Mexico’s Largest Drug Cartel Continues to Expand Into the U.S.

The CJNG (Cartel Jalisco Nueva Generación) has been growing in Mexico —and slipping to the U.S.— like no other drug cartel in past history. While it increased profits through the sale of illegal drugs, it set up a complex network of investment through numerous legal ventures in Mexico, the U.S. and Europe: effectively maximizing its gains by branching over to licit businesses. For instance, the CJNG operates via the fishing industry, the oil and chemical industry and through services such as hotels and bars. It is implicated in the food, energy, service and financial sectors of the economy, specifically through loans and U.S. hedge funds.

The following is noteworthy:

* Fishing Industry — the CJNG controls over 100 fishing vessels that fish throughout Mexican, Central, and South American waters. Fish sales reach the U.S., Canada, Africa and Europe. The process of transportation has facilitated the importation of tons of cocaine from South America.

* Oil Industry — the CJNG purchased hundreds of Mexican gasoline stations and they’re now involved with multinational oil companies currently operating in Mexico. The siphoning of gasoline from different pipelines spread across the Mexican territory is another tactic. These activities imply billions of dollars in annual losses for PEMEX (Petróleos Mexicanos).

* Chemical Companies — their development allows the CJNG to bypass the purchase of the precursors needed to make cheap narcotics that have previously come across from China. This signals the cartel’s involvement in the pharmaceutical industry in Mexico.

* Tourism and Sports — the CJNG is participating in joint ventures by building hotels, resorts, golf courses and hospitals catered for foreign travelers in Mexico. In the sports sector, the CJNG owns teams in pro baseball and soccer, as well as equestrian teams.

* Financial Sector — The CJNG facilitates check-cashing transactions as well as long and short-term loans; additionally, they launder money through money exchange houses. They’ve invested in American hedge fund companies as to facilitate their money laundering process and reinvest in the U.S. more efficiently. This is where the cartel is particularly taking advantage of licit business structures and the geographical proximity with Mexico. Their involvement in the pawnshop business allows them to buy and sell stolen items while gathering crucial intelligence about competitors and relevant illegal activities (kidnappings and murders).