New Generation Drug Cartel Expanding In Western Mexico, Military Helicopter Shot Down In Latest Violence

Lisa Carley

The New Generation drug cartel in Mexico is expanding its reach in western Mexico by its use of extreme violence against the government and residents. In a recent attack against the Mexican government, gunmen from the cartel shot down a military helicopter, killing three soldiers and injuring a dozen people.

According to the Washington Post, the New Generation drug cartel is responsible for trafficking heroin and methamphetamines throughout western Mexico, and authorities within the state of Jalisco are concerned the federal government has left them without enough support to keep the cartel from taking control. While the state government tries to fight back, the cartel amps up its use of force to try and take the state.

On Friday, a helicopter was shot down by the New Generation cartel during the Mexican Army's mission, Operation Jalisco. The mission was meant to take control from the cartel, but the cartel managed to take advantage of a helicopter patrolling in a rural area. Gunmen from the New Generation shot the helicopter down. Three soldiers were killed, 10 soldiers were wounded, and two police officers were injured.

Jalisco's governor, Aristóteles Sandoval, claims the violence has killed seven people and wounded 15. Sandoval also says the state has managed to make 15 arrests. He called for people to remain calm in the situation and assured citizens, via Twitter, that the government was working hard to establish peace in Jalisco.

"The whole government is active. Security in the state is being redoubled."

According to the New York Times, 16 gasoline stations and 11 banks were set on fire and nearly 30 roadblocks were formed using vehicles, which were also on fire. Many scenes of violence were in the Guadalajara metropolitan area.

The New Generation gang is the "least vulnerable, least attacked" of Mexico's major drug cartels, says Luis Carlos Nájera Gutiérrez de Velasco, the state attorney general of Jalisco. He claims the state knew the cartel would one day become the menace it has currently become, but no one listened.

"For many years, we have been fighting these criminal groups alone. We stated long ago the risks we have with this criminal group, and it appears it has not been a priority. We will keep fighting, with or without help."

Luis Carlos Nájera Gutiérrez de Velasco claims the New Generation drug cartel in Mexico is also responsible for most of the heroin seized at the U.S. border, and the gang has already spread to at least 10 other states in Mexico.

[Photo by Impacto]