How Much Power Do Drug Cartels Have in Mexico?

Despite a lack of legal protection, drug cartels wield enormous power in Mexico. Because of a lack of police capacity and state-level oversight, cartels have taken advantage of the weak rule of law. But a recent video shows that Mexico’s government isn’t ready to take the cartels on. President-elect Andrés Manuel Lopez Obrador responded by announcing no new police offensive against drug cartels.

In the movie “Casasasasasa,” the three major Mexican drug cartels – the Sinaloa, H-2, and Gulf – often fight among themselves to control the territory. The Nayarit cartel, for example, has a long history of battling the Sinaloa cartel. In a battle that lasted for years, the state’s attorney general – a man with a round face and a thick mustache – declared that “there was no place for organized crime in Nayarit.” As a result, homicides in the state fell by 75 percent in four years, despite the ongoing conflict between the Sinaloa and H-2 cartels.

The Sinaloa Cartel’s territory in Baja California and Chihuahua states is palpable. While the CJNG aims to conquer entire territories with drone-mounted bombs, the Sinaloa Cartel is intent on taking over the economy of the state. The Sinaloa Cartel has also expanded its sphere of influence to include fishing, seafood sales, and processing.

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