A security official in Jalisco, west Mexico

Authorities announced the arrest of the heir to a criminal faction once loyal to Sinaloa Cartel boss Ignacio Coronel Villarreal, alias "Nacho Coronel," warning that this could spark a new wave of violence in western Mexico

Coronel's nephew, Jose Angel Carrasco Coronel, alias "El Changel," was arrested after a bloody firefight with the Mexican army in Sinaloa state on January 18. According to Milenio, he is currently recovering in a military hospital in Mexico City, after a grenade exploded in his hand during the battle. 

El Changel assumed control of a splinter group which emerged after Nacho Coronel's death in July 2010. Other splinter groups which emerged from Coronel's organization include the Jalisco Cartel - New Generation (CJNG). The state secretary of public security in Jalisco told the press that El Changel's group, known as "Los Coronel," was receiving support from the Gulf Cartel and the Knights Templar, and was battling the CJNG for control of Jalisco state. 

The commander of the military division active in the west Mexican states of Zacatecas, Nayarit, Aguascalientes, Colima and Jalisco said that El Changel's capture would likely lead to increased violence in the region, as criminal groups in the region continue to splinter. Before the military had four or five criminal leaders identified in the zone, but "now it's double or triple that," the general added.

El Changel had previously been arrested in Jalisco in March 2009 after a firefight with police, but was set free after the state Attorney General's Office failed to prove that he had directly participated in the gun battle. 

InSight Crime Analysis

The prediction that violence will continue, if not increase, in Jalisco and its neighboring states seems all but inevitable after El Changel's capture. As noted by the military, the proliferation of splinter groups has already greatly contributed to violence in this area. Some six criminal groups are thought to be active in Jalisco alone.

There have already been some signs that El Changel's organization is seeking to strike back at authorities after its leader's capture, which could also bring about a spike in homicides. The Jalisco secretary of public security said that the recent killing of a municipal police officer in the small municipality of Hostotipaquillo was  carried out by members of El Changel's criminal group. 

Investigations

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9
  • 10
Prev Next

The Prison Dilemma: Latin America’s Incubators of Organized Crime

The Prison Dilemma: Latin America’s Incubators of Organized Crime

The prison system in Latin America and the Caribbean has become a prime incubator for organized crime. This overview -- the first of six reports on prison systems that we produced after a year-long investigation -- traces the origins and maps the consequences of the problem, including...

Homicides in Guatemala: Introduction, Methodology, and Major Findings

Homicides in Guatemala: Introduction, Methodology, and Major Findings

When violence surged in early 2015 in Guatemala, then-President Otto Pérez Molina knew how to handle the situation: Blame the street gangs. 

InSide Colombia's BACRIM: Money

InSide Colombia's BACRIM: Money

  Drugs Extortion Criminal Cash Flows Millions of dollars in dirty money circulate constantly around Bajo Cauca, flowing upwards and outwards from a broad range of criminal activities. The BACRIM are the chief regulators and beneficiaries of this shadow economy. Unlike their paramilitary and drug cartel predecessors, the BACRIM maintain a diversified...

InSide Colombia's BACRIM: Murder

InSide Colombia's BACRIM: Murder

  Life of a Sicario Anatomy of a Hit   The BACRIM's control over territories such as the north Colombian region of Bajo Cauca comes at the point of a gun, and death is a constant price of their power. In rural sectors, uniformed BACRIM armed with assault rifles still patrol in...

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...

Where Chaos Reigns: Inside the San Pedro Sula Prison

Where Chaos Reigns: Inside the San Pedro Sula Prison

In San Pedro Sula's jailhouse, chaos reigns. The inmates, trapped in their collective misery, battle for control over every inch of their tight quarters. Farm animals and guard dogs roam free and feed off scraps, which can include a human heart. Every day is visitors' day, and...

Colombia's Mirror: War and Drug Trafficking in the Prison System

Colombia's Mirror: War and Drug Trafficking in the Prison System

Colombia's prisons are a reflection of the multiple conflicts that have plagued the country for the last half-century. Paramilitaries, guerrillas and drug trafficking groups have vied for control of the jails where they can continue to manage their operations on the outside. Instead of corralling these forces...

Homicides in Guatemala: Analyzing the Data

Homicides in Guatemala: Analyzing the Data

In the last decade, homicides in Guatemala have obeyed a fairly steady pattern. Guatemala City and some of its surrounding municipalities have the greatest sheer number of homicides. Other states, particularly along the eastern border have the highest homicide rates. Among these are the departments of Escuintla...

Reign of the Kaibil: Guatemala’s Prisons Under Byron Lima

Reign of the Kaibil: Guatemala’s Prisons Under Byron Lima

Following Guatemala's long and brutal civil war, members of the military were charged, faced trial and sentenced to jail time. Even some members of a powerful elite unit known as the Kaibil were put behind bars. Among these prisoners, none were more emblematic than Captain Byron Lima...

El Salvador Prisons and the Battle for the MS13’s Soul

El Salvador Prisons and the Battle for the MS13’s Soul

El Salvador's prison system is the headquarters of the country's largest gangs. It is also where one of these gangs, the MS13, is fighting amongst itself for control of the organization.