Jalisco Cartel's shocking rise to power and expansion in the U.S.

In just two years, the Jalisco cartel has gone from controlling no states in Mexico to now controlling 9, including the highly strategic Tijuana entry point, and the U.S.'s entire west coast.

DEA's declassified map demonstrating that the only point of entry of drugs smuggled into the U.S. by the Jalisco Cartel is Tijuana. (Photo: Special)
English 28/11/2016 19:29 Laura Sánchez | Correspondent Actualizada 19:35

According to the DEA's declassified report called 'Areas of Influence of Major Mexican Transnational Criminal Organizations,' the incredibly violent Jalisco New Generation Cartel (CJNG, Spanish acronym) has seen a massive surge in power and in the last two years alone, which went from controlling the drug-trafficking routes in zero states in Mexico through the end of 2013 to controlling nine states just two years later by the end of 2015.

Daniel de la Rosa Anaya, Baja California's Minister of Public Safety, says that the CJNG owes its shocking rise to power to the alliance they formed with the Arellano Felix Cartel, which controlled the drug-trafficking routes in Mexico's northeastern region since the 90s.

The report goes on to show that as of 2015, the CJNG was the dominant drug-trafficking organization along the U.S.'s entire west coast and that they smuggled all of their drugs into the U.S. through Tijuana.

The cartel's distribution networks are concentrated in San Ysidro, Riverside, Sacramento, Reno, and Seattle.

The intelligence department of Tijuana's Public Security said in an interview that the Arellano Félix Cartel allowed the CJNG to take control over Baja California and flood cities on the U.S.'s western coast with narcotics all the way up to the Canadian border in exchange for commissions, which has allowed them to generate millions in revenue and expand their organization's influence throughout most of Mexico in just one year.

The cartel's leader, Nemesio Ocerguera Cervantes, who goes by the nickname “El Mencho,” is a Michoacán native who's been on the run from Mexican authorities for some time now and who was at one time arrested and sent to prison in the U.S., but set free a few years later.

According to documents released by California's and Washington's Attorney's General Offices and obtained by EL UNIVERSAL, El Mencho and his brother-in-law, Abigael González, were arrested in the early 90s in California on drug-trafficking charges. However, after five years behind bars, they were deported to Mexico, where they were set free.

A few years later, El Mencho went on to create the CJNG with Abigael González, the latter of whom was arrested in the U.S. in 2015. González was tried in a federal court in Washington, where he was accused on belonging to one of the biggest cartels in Mexico that's responsible for trafficking drugs from Colombia to Mexico, Australia and Canada.

After González's arrest, El Mencho declared war on the Sinaloa Cartel and he decided to snatch control of Tijuana from them, one of the most important drug entry points for the U.S. market.

In September, Baja California's governor, Francisco Vega de la Madrid, was questioned by a reporter about the war being raged between the Sinaloa Cartel and the CJNG, and the DEA's map showing their ruthless and effortless rise to power and control of the region.

The governor, known in Mexico for his prominent mustache, stumbled across his words and while visibly upset, snapped back at the report by asking her: “Are you sure that's what's happening?” And without letting her respond, he quickly said “I don't,” in an obvious attempt to skirt the question.

That same day, the governor of Baja California, a member of Mexico's conservative National Action Party (PAN), said that the statistics released by the DEA were “unfair” and he brushed off accusations that he's allowed the horrible violence that rocked Tijuana just 10 years ago to make a comeback, this just weeks after a U.S. citizen and businessman had been murdered in Tijuana's Marriot lobby. Just three months later, 73 homicides have been reported in Tijuana over just a four-week period.

Baja California's Attorney's General Office said that these deadly confrontations are a result of the turf war that's currently being raged between the different cartels, as well as the newly formed alliance between the Arellanos and the CJNG.

November kicked off with a gruesome scene of a man who was hung on a bridge in the city's center at around 10:00 pm in one of Tijuana's most heavily transited avenues.

Dozens of spectators gathered at the scene of the crime to get a glimpse of the body's silhouette that gently swayed back and forth.

It's safe to say that this new war officially started again on that night, regardless if Francisco Vega de la Madrid believes it or not.