El Chapo’s cartel striking out at Mexico’s deadliest gang as leader ‘vulnerable’

El Chapo’s cartel will attempt to seize territory from Mexico’s most powerful gang, with the organised crime group now “vulnerable”, an expert has claimed.

The Jalisco New Generation Cartel (CJNG), led by Nemesio "El Mencho" Oseguera Cervantes, has rapidly expanded across the country and operates in at least 35 states across Mexico and Puerto Rico.

Its members – trained in elite military tactics – carry out brutal acts of violence to intimidate their rivals, targeting politicians, police officers and soldiers.

Earlier this month, Mencho’s daughter Jessica Oseguera was jailed for 30 months in the US for illegally running his tequila and sushi businesses.

Robert Almonte, a former US federal marshal who spent 25 years in El Paso’s Police Department tackling narcotics, claims her imprisonment may pose an issue for the CJNG.

He told the Daily Star: “I do believe that the light sentence given to El Mencho's daughter has made the CJNG vulnerable, especially El Mencho, since he is the most wanted Cartel leader by the US.

“There is no doubt that the US government was able to take advantage of her arrest and plea deal to get information from her that would make the CJNG and El Mencho more vulnerable.”

  • Drug lord El Mencho's daughter jailed for illegal tequila and sushi businesses

Last year, the Sinaloa Cartel launched Operation MZ in a show of aggression against the CJNG.

The letters refer to leader Ismael "El Mayo" Zambada, who has taken charge of the cartel sinceEl Chapo’s extradition and imprisonmentin 2019.

Earlier this month, three alleged CJNG members were tortured and killed before their bodies were hung from a bridge in the north-central state of Zacatecas – supposedly as part of Operation MZ.

Mr Almonte believes El Mayo’s criminal outfit are likely to carry out similar acts of violence.

He added: “I do believe that the Sinaloa Cartel will step up their efforts to seize more territory from the CJNG, but it won't be easy.

“While the CJNG and the Sinaloa Cartel are the two most powerful Mexican Cartels in the world, I believe that the CJNG is superior due to their more organized and paramilitary structure.

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“The CJNG is better trained and better equipped than the Sinaloa Cartel and they are not afraid of confrontations against any group or even the Mexican Government.”

Last year, authorities estimated the gang oversaw one-third of all drugs being transported from Mexico into the US.

That year, dozens of armed CJNG members shouted Mencho’s name and showed off military-grade weapons along with armoured pickup trucks in disturbing propaganda footage, believed to have been recorded in the state of Jalisco.

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