Power shift possible while El Chapo is free
Renewed tensions forecast between drug cartels
Mexico News Daily | Tuesday, July 21, 2015
Baja California is on “high alert” as security experts warn that the longer it takes authorities to capture Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzman, the more risk there is for renewed tensions between cartels.
Those tensions could be acute along the Pacific coast, in the south of Sinaloa and in the states that make up the northwest, including Baja California Sur because his escape from prison on Juy 11 could cause a change in the geography of drug trafficking.
A researcher at the faculty of political science at the National Autonomous University explained that if Guzmán is not captured quickly there could be a power shift involving a Sinaloa Cartel faction led by José Esparragoza and Ismael Zambada, who could form an alliance with the Jalisco Nueva Generación Cartel (CJNG).
Their goal, said Javier Oliva Posada, would be to take control of Tijuana and Ciudad Juárez, which belong to the already weakened Arellano Félix (known as the the Tijuana Cartel) and Juárez cartels.
According to the latest report by the federal Attorney General, nine major drug trafficking groups currently operate throughout Mexican territory: the Pacific or Sinaloa Cartel, Jalisco Nueva Generación, Caballeros Templarios, Arellano Félix, La Familia Michoacana, Beltrán Leyva, Los Zetas, Juárez and Gulf.
Arriola Federico Cantero, a researcher at the Universidad Iberoamericana, says Guzmán will not stop in his quest to dominate the entire country, which could cause clashes with rival cartels in Jalisco, Colima, Baja California Sur, Nuevo León, northern Tamaulipas, Guerrero, Michoacán, Nayarit and Quintana Roo. Cantero said violence likely won’t increase against the general population as that is not a “hallmark” of Guzmán.
Meanwhile, could the cartel boss, who made a brazen tunnel escape from the maximum security prison El Altiplano, be headed to Baja?
In June 2014, a federal judge issued a detention order against Angel Jorge López Urías, who was accused of facilitating flights for Guzmán to Los Cabos in Baja California Sur. He allegedly procured a Cessna 206 aircraft in which El Chapo traveled under an alias, “The Weevil.”
The pilot, also traveling under an alias, was referred to as “The Hookah.” The flights were allegedly made during 2013, when Guzmán was a fugitive.
Officials say Baja remains on high alert since the drug lord’s escape.
Sources: Uni Radio Informa (sp), BCS Noticias (sp)