A truck on fire in Jalisco

Mexico's Jalisco Cartel, which previously killed 15 policemen in an ambush, has now downed a military helicopter and set ablaze various parts of the Pacific state of Jalisco, a series of actions sure to bring down the full wrath of the state upon them.

Mexico's National Security Commissioner Monte Alejandro Rubido Garcia said operatives of the Jalisco Cartel - New Generation (CJNG) shot down a military helicopter in southern Jalisco on May 1, forcing it to make an emergency landing that left five soldiers dead, reported Sin Embargo. Rubido Garcia added the cartel used a rocket propelled grenade launcher (RPG) to bring down the helicopter.

The helicopter incident was part of a wider wave of violence on May 1 in Jalisco. Confrontations between security forces and illegal armed elements throughout Jalisco resulted in seven deaths, with five gas stations and 36 vehicles set on fire, reported BBC Mundo.

The helicopter had been taking part in the initial phases of the security offensive "Operation Jalisco," which according to government officials is intended to dismantle a criminal organization operating in the state, presumably the CJNG.

InSight Crime Analysis

The shoot down of a military helicopter is another example of the CJNG's penchant for carrying out audacious attacks against security forces.  However this has proven to be a flawed strategy in Mexico. In the past, security forces have reacted swiftly to sensational acts of violence committed by drug trafficking groups such as the Zetas, resulting in the capture or killing of many of the cartel's top leaders. President Enrique Peña Nieto has already announced via Twitter his intention to bring down the CJNG in a similar fashion. 

"The criminal group responsible for today's acts will be dismantled, as has happened with [Mexico's] other organized crime organizations," the tweet reads.

Rubido Garcia has also told reporters there will be a "significant effort by the Mexican government" to capture the presumed head of the CJNG, Nemesio Oseguera Cervantes, alias "El Mencho," following the downing of the military helicopter. The attacks on the military will feed the notion of a "criminal insurgency," something that gained favor in 2012.

SEE ALSO: Profile of the Jalisco Cartel

Meanwhile, the Sinaloa Cartel -- considered to be Mexico's largest drug trafficking organization -- continues to maintain a low profile. The preference of Sinaloa Cartel leaders to remain out of the media spotlight, and avoid direct confrontation with the state, is likely a key reason the criminal group has kept up its operations since the arrest of Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, then the world's most wanted criminal, in February 2014.

Investigations

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
Prev Next

Guatemala's Mafia State and the Case of Mauricio López Bonilla

Guatemala's Mafia State and the Case of Mauricio López Bonilla

Former Guatemalan Interior Minister Mauricio López Bonilla -- a decorated war hero and a longtime US ally -- finds himself treading water amidst a flurry of accusations about corruption and his connections to drug traffickers. López Bonilla is not the most well-known suspect in the cases against...

How the MS13 Tried (and Failed) to Create a Single Gang in the US

How the MS13 Tried (and Failed) to Create a Single Gang in the US

In July 2011, members of the Mara Salvatrucha (MS13) attended a meeting organized in California by a criminal known as "Bad Boy." Among the invitees was José Juan Rodríguez Juárez, known as "Dreamer," who had gone to the meeting hoping to better understand what was beginning to...

The MS13 Moves (Again) to Expand on US East Coast

The MS13 Moves (Again) to Expand on US East Coast

Local police and justice officials are convinced that the Mara Salvatrucha (MS13) has strengthened its presence along the East Coast of the United States. The alarm follows a recent spate of violence -- of the type not seen in a decade -- which included dismembered bodies and...

'MS13 Members Imprisoned in El Salvador Can Direct the Gang in the US'

'MS13 Members Imprisoned in El Salvador Can Direct the Gang in the US'

Special Agent David LeValley headed the criminal division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation's (FBI) Washington office until last November 8. While in office, he witnessed the rise of the MS13, the Barrio 18 (18th Street) and other smaller gangs in the District of Columbia as well...

How the MS13 Got Its Foothold in Transnational Drug Trafficking

How the MS13 Got Its Foothold in Transnational Drug Trafficking

Throughout the continent, the debate on whether or not the Mara Salvatrucha (MS13) gang is working with or for drug traffickers continues. In this investigation, journalist Carlos García tells the story of how a member of the MS13 entered the methamphetamine distribution business under the powerful auspices...

The Lucky ‘Kingpin’: How ‘Chepe Diablo’ Has (So Far) Ridiculed Justice

The Lucky ‘Kingpin’: How ‘Chepe Diablo’ Has (So Far) Ridiculed Justice

José Adán Salazar Umaña is the only Salvadoran citizen currently on the US government's Kingpin List. But in his defense, Salazar Umaña claims is he is an honorable businessman who started his career by exchanging money along the borders between Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras. He does...