Mexican Cartels Display Their Post-Pandemic Power With Orchestrated Violence  

Burned cars and roadblocks established by cartels in Mexico.

Burned cars and roadblocks established by cartels in Mexico. 

“For the first time, the National Liberation Army has a leftist government as its counterpart.  The last active guerrilla in Colombia will return to a peace negotiation, but in a completely different scenario.” 

Mexico’s cartel violence flared once again in August.  In just one week, more than 250 people died in cartel violence.  The cartels burned cars, established roadblocks, and enforced curfews in typically bustling urban centers.  Allegedly, Sinaloa Cartel leaders want to display their power and avenge the arrest of kingpin Rafael Caro Quintero, according to French international news service Agence France-Presse. Caro Quintero, a wanted fugitive known for the torture and killing of Drug Enforcement Agency agent Enrique “Kiki” Camarena, was captured in an operation by the Mexican Navy with the assistance of intelligence provided by the United States.  Not to be outdone, the Jalisco New Generation Cartel also contributed to the shutdown of major urban areas, such as Tijuana and Guanajuato, according to British government-run Spanish-language BBC News Mundo.  The Jalisco New Generation Cartel purportedly wants to push back against the attempted arrest of a cartel leader.  This orchestrated cartel violence in Mexico reveals that Mexican drug cartels vastly expanded their territory during the COVID-19 pandemic and instill fear to control and govern that territory.  Additionally, the latest round of violence shows Mexico’s cartels have become so powerful that they pose a major threat to the Mexican state, operating more on the level of criminal insurgencies than transnational organized crime outfits.  


“Ola de violencia de los carteles lleva al gobierno mexicano a desplegar el ejército en varias ciudades (Wave of cartel violence leads the Mexican government to deploy the army in several cities),” BBC News Mundo (Spanish-language version of the popular state-owned media company), 14 August 2022.  

Thousands of federal soldiers were deployed in several Mexican border cities after a week of street violence generated by drug cartels…President Andrés Manuel López Obrador blamed the powerful Jalisco New Generation Cartel for the chaos…Earlier this week, drug cartel gunmen burned down vehicles and businesses in the western states of Jalisco and Guanajuato, after authorities tried to arrest a Jalisco cartel leader.  A gang riot at a prison in the border city of Ciudad Juárez also quickly spread to the streets, killing 11 people. 

Source:  “Ola de violencia en México: autoridades apuntan a cárteles como responsables (Wave of violence in Mexico: authorities point to cartels as responsible),” Agence France-Presse (private French company with government access and long-time regional reporting), 14 August 2022.  

The Government of Baja California attributed the events that occurred…to the Jalisco New Generation Cartel (CJNG).  The wave of violence was caused by more than twenty criminal acts in five of the seven municipalities of the state…The Secretary of National Defense said that it happened due to the arrest of a criminal entity in another part of the country…Cargo trucks, passenger buses, private vehicles, among others, were burned in five municipalities.  The violence caused the closure of markets and shops, mainly in the tourist area, in addition to the suspension of public transport, which generated problems for the mobility of passers-by. 

Image Information:

Image:  Burned cars and roadblocks established by cartels in Mexico 
Attribution: CCA-SA 4-0 International