Police in Mexico have arrested the alleged leader of the Juarez Cartel, who is also the brother of the cartel’s late founder, raising the question of what will happen to the already battered organization.
Alberto Carrillo Fuentes, alias “Betty la Fea” — a nickname referencing a popular Colombian soap opera — was arrested in Nayarit state on August 31 on charges of organized crime and homicide, reported Excelsior. He is the brother of Amado Carrillo Fuentes, alias “Lord of the Skies,” the legendary founder of the Juarez Cartel who allegedly died in a plastic surgery operation in 1997.
The captured trafficker is believed to head a reorganized version of the Juarez Cartel known as the New Juarez Cartel (NCJ). Alberto Carrillo’s name began to appear in “narcomantas” — banners hung by drug trafficking groups — in Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua state in 2012, reported Milenio.
Mexican authorities have indicated two of Amado Carrillo’s sons could assume control following Alberto’s arrest, reported El Universal.
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The Juarez Cartel was taken over by another of the brothers, Vicente Carrillo Fuentes, alias “El Viceroy,” following Amado Carrillo’s death, but he is believed to have fled Chihuahua after the Sinaloa Cartel won a tenuous victory over the Juarez Cartel in Ciudad Juarez in 2011. The war with their rivals greatly weakened the Juarez cartel, once among Mexico’s most powerful criminal groups.
SEE ALSO: Juarez Cartel profile
A recent report by Proceso confirmed “Betty la Fea” was leader of the NCJ, which emerged in February 2011 and is supported by the same gangs as the old cartel — Barrio Azteca and La Linea. The NCJ has made it its mission to continue the struggle against Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman’s cartel and is also believed to be allied with the Beltran Leyva Organization (BLO) and the Zetas.
SEE ALSO: Juarez After the War
It is not yet clear whether the new manifestation of the Juarez Cartel can successfully battle Guzman, and the capture of Alberto Carrillo may hamper these plans. However, though Ciudad Juarez violence dropped sharply following the 2011 Sinaloa Cartel victory, attributed in part to the decline of La Linea, a recent wave of murders could be a sign that the Sinaloa-Juarez war is not over.