What Motivates Drug Cartel Violence?

Transportation routes leading to the US/Mexico border, control of border towns and plain old greed account for most of the drug related murders between competing drug cartels. Unfortunately, many of those murders involve innocent civilians. In the hearts and minds of Mexico’s narco-terrorists, these innocent bystanders are just collateral damage.

The Allure of Heroin


When Did Mexico’s Drug Cartel Violence Begin?

Mexican drug cartel violence began in 2004 at the Mexico/US border city of Nuevo Laredo, when the Gulf and Los Zetas cartels fought off the Sinaloa Cartel. Since 2004 more than 200,000 Mexicans have been murdered and many, if not most, are directly linked to drug cartel violence.


When Did The Mexican Government’s Drug War Begin?

In 2006, the Mexican military began its “Drug War” against the drug cartels. Simultaneously, the drug cartels have been fighting each other for control of various territories, especially smuggling routes near the U.S./Mexico border.

As of August 1st, 2017, there are possibly only 4 major drug cartels operating in Mexico. The first and most powerful, is the Sinaloa cartel. The second is the Jalisco New Generation, which is an off-shoot of the Sinaloa cartel. The third is the Juarez cartel and the fourth is the Gulf cartel. All four have either effectively infiltrated the Mexican government, military and local police, or intimidated them, thereby giving them the dominant positions.


Sinaloa Cartel

The Sinaloa cartel is the largest Mexican drug cartel. It is responsible for approximately 50% of the drugs entering the United States from Mexico. Sinaloa is headed by Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, who is currently in jail awaiting trial in the United States. He is charged in Federal Court with operating a continuing criminal enterprise, including murder conspiracy, other drug-related crimes, money-laundering and the use of firearms. The Sinaloa cartel is now believed to be headed by its new boss, the reclusive Ismael Zambada Garcia a.k.a. “El Mayo.” Shown Below and to the Right


Jalisco New Generation

The Jalisco New Generation Cartel or CJNG for Cártel de Jalisco Nueva Generación, also knows as Los Torcidos, is the fastest growing drug cartel in Mexico. It is led by “El Mencho” as shown below with his trademark skinny mustache. The CJNG and the Sinaloa cartel have been at war since the CJNG kidnapped El Chapo Guzman’s son “Jesus Alfredo Guzmán Salazar” in Puerto Vallarta back in 2016.

The CJNG is quickly becoming the most powerful drug cartel in Mexico. Which may mean that the Mexican government has given El Mencho its blessing. There are other reports that suggest the CJNG is aligning with the Juarez cartel or at the very least with large parts of the Juarez cartel’s organization. Other reports suggest the CJNG is gobbling up many of the smaller cartels like the Cártel de Los Cuinis in Chihuahua. It seems as though the CJNG is setting up future smuggling routes and is willing and able to kill anyone who does not align with the CJNG or dares get in its way.


On March 27th, 2017, Edgar Veytia (shown below), 46, the acting Attorney General of Nayarit Mexico, was arrested at the U.S.-Mexico border in San Diego and placed under federal indictment for smuggling heroin, cocaine and methamphetamine for the CJNG into the United States since 2013 — the same year that Veytia became the Attorney General of Nayarit State. Edgar Veytia’s arrest is the just the latest sign of continued government collusion with drug cartels.


Juarez Cartel

The Juarez Cartel smuggles tons of narcotics from Mexico into the U.S. The Juarez cartel has been at war with its rival, the Sinaloa Cartel, since 2004. The Juarez cartel is also one of several drug smuggling organizations that decapitate their rivals, and mutilate their corpses. Today the Juarez cartel is operating under its new name, the Nuevo Cartel de Juárez, which implies it’s now working for or alongside the CJNG.



The Gulf Cartel a.k.a. Cartel del Golfo

The Gulf Cartel is based in Matamoros, Mexico. It is one of Mexico’s two dominant drug cartels, the other being the Sinaloa cartel. In the late 1990s, the Gulf Cartel hired a private mercenary army called Los Zetas, but in February 2010, Los Zetas separated from The Gulf Cartel and both groups began engaging in widespread violence across several border cities near Texas.


Los Zetas Cartel

Los Zetas are a Mexican drug cartel and crime syndicate operating just south of the Texas border. They formed when commandos from Mexico’s military deserted and went to work for the Gulf Cartel, but they split from them in February 2010. Los Zetas are believed to be the first to use narco-terrorism within Mexico. On September 15th, 2008 grenades were thrown into a crowd celebrating independence day in Morelia’s town square. Los Zetas are also known for burning people alive.


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