BORDERLAND BEAT — In the world of organized crime in Mexico where it is seemingly impossible to know, as Abbot and Costellp framed the question in their famous sketch “who is on first base” (for you youngsters out there look it up) things just got a little crazier.
The PGR, (Attorney General’s office) Specializing in the Investigation of Organized Crime this past week designated seven groups operating in Mexico as the newest cartels.
Designating emerging groups as cartels can be misleading, or at least confusing. The term imvokes a image of a monolithic vertically integrated that controls the production, procurement, processing, packaging, transporting, and delivering the finished product (drugs) to wholesalers or retailers. These new groups that have been designated as cartels do not fit that mold, but perhaps reflect reflect the changing face of drug trafficking in Mexico and the evolution of organized crime over the last few years.
The “King Pin Strategy” initiated by President Calderon on 2006 and continued through the first half of Pena Nieto’s administration (even though he said when elected that he would pursue a strategy of eliminating local crime rather than just taking out the leaders of the large cartels) has been relatively successful in killing or capturing nearly all of the “top ranking jefes.”
This frontal assault on Mexico’s once-powerful cartels has contributed to their fragmentation, with mid- and low-ranking members breaking off to form their own criminal enterprises. These new “cartels” are the result, though few have gained the the power or success of their predecessor cartels.