On Security

Tracking Mexico's Cartels in 2019

Scott Stewart
VP of Tactical Analysis, Stratfor
Jan 29, 2019 | 09:30 GMT
Officials display rifle ammunition seized from the Los Zetas drug cartel in June 2011.

Officials display rifle ammunition seized from the Los Zetas drug cartel in June 2011.

(YURI CORTEZ/AFP/Getty Images)

Since 2006, Stratfor has produced an annual cartel report chronicling the dynamics of the organizations that make up the complex mosaic of organized crime in Mexico. When we began, the landscape was much simpler, with only a handful of major cartel groups. But as we noted in 2013, the long process of balkanization -- or splintering -- of the groups has made it difficult to analyze them the way we used to. Indeed, many of the organizations we had been tracking, such as the Gulf cartel, imploded and fragmented into several smaller, often competing factions. Because of this fracturing, we changed our analysis in 2013 to focus on the clusters of smaller groups that emanate from three main geographic areas: Sinaloa state, Tamaulipas state and the Tierra Caliente region....

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