Mexico Drug Cartels Expand Control by Breaking into Groups

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WESLACO – An Austin-based global intelligence agency said cartel growth is taking a new turn south of our border.

For more than a decade, Stratfor tracked Mexico’s drug cartels. The agency said major cartels disintegrated to smaller groups as a way to maintain their grip on the country.

Stratfor Vice President of Tactical Analysis Scott Stewart said the reach of cartels is expanding.

“It’s not just the Gulf Cartel anymore. You kind of have these regional Gulf Cartel smaller gangs who all call themselves the Gulf Cartel,” he said.

Stewart said each major group and its fraction groups are fighting each other to maintain control over their own turf.

“Everybody is trying to become the big dog, but what happens is we keep seeing kind of this continuing splintering,” he said.

Stewart said cartel break offs are less stable, less predictable and more willing to fight for what little territory they have. He said these movements make it harder for Mexican authorities to regain any kind of control.

“There are no longer just a handful of organizations. You have to target all these different leadership organizations and they all kind of have their different interest,” he said. “Basically, they’re all seeking control even at secondary border crossing points.”

Stratfor said violence in Mexico will continue this year. The country’s homicide rates for 2016 were 10 percent higher than the year before. It made it the deadliest year since 2012.

The agency said the violence is mostly contained between cartels. 


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