Violence seen rising as cartels splinter
Mexican President Felipe Calderón’s strategic objective to break up major cartels has had some success, though that has led to more violence against residents, U.S. intelligence analysts said during a colloquium at UTEP on Tuesday.
“The fracturing of these cartels has been deeper than most people think,” said James, an intelligence analyst with the Director of Central Intelligence Crime and Narcotics Center who didn’t provide his last name at the conference due to security concerns. “The negative side, unfortunately, has been the violence against the citizenry as these cartels break down to a more local level.”
James and a colleague, Lauren, presented the topic “Exploring the Rise of Mexican Cartel Power” during the fourth annual Intelligence Community Center of Academic Excellence Colloquium at the University of Texas at El Paso. The center, established at UTEP in 2007, is one of about 30 in the nation.
Lauren also did not disclose her last name while speaking at the conference.
In 2006, the four major cartels in Mexico were the Sinaloa, Gulf, Juárez and Tijuana organizations. Today, it’s estimated that 16 smaller organizations derived from those four exist, James said.