Tags: Mexico | heroin | mexican cartel | drug | homicide | turf war

Report: Heroin Turf Wars Among Mexican Cartels Fueling Homicides

Report: Heroin Turf Wars Among Mexican Cartels Fueling Homicides
(Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

By    |   Tuesday, 28 June 2016 07:21 PM

Growing turf wars among Mexican drug cartels after the arrest of Jaoquin "El Chapo" Guzman in 2014 has been linked to the huge surge in inner-city drug violence as these groups distribute heroin through street-level gangs, a new analysis has found.

"There is reason to believe that recent crime spikes are associated with a growing heroin market and the capture of drug lord 'El Chapo' Guzman, both of which have caused local cartel affiliates to battle for territory and kill Americans caught up in the crossfire," the American Enterprise Institute said.

AEI analyzed data from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, which identifies the cartels as "Mexican transnational criminal organizations" — or TCOs.

The groups "remain the greatest criminal drug threat to the United States," the DEA said in a recent report. "No other group can challenge them in the near term."

The agency added later in the report that the cartels "are moving to expand their share of US illicit drug markets, particularly heroin markets.

"Many gangs rely on Mexican TCOs as their primary drug source of supply, and Mexican TCOs depend on street-level gangs, many of which already have a customer base, for drug distribution."

This has played out most vividly in Chicago, AEI said.

Guzman's Sinaloa Cartel is the largest provider of a cheaper form of heroin that has been able to bring in more customers, according to news reports.

In Chicago alone, "the Sinaloa Cartel is estimated to make $3 billion per year off illegal drugs," AEI said. "A Chicago crime commission even named the cartel’s leader, Joaquin 'El Chapo' Guzman, the city’s Public Enemy Number One."

But El Chapo was arrested by Mexican authorities in February 2014.

He was first taken into custody in 1993 — and then again this past January after escaping through an underground tunnel. But the second arrest "presaged a lengthy, ongoing struggle to fill the power vacuum," the analysis said.

"Mexico’s descent into chaos exacerbated an already fragmented system of cartel dominance in the United States."

The conservative think tank examined crime data — including homicide figures — from the top 25 cities in the DEA report, discovering that "many urban centers have multiple cartels operating in competition with one another."

"Our hypothesis was simple," AEI concluded. "More than one cartel in a city equals more murders over the past few years and only one cartel in a city equals fewer murders over that same span."

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Growing turf wars among Mexican drug cartels after the arrest of Jaoquin "El Chapo" Guzman in 2014 has been linked to the huge surge in inner-city drug violence as these groups distribute heroin through street-level gangs, a new analysis has found.
heroin, mexican cartel, drug, homicide, turf war
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2016-21-28
Tuesday, 28 June 2016 07:21 PM
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