Saturday, April 10, 2010

FBI Asserts Chapo is Winning Fight in Cd. Juarez

In an Associated Press story by Alicia Caldwell and Mark Stevenson (click here) the authors suggest Chapo Guzman has been successful in establishing a beach head in Cd. Juarez after a two-year struggle with the La Linea (Juarez) cartel. They cite Andrea Simmons, an FBI spokesperson in El Paso, as revealing that the majority of drug loads seized in El Paso are transported via Guzman's organization. Conventional wisdom has it the Sinaloa cartel is the largest drug trafficking cartel in the world, and last year Forbes magazine estimated Chapo Guzman to be among the richest persons in the world.

In the past couple of years the Mexican government has eliminated several of Guzman's rivals, through capture or death, giving rise to rumors and speculation the Calderon government has been more lenient toward the Sinaloa cartel. Calderon, at a news conference yesterday, tried to quash these rumors by saying his government "fights all the criminal groups that operate in the country equally."

According to the conventional wisdom in Cd. Juarez much of the violence which in the past two years has made Juarez the most violent city in the world stems from the rivalry between the Juarez (or Carrillo, or La Linea) cartel and the Sinaloa cartel. Each cartel is said to have two sets of armed gangs working for it, the La Linea and Azteca gangs, working for the Juarez cartel, and the Mexicles and Artistas Asesinos (or Doble A, or doblados) gangs, working for the Sinaloa cartel. These gangs are said to be fighting with each other, among other things, for control over retail drug trafficking turf in Juarez.

In recent weeks the arrest of members of the Juarez cartel in Valle de Juarez, the South Valley of Juarez, has led to increased violence in the area as members of the Sinaloa cartel have tried to take control.

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