The capture of El Chapo led to the subsequent growth of numerous regional cartels looking to fill the void. His extradition to the United States made his cartel substantially weaker and unable to maintain its sphere of influence. Infighting over leadership also led to numerous suspected cases of betrayal that led to the arrest of several high profile members in the past two years.
That said, the CJNG, another highly versatile, drug trafficking organization, has been growing at an exponential rate. In 2015, the group made headlines after it shot down a military helicopter, following a bid by Mexican authorities to capture its leader, Nemesio Oseguera Cervantes aka El Mencho. And now, the group has apparently come up with numerous strategies to reduce contact with authorities and third parties that pose a risk to its future.
These include attempts to become autonomous in critical areas such as gun supply. According to a recent report by Breitbart, the group has gun factories in Colima and Jalisco, which enable it to arm allied groups fighting against organizations such as El Chapo’s Sinaloa Cartel. It apparently also maintains contacts with high ranking government and military officials who provide vital information on planned offensives against it.
The CJNG reportedly has a presence in 20 states, which include Oaxaca, Guerrero, Michoacán, Baja California, Jalisco, and Veracruz. It also has its own vehicle armory garages. Some of its members are reportedly ex-military officers trained in areas such as counterintelligence, counterterrorism, and interrogation strategies.
With such a diverse range of talent and power, the CJNG has been able to intimidate Mexican officials. And just recently, the group uploaded a video on YouTube which showed two men who are alleged to be from SEIDO, a law enforcement agency.
They were surrounded by armed gunmen who read out a statement that reveals they are government agents with carte blanche orders to intimidate families, kidnap, rape, and kill cartel members, with the main objective being money, which they pass on to their superiors. According to their statement, the authorities crossed a line, and their kidnap is payback by the cartel. Their bodies were apparently found earlier today, according to Reuters.