Guadalajara Road Blockades Not Prompted by Cartel Leader Arrest: Police

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Criminal group the Jalisco Cartel – New Generation (CJNG) is believed to have carried out over two dozen road blockades across Jalisco state over the weekend, a tactic previously deployed when cartel leaders have been arrested, although that does not seem to be the case this time.

At least 36 vehicles were burned during the attacks, most of which took place along the highways leading into Jaliso capital of Guadalajara. But at least seven roadblocks were registered inside the city itself, the second most densely populated city in Mexico.

Initial media reports said that the blockades were retaliation for the arrest of a founding member of the Jalisco Cartel, Nemesio Oseguera Cervantes, alias “El Mencho,” although police later said he had not been captured. Four alleged Jalisco Cartel operatives were arrested and another six were reported killed during a shoot-out on August 26 in Tonaya, some 150 kilometers from Guadalajara.

InSight Crime Analysis

According to Milenio, the majority of the road blockades took place outside of Guadalajara (see map below showing the municipalities where road blockades were reported). This does suggest that these were highly coordinated actions, either intended to demonstrate the reach of the Jalisco Cartel or to distract the security forces from some other activity, perhaps El Mencho’s escape from the area.

The Jalisco Cartel previously deployed this strategy of mass roadblocks in March, in response to a security force operation aimed at capturing El Mencho. That time, El Mencho also managed to escape.

At first glance, the fact that some of the roadblocks took place in downtown Guadalajara and Zapopan municipality, usually considered some of the more tranquil areas in the metropolitan area, could contribute to fears that the Jalisco Cartel is becoming bolder and more aggressive in Mexico’s second-largest city. But as highlighted by a recent Southern Pulse investigation into Guadalajara’s criminal dynamics, some parts of Zapopan have already seen open confrontations between the Jalisco Cartel and their rivals, including previous “narcobloqueos,” so it is unsurprising that roadblocks were registered in these areas.

The Jalisco Cartel acts as enforcers for the Sinaloa Cartel. They are currently fighting the Zetas, who are allied with local group the Milenio Cartel, for control of Guadalajara.

View Jalisco roadblocks in a larger map

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