The Sinaloa cartel is losing its grip and control over the Mexican city of Juárez, according to numerous experts. Breitbart Texas’ border expert and contributing editor Sylvia Longmire, the U.S. private intelligence firm Stratfor, and the well-respected Borderland Beat news and analysis outlet all agree that rival cartels are weakening the grip of the Sinaloa Federation.
Ciudad Juárez sits directly across the U.S./Mexico border from El Paso, Texas. The city, most notably known by Americans for the hundreds, if not thousands, of dead women found in its surrounding desert, began to see a decline in violence in early 2012 after the Sinaloa cartel gained prominence after hard-fought and bloody turf wars.
“This is a situation that is bound to concern a lot of people,” said Sylvia Longmire in an email comment to Breitbart Texas. “Los Zetas comprise the Federation’s biggest enemy, and have been teaming up with other cartels who are rivals to the Federation to make some power plays.”
Longmire stated, “After several years of unprecedented bloodshed, the murder rate in Ciudad Juárez–literally inches across the border from El Paso, Texas–finally started to decline significantly after the Sinaloa Federation finally gained control in roughly early 2012.”
At this point, the expert opinions begin to allow some light in between them, namely in regards to whether the current cartel power plays will result in increased violence. Borderland Beat’s analysis included the expert opinion of Stratfor’s vice president of Tactical Intelligence, Scott Stewart. They report Stewart’s prediction: “He predicts that the murder rate in México will continue decreasing and the overall violence will not increase significantly in the next months. However, there could be spikes of increased levels of violence in the states of Chihuahua, Sinaloa, Sonora and Baja California as the Sinaloa cartel tries to maintain control.”
Longmire indicated having a different prediction, or at least acknowledged the likelihood of history repeating itself. She stated, “Los Zetas teaming up with what’s left of the Juárez cartel could pose huge problems for not only the Federation, but perhaps for the security situation in Ciudad Juárez.” Longmire added, “El Paso managed to stay very calm during the worst of the cartel violence right across the border, but that doesn’t mean that elected officials, law enforcement officers, and concerned residents aren’t keeping a close eye on developments like this.”
Such power plays between Mexican organized crime groups have traditionally resulted in increased bloodshed–and such groups have traditionally done everything possible to publicize their brutality by displaying the heads of their victims and rivals in public displays.
Breitbart Texas spoke with Stu Harris, Vice President of the National Border Patrol Council Local 1929, the Local for El Paso, Texas, directly across the border from Ciudad Juarez. He said, “Anytime there is a turf war between cartels, there is increased violence.” He added, “For the most part, there hasn’t been a lot of spillover onto U.S. soil, but there has been some.”
“Our agents are always at a heightened state of alert, this doesn’t change that. As always, our agents will be keeping a close eye on what is occurring at the border,” said Harris.