El Mencho with his two kids (now grown) CJNG have been around for only about half a decade, but with their dizzyingly swift rise, they have already achieved what took Sinaloa a generation. The cartel has established trafficking routes in dozens of countries on six continents and controls territory spanning half of Mexico, including along both coasts and both borders. "[CJNG] have increased their operations like no other criminal organization to date," said a classified Mexican intelligence report obtained by the newspaper El Universal. This past May, Mexico's attorney general, Raúl Cervantes, declared them the most ubiquitous cartel in the country.
CJNG specialize in methamphetamine, which has higher profit margins than cocaine or heroin. By focusing on lucrative foreign markets in Europe and Asia, the cartel has simultaneously maintained a low profile in the U.S. and built up a massive war chest, which some experts estimate is worth $20 billion. "These guys have way more money than Sinaloa," says a former DEA agent who spent years hunting the cartel in Mexico (and who requested anonymity for security reasons). According to another U.S. investigator, "Mencho has been very, very aggressive – and so far, unfortunately, it's paid off." Though most Americans might not realize it, Mexico's cartels have been almost uniformly weakened. The notoriously fearsome Zetas – ex-special-forces commandos who terrorized the country with mutilations and beheadings – have been crippled by costly turf wars and the arrest of their top leaders. Other once-powerful groups like the Knights Templar and Gulf Cartel have also been marginalized. Even mighty Sinaloa have descended into infighting following El Chapo's recent extradition to New York, as multiple factions, including Chapo's sons, his younger brother, and his former partner Ismael "Mayo" Zambada, battle for control. #sinaloa #chinoantrax #losantrax #antrax #cartel #narco #narcostyle #narcoreport #carteldesinaloa #lujosdelnarco #chapoguzman #elcartel #pabloescobar #mexico #scarface #corridos #purosinaloa #culiacan #sinaloacartel #narcocorridos #mafia #borderlandbeat #cjng #narcos #elchapo #balacera #semar #narcotrafico