Zacatecas under Threat as Cartel Battleground
By KELIN DILLON
A power vacuum emerged in Mexico after the nation’s June 6 elections, leading to five horrific massacres across the country.
One of the most violent, a gruesomely altercation in Zacatecas that left 19 dead, was reportedly caused by a bloody territory war between the New Generation Jalisco Cartel (CJNG) and the Sinaloa Cartel, experts say.
The Zacatecas massacre took place on a road leading to San Juan Capistrano Tulillo, the route to the Sierra Madre Occidental where the borders of the Mexican states of Nayarit, Jalisco and Durango meet.
“Armed civilians control the flow of vehicles, extort merchants and make many families flee this area,” said journalist Héctor de Mauleón.
The area is reportedly currently controlled by Sinaloa leader Ismael “El Mayo” Zambada, but is facing invasion by the notoriously bloody CJNG by orders of its kingpin Nemesio “El Mencho” Oseguera Cervantes, leading to the brutal confrontation.
The CJNG has reportedly had a presence in Zacatecas since 2019, with El Mencho’s underling Audias “The Gardener” Flores Silva, who recently had a bounty put on his head by the U.S. government, opening a meth lab and operating clandestine attacks in the region.
In April of that same year, 100 CJNG hitmen apparently entered Valparaíso, Zacatecas, to do El Mencho’s dirty work, for which the Mexican government launched 360 members of the army to deal with, but the violence didn’t stop — and still continues to this day.
Politicians have likewise been accused of conspiring alongside the cartels, with Zacatecas Senator David Monreal Ávila, who is a member of the president’s “Together We Will Make History” coalition, being accused of facilitating kidnappings and extortions with the CJNG to help fund his election campaign.