Two criminal organizations aim to control drug sales, extortion, and kidnappings in Mexico City

Mexico City registered a surge in violence and crime in recent years

Two criminal organizations aim to control drug sales, extortion, and kidnappings in Mexico City
The previous administration denied any cartel or criminal organization operated in the capital - Illustration: Dante de la Vega/EL UNIVERSAL
English 09/09/2020 12:19 David Fuentes Mexico City Actualizada 12:30
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Two violent Mexico City cartels, “La Unión Tepito” and “Anti-Unión Tepito,” are fighting to control drug sales, extortion, and kidnappings in the city center. According to an investigation launched by local authorities, the turf wart affects the Cuauhtémoc and Venustiano Carranza boroughs. 

The report, which analyzed homicide reports, reveals that during the first half of 2020, 60 homicides had links to the turf war between the two local cartels. 

The intelligence report obtained by EL UNIVERSAL indicates cartel gunmen execute drug sellers and other gunmen. Moreover, their purpose is to gain more powerful positions at criminal organizations, especially now that cartel leaders are in prison. 

The report details the majority of homicides with ties to cartels take place in a very specific neighborhood such as Morelos, Doctores, Santa María la Ribera, Peralvillo, Felipe Pescador, and Centro, located in the Cuauhtémoc borough.

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At least 60 people died from wound-shots during the first six months of 2020. According to police reports, all the victims had ties to “La Unión” or “La Anti-Unión Tepito.” The victims were between 16 and 25 years old and worked as drug distributors, gunmen, or vigilantes.

Mexico City authorities explain the turf war began when “la Anti-Unión” murdered Juan Iván Arenas Reyes, aka “La Pulga,” on July 2018. In response to the killing, Roberto Moyado Esparza, aka “El Betito,” killed and dismembered Alfonso Delgado Pérez and José Francisco de Jesús Oropeza, aka “El Manchas.” Authorities found their remains under a bridge in Mexico City. 

Since 2018, the two criminal organizations have killed gunmen, cartel leaders, and whistleblowers. Furthermore, the cartels have killed at least 10 women who led criminal groups or had ties to criminal organizations. For example, “Anti-Unión” gunmen killed Martha Camarillo Salas, the leader of an organization known as the “Clan Camarillo” in September 2019. The “Clan Camarillo” is involved in drug trafficking and consolidated itself as a dominant criminal group in Tepito years before “La Unión” and “El Betito.”

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Moreover, the criminal organization also targets minors. “La Unión Tepito” killed Wilfrido Pérez Pérez, 17, outside his home. He was an alleged whistleblower working for “La Anti-Unión” and had ties to the Jalisco New Generation Cartel (CJNG).

The analysis indicates the turf war will continue, and perhaps turn more violent because the Jalisco New Generation Cartel broke its alliance with the two cartels in a bid to control drug trafficking and other crimes in Mexico City. 

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