The Complete Organized Crime Database on the Americas
Authorities in Mexico have uncovered evidence of an alliance between the Knights Templar and the Beltran Leyva Organization (BLO), marking a change in direction for both gangs.
Federal authorities in Mexico said the case of 12 youths snatched from a bar in the capital and murdered was tied to a dispute between two of the country's major drug cartels, raising questions about the links between local drug gangs and groups with an international reach.
The US Treasury has added two figures linked to the Beltran Leyva Organization to its "Kingpin List," another sign the once ailing drug cartel is restoring its influence in Mexico.
It is tempting to separate Mexico's drug cartels into six hierarchical groups, each competing for trafficking turf. The reality, however, is that the Sinaloa Federation, the Gulf Cartel, the Tijuana Cartel, the Juarez Cartel, the Zetas and La Familia, not to mention several new offshoot organizations, are fluid, dynamic, for-profit syndicates that sometimes operate under the umbrella of what are effectively conglomerates but more often than not operate as independent, smaller-scale franchises.
Panama's intelligence sources have identified four major Mexican cartels operating in that country, another sign of the widening reach of Mexico's criminals across the region, and of Panama's importance as a regional depot for drug traffickers.
Led by the Beltran Leyva brothers, this Mexican drug trafficking organization worked with the Sinaloa Cartel before the two split and began a bloody war in 2008, managing the groups's hitmen networks and controlling the state of Sonora and the lucrative port of entry in Acapulco. Once one of Mexico's most powerful groups, the BLO has been weakened by numerous arrests and murders, though there are signs it is now resurgent.
Four high-ranking military officials arrested during the presidency of Felipe Calderon for suspected links with drug cartels have been released, leaving just three of the officials convicted as part of a much-vaunted anti-corruption operation still in prison.
A new report from a Mexico City analysis firm details the rivalries among local trafficking groups, thereby revealing some of the deeper causes of some spectacular recent acts of violence in the city.
Mexico has initiated just 29 legal proceedings to reclaim assets linked to organized crime since a 2009 law provided prosecutors with new powers, calling the law's effectiveness into question.
Authorities arrested nine alleged members of one of Mexico's newer criminal organizations, the so-called Laguna Cartel, who stand accused of attacking the building of local newspaper El Siglo de Torreon in Coahuila state.