally was 1,025 dead, with Jalisco state in fourth place nationwide
Apr. 1 - Death toll in Guadalajara bar attacks rises to eight
Mar. 22 - Cancún under first "Red Alert" in its history
Mar. 9 - Jalisco Secretary of Tourism assassinated in Guadalajara

© MGRR 2013. All rights reserved. This article may be cited or briefly quoted with proper attribution or a hyperlink, but not reproduced without permission.

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