Mexico’s most dangerous cartel has issued a threat to El Chapo’s gang, as the criminals vie for control of a crucial state.
Soldiers from The Jalisco New Generation Cartel (CJNG) vowed to rid Zacatecas of “terrorists” and asserted that it was their “territory” in a video broadcast on social media.
A raft of different gangs, including the Sinaloa Cartel, the CJNG, and Los Zetas, are fighting for control of the northern state – which offers vital trafficking routes towards the US border.
In the recent footage, the CJNG members said they were part of the cartel’s “warrior group” and pledged their loyalty to leader Nemesio Oseguera Cervantes, El Mencho, Infobae reported.
Mencho, 56, an ex-police officer and former ally of El Chapo, has risen to become one of the most powerful and feared criminal figures in Mexico.
His cartel is renowned for its brutal violence and has come to dominate a raft of states across the country.
Last July, authorities estimated the gang oversaw one-third of all drugs being transported from Mexico into the US.
According to National Public Security System data, Zacatecas witnessed a 66% increase in people killed between January and September 2020.
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The state recorded 445 victims of intentional homcide in 2019, rising to 738 in the same period of last year.
Last November, more footage emerged of the CJNG in Zacatecas challenging the Sinaloa Cartel, led by El Chapo until his extradition and imprisonment in the US last year.
In it, hitmen toted automatic rifles and bellowed threats from pick-up trucks.
However, authorities could be closer to capturing their leader.
Earlier this month, the Mexican Government sent Juan Padilla Vizcarra – an alleged high-ranking member of the Jalisco New Generation Cartel (CJNG) – to the US to face trial.
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Vizcarra, known as “El Cherri”, was taken to Mexico City International Airport and flown to Los Angeles, California.
El Cherri, who was initially captured in 2016, has been accused of “drug trafficking and money laundering” for the CJNG.
Robert Almonte, a former US federal marshal who spent 25 years in El Paso’s Police Department tackling narcotics, believes it may prove a significant blow to El Mencho.
He told the Daily Star: “His extradition has the potential to bring authorities in Mexico closer to apprehending El Mencho.
“Vizcarra may provide some potentially damaging information in exchange for leniency, to include information that would assist the authorities in locating El Mencho.”
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