The 13 suspects detained in the Segmex operation

Security forces in Mexico have arrested 13 people who allegedly coerced prospective employees of a fake private security firm into becoming drug dealers and hitmen for the Jalisco Cartel, which according to authorities is a sign the group is changing its recruiting practices.

Jesus Eduardo Almaguer Ramirez, attorney general of Jalisco state, announced on March 9 that law enforcement operations in the cities of Lagos de Moreno and San Juan de Los Lagos targeted the fake security company known as Segmex, reported Proceso.

The operations resulted in the arrests of 13 suspects, including one US citizen who was allegedly responsible for recruiting private security guards and body guards for the imaginary company, reported El Universal. Recruits were offered a starting weekly salary of 3,000 Mexican pesos (roughly 168 US dollars), and former law enforcement and military agents were promised an increase in pay.

But when prospective employees responded to the advertisements, they were sent off to receive weapons training for two weeks before being inducted into a Jalisco Cartel - New Generation (CJNG) cell, where they were reportedly used as hitmen or drug traffickers. 

Almaguer Ramirez said that the initial investigation stemmed from a complaint his office received about Segmex workers who had kidnapped a man that had refused to work for the CJNG. The cartel demanded a ransom of one million pesos, and the man's family reported the kidnapping to authorities. 

InSight Crime Analysis

This case may provide some insight into the CJNG's standing among locals in the cartel's home base of Jalisco. During the press conference announcing the arrests, Almaguer Ramirez stated the CJNG had previously accepted recruits who offered to join the cartel of their own volition. Now, however, Almaguer Ramirez says the CJNG relies on threats and coercion to find new recruits. The attorney general added that his office will investigate whether similar situations are occurring elsewhere in Jalisco.

SEE ALSO: Profile of Jalisco Cartel - New Generation

It's also notable that the CJNG is actively recruiting former law enforcement and military officials, given the cartel gained international attention last April by ambushing and killing 15 police officers in Jalisco. The CJNG further ratched up its aggression against the state a month later when operatives shot down a military helicopter with a rocket-propelled grenade launcher (RPG), killing five soldiers. 

Investigations

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

Justice and the Creation of a Mafia State in Guatemala

Justice and the Creation of a Mafia State in Guatemala

As Guatemala's Congress gears up to select new Supreme Court Justices and appellate court judges, InSight Crime is investigating how organized crime influences the selection process. This story details the interests of one particular political bloc vying for control over the courts and what's at stake: millions of ...

The Victory of the Urabeños - The New Face of Colombian Organized Crime

The Victory of the Urabeños - The New Face of Colombian Organized Crime

The mad scramble for criminal power in the aftermath of the demobilization of the United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (AUC) is over. The Urabeños, or as they prefer to call themselves, the "Autodefensas Gaitanistas de Colombia," have won.

50 years of the FARC: War, Drugs and Revolution

50 years of the FARC: War, Drugs and Revolution

The possibility of ending nearly 50 years of civil conflict is in sight. While the vast majority of the Colombian public want to see peace, for themselves and especially for their children, the enemies of the peace negotiations appear to be strong, and the risks inherent in the ...

Mexico’s Security Dilemma: Michoacan’s Militias

 Mexico’s Security Dilemma: Michoacan’s Militias

Well-armed vigilantes in Mexico's Michoacan state have helped authorities dismantle a powerful criminal organization, but now the government may have a more difficult task: keeping Michoacan safe from the vigilantes and rival criminal groups.

Uruguay, Organized Crime and the Politics of Drugs

Uruguay, Organized Crime and the Politics of Drugs

After the lower house passed the controversial marijuana bill July 31, Uruguay is poised to become the first country on the planet to regulate the production, sale, and distribution of the drug, and provide a model for countries looking for alternatives to the world’s dominant drug policy paradigm. ...

The Zetas in Nuevo Laredo

The Zetas in Nuevo Laredo

After the capture of Zetas boss "Z40," Nuevo Laredo is bracing itself for the worst. This investigation breaks down what makes the city such an important trafficking corridor, and what it will take for the Zetas to maintain their grip on the city.

El Salvador's Gang Truce: Positives And Negatives

El Salvador's Gang Truce: Positives And Negatives

Whether it is sustainable or not, the truce -- which the Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13) and the Barrio 18 put into place March 2012 -- has changed the conventional thinking about who the gangs are and what is the best way to handle the most difficult law and order ...

FARC, Peace and Possible Criminalization

FARC, Peace and Possible Criminalization

The possibility of ending nearly 50 years of civil conflict is in sight. While the vast majority of the Colombian public want to see peace, for themselves and especially for their children, the enemies of the peace negotiations appear to be strong, and the risks inherent in the ...

Corruption in El Salvador: Politicians, Police and Transportistas

Corruption in El Salvador: Politicians, Police and Transportistas

Since the end of El Salvador's civil war, the country's police has become a key player in the underworld. This series of five articles explore the dark ties between criminal organizations and the government's foremost crime fighting institution.

Juarez after the War

Juarez after the War

As a bitter war between rival cartels grinds to an end, Ciudad Juarez has lost the title of world murder capital, and is moving towards something more like normality. InSight Crime looks at the role politicians, police, and for-hire street gangs played in the fighting -- asking who ...