The Jalisco New Generation Cartel (CJNG) has announced its arrival in México state and San Luis Potosí in videos featuring heavily-armed men.
One video that circulated on social media shows seven self-described sicarios, or hitmen, wearing military-style uniforms, helmets and kerchiefs over their faces.
“The purge has started, gentlemen. We’ve come to remove from México state the whole damn scourge of the Familia Michoacana . . .” one gunman says to cheers from his fellow CJNG members who raise their weapons in a show of force.
In another video that was disseminated on social media last week, a man dressed in tactical gear and with his face covered appears seated at a table adorned with a map of San Luis Potosí.
Surrounded by some 30 heavily-armed men and with a banner emblazoned with the CJNG initials as a backdrop, the suspected cartel operative issues a warning to rival gangs that operate in San Luis Potosí.
“Good morning citizens of San Luis Potosí. We are the Jalisco New Generation Cartel. We’re here to fight the [thieves], extortioners and kidnappers belonging to the Zetas, Northeast and Gulf cartels,” the man says in a distorted voice.
“Attention authorities, the fight is not against you,” he continues. “We’re coming to work for the well-being of the citizens, those who have been affected by extortion and countless abuses. . .”
The cartel member then claims that San Luis Potosí Police Chief José Guadalupe Castillo Celestino is in charge of the sale of drugs in the state capital.
“All those who support the Zetas, the Northeast Cartel, the Gulf Cartel and Guadalupe Castillo: refrain from participating in their ranks. We are the Jalisco New Generation Cartel and we’re here to stay,” the man says.
The cartel’s announcement of their arrival in the central state comes months after it began operations there, the news website Infobae said. The National Guard on Sunday seized more than 300 kilograms of marijuana as well as weapons, ammunition and bullet-proof vests with the CJNG initials that were hidden below a tarp near a dirt road in the San Luis Potosí municipality of Villa de Arriaga.
Infobae said that the advance of the Jalisco cartel across Mexico appears “unstoppable” despite the opposition it faces from other violent and powerful cartels.
The United States Drug Enforcement Administration said in its report National Drug Threat Assessment 2019 that the cartel led by Nemesio “El Mencho” Oseguera Cervantes has a presence in at least 24 of Mexico’s 32 states.
In México state, the country’s third most violent entity in 2019 after Guanajuato and Baja California, the police chiefs of several municipalities have held meetings with members of the CJNG, according to a columnist for the newspaper El Universal.
Citing a México state government intelligence report, Héctor de Mauleón said that meetings were held across five regions of México state encompassing 27 municipalities including Amecameca, Tultitlán, Cuautitlán Izcalli, Ecatepec and Zumpango.
De Mauleón asserted that CJNG members asked the municipal police chiefs to not interfere in their drug trafficking activities in exchange for not attacking their officers.
The requested quid pro quo was expressed in the terms, “don’t touch us and we won’t touch you,” the columnist wrote.