Note: the latest Stratfor analysis
Follow Mexico's drug cartel hotspots with our interactive map,
updated weekly, of the pain points for the United States' struggling
neighbor to the south. How critical is the state of Mexico's
Here are a few bullets from recent Mexico Security Interactives:
Coastal ports: Highly valuable due to shipping and tourism (great for
money-laundering), cities such as Acapulco and Manzanillo are seeing
increased violence as several cartels vie for control.
Interior transportation: Like every other hub city, Hermosillo is
home to derecho de piso , a lucrative tollway extortion racket, while
Monterrey's crossroads plaza fans highways in all directions,
including a mainline up the heartland of the U.S.
Border towns: Violence in Ciudad Juarez fell this year after 5
consecutive as the bloodiest city in the world, though this is not
likely to last. Just 310 miles west, Nogales is a hub for cartel
The capital: Mexico City is showing early symptoms of corruption,
with escalating activity from internally fostered drug markets.
A report from RAND on the Mexico situation
Note: A local analysis of the Strafor analysis. The cartel
pacifico del sur needs more attention.
Still don't think chapo's control of Sonora and Sinaloa is that
complete. Nogales and Agua Prieta Sonora both with recently
increasing body count, are directly south of Nogales and Douglas
Los Zetas move against Chapo in Chihuahua
The Journal | 10.26.2011 | 00:07
The latest report on the situation of the Mexican cartels prepared by
the U.S. intelligence company Stratfor, warned that 'Los Zetas' are
helping the Juarez Cartel forces to repel Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman
in the state of Chihuahua.
"Los Zetas continue to fight a multifrontal war throughout Mexico.
They are fighting the Gulf Cartel, the Sinaloa and the Mexican
government forces in the northeast while aiding the Juarez cartel to
contain the forces of Sinaloa in the state of Chihuahua, "says the
document entitled" Updating the Mexican War drug: the polarization
The analysis presented is the third from the firm based in Austin,
Texas who has monitored the progress and rearrangements between the
Mexican drug trafficking organizations since the inception of the
federal government's strategy.
In that sense, Stratfor identifies the existence of a conflict on
three levels: cartel against cartel, cartels against the government,
and against the civilian population, but basically there are two
organizations around which all others orbit: the Sinaloa Cartel and
According to Stratfor, the former would be in league with the cartel
of the Arellano Felix brothers in Tijuana, and these in turn operate
"with the permission of the Sinaloa cartel after an agreement to
lower homicide rates."
On the other side of the battle, along with Los Zetas, Stratfor
identifies organizations called "opposition" that is, the Juarez
Cartel, the South Pacific, and "The Resistance", formed by former
members of the fraction of Ignacio "Nacho" Coronel in Sinaloa.
As part of the report, Stratfor has a map that graphically identifies
each cartel controlled territories, showing how the Sinaloa controls
it's home state of Sinaloa, most of Chihuahua, except the capital
and Juarez, Durango, all northern Sonora and the two Baja Californias.
East side of Mexico, Los Zetas would control all of Tamaulipas and
Nuevo Leon, half of Coahuila, all Veracruz, Tabasco and Campeche to
Regions of Coahuila, San Luis Potosi and the country's central states
are listed as "disputed territory" of the various forces.
On the control of Chihuahua, the analysis indicates that while
strangling the Juarez cartel of Vicente Carrillo Fuentes and
continues to progress, to date, this group maintains control of drug
trafficking in the three main international crossings of the border,
it is ie, in the Santa Fe Bridge in Cordoba and Zaragoza.
"Despite the continuing throttling of the Vicente Carrillo
organization, the Juarez cartel maintains the loyalty of about eight
thousand members of the gang Barrio Azteca, which has helped them
maintain control of the three main ports of entry to the United
States, all of which lead directly to El Paso, Texas, "the report said.
"Stratfor sources reported recently that Carrillo Fuentes also
maintain the supply lines of marijuana and cocaine, and continues to
push large quantities of narcotics across the border," he adds.
The report also mentions that the whereabouts of Vicente Carrillo and
his closest lieutenants is uncertain, and while the offensive Sinaloa
Cartel was expected to escalate violence, recent months have seen a
fall in the index homicide, however, will not necessarily be lasting.
"It seems now, however, that violence is rising again. Shootings and
executions are increasing in the city, Stratfor sources in the region
expect this trend to continue until the end of 2011, "he says.
On the Sinaloa Cartel, the report mentions that this organization
continues peddling highly lucrative marijuana and methamphetamine,
heroin produced in the country and Colombian cocaine through the
crossings from Tijuana and Mexicali, Baja California, Nogales and
Agua Prieta, Sonora and Columbus, Santa Teresa, El Porvenir and
Ojinaga, Chihuahua and Ciudad Mier, Miguel Aleman, Reynosa and
"Clearly the dynamics have changed. On the battles of the Sinaloa
cartel to subdue the Carrillo Fuentes organization and take control
of Juarez, the long-term slow strangulation of the Juarez Cartel
continues to progress, "he says.