Cartel Jalisco Nueva Generación Expands in Three States

The criminal group has expanded its operations in Michoacán, Zacatecas and Guanajuato in the last four years, as they are key points, which has increased violence in those places

In the last four years, the violent incursion of the Cartel Jalisco Nueva Generación (CJNG) has increased mainly in three states: Michoacán, Zacatecas and Guanajuato.

Although the general objective would be the expansion of the criminal group to establish its routes for the transfer of drugs to the United States, in each entity the reasons why they have been present have been different and in recent years the levels of violence have increased in those places.

In Michoacán, for example, according to different sources, the offensive is due to the organization’s leader, Nemesio Oseguera Cervantes, El Mencho, seeking to seize his homeland.

In Zacatecas, the geographical location and connectivity have made the state one of its objectives, since it’s the obligatory route that connects the Pacific Ocean with the main border areas in the north of the country and with the United States; But in the last decade, Zacatecas has suffered from the settlement of at least five cartels, mainly due to the commercialization of fentanyl, which has become popular on US soil and is cheaper, stronger and more lethal than cocaine and heroin.

In Guanajuato, since October 2017, their presence was more noticeable when José Antonio Yépez Ortiz, El Marro, leader of the Santa Rosa de Lima Cartel (CSRL) openly declared war on them to control fuel theft in the so-called huachicol triangle. In the municipalities of Apaseo el Grande, Salamanca, León, Irapuato and Celaya.

He wants to dominate his native land

Michoacán was one of the first states in the country where the Jalisco Nueva Generación Cartel began its armed expansion in 2014 and, according to the inhabitants and authorities of the regions where it has attacked, everything is derived from a “whim” of its criminal leader.

Sources consulted explain that the objective of Nemesio Oseguera Cervantes is to seize his native land: Aguililla.

However, it was at the end of 2019 when the CJNG offensive to enter Michoacán intensified; The first case was on August 30, 2019 in the municipality of Tepalcatepec, which cost Mencho the death of nine of his hitmen and 11 more who were injured, after the population and local police responded to the attack.

“Before the attacks we had threats by telephone, by way of messages and through emissaries that the CJNG wanted to enter, as the Knights Templar were in charge at the time,” explained José Luis, a businessman living in Tierra Caliente.

The rancher reported that the residents participated to prevent the criminals from entering. On that occasion they notified the authorities of the threats and were ignored. “We didn’t understand why the Jalisco Cartel wanted to take over our towns, but now we know that it’s out of pure ego, to say that they have control of their home state and because he wants to return to retire here,” he said.

On October 14, 2019, another CJNG armed criminal cells ambushed state police in Aguililla, leaving 14 officers dead and two more wounded in the town of El Aguaje, in addition to the fact that they had previously perpetrated several massacres in the municipality of Uruapan. 

During 2020, the attacks of that criminal organization didn’t stop in the Tierra Caliente region and, on the contrary, they have spread to other municipalities such as Los Reyes, Tocumbo, Tingüindín, Peribán and Zamora.

In December of last year, in just three days, CJNG cells carried out attacks in 10 different municipalities in Michoacán, most of them on the border with Jalisco.

The CJNG had a presence in Michoacán since 2014, when the self-defense groups extinguished the Los Caballeros Templarios cartel.

Oseguera spread his cells throughout different municipalities of Michoacán, especially in Tierra Caliente, Sierra and Sierra-Costa.

The split in 2018 of said cartel also caused a break between its lieutenants, who were exiled from Michoacán by the Los Viagras cartel. El Mencho’s obsession to return to his land, Aguililla, made him confront the surviving armed civilian groups, which he attacked with greater intensity since 2019.

In addition, Oseguera Cervantes faces a battle with Érick Valencia Salazar, El 85, his former founding partner of the CJNG. Valencia Salazar has already snatched several municipalities in Michoacán and Jalisco, but also formed a criminal bloc with the Sierra Santana brothers, from Los Viagras.