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Juarez Cartel

The Juarez Cartel is responsible for smuggling tons of narcotics from Mexico into the U.S.throughout its long and turbulent history, and the group’s intense rivalry with the Sinaloa Cartel helped turn Juarez into one of the most violent places in the world. 

Despite recent news reports about its decline, the Juarez Cartel remains one of the most powerful criminal organizations in Mexico and the region. To push back its main rival, the Sinaloa Cartel, it has turned to its former rivals in the Beltran Leyva Organization and the Zetas. It has also sought more direct contact with the drug sources in Colombia, namely with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC).

Since its beginnings, the cartel has focused on drug trafficking, but has expanded into other criminal activities such as human trafficking,
kidnapping, local drug distribution and extortion. Based in the city of Juarez in the state of Chihuahua, northern Mexico, the Juarez Cartel is also known as the Vicente Carrillo Fuentes Organization (VCFO), after its leader.

The Juarez Cartel has a large and longstanding transportation, storage and security operation throughout the country. It counts on its ability to co-opt local and state law enforcement, especially the judicial or ministerial police (detectives) and the municipal forces. It has long collected a tax for letting groups use its “plaza,” or drug trafficking corridor, and relied on alliances to operate nationwide. 

But the new modus operandi in the country, that of using small, more sophisticated armies to control swaths of territory, has made it hard for 
this group to compete. While its two main gangs, La Linea and the Aztecas, are formidable, they have had difficulty keeping pace with their 
competitors that work for the Sinaloa Cartel. La Linea, which does the street-level enforcement, has been particularly hard hit.


The Juarez Cartel has also created the Linces, a group made up by approximately 80 deserters from the Army’s Special Forces, who are in charge of protecting cartel members and transporting drugs. 

Drug trafficking is carried out by establishing two main fronts on both sides of the frontier. La Linea and the Linces control transport to the U.S.-Mexican border and the other gang, the Aztecas, manages the U.S. side, with operations in El Paso, Dallas and Austin. In Mexico, the cartel operates in nearly 21 state.

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Categories: The Cartels
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