The Deep Roots of Jalisco New Generation in Guatemala

According to a May 18 report by the organization InSight Crime, which investigates organized crime in Latin America and the Caribbean, the Jalisco New Generation Cartel (CJNG), which is responsible for much of the bloodshed in Mexico, is covertly growing its criminal network in Guatemala. The inquiry, which was started two years ago, supports the charges made by the Guatemalan Public Ministry and the U.S. Treasury Department (MP).

jalisco guatemala
Central America

In December the Guatemalan Military Police uncovered a criminal organization based in the Escuintla, Sacatepéquez, Guatemala, Petén, Retalhuleu, and Alta Verapaz that organized the landing of aircraft carrying cocaine for Jalisco New Generation.

On March 18, the U.S. Treasury Department issued a warning about the Los Huistas narcotrafficking organization, which operates out of the Guatemalan department of Huehuetenango near the border with Mexico. The group uses Mexican organizations like the CJNG to smuggle cocaine, methamphetamine, and heroin into the United States from their base in northern Guatemala.

“The modus operandi of this structure is to locate clandestine airstrips to use them to land drug-laden aircraft, and to coordinate their unloading and transfer. Likewise, to coordinate people to stop the public security forces, preventing them from reaching the place where the crime is committed or where aircraft land. In addition, it was determined that they threaten and plan attacks against people who may share information about them to the authorities.”

Report published by the Guatemalan Military Police

According to Dr. José Andrés Reyes Valenzuela, a Guatemalan professor and criminologist at the Da Vinci University in Guatemala City, Mexican cartels do not have their own cells operating on Guatemalan soil.

To receive cocaine shipments from Colombia and Venezuela, the CJNG forms alliances with drug networks in Guatemala that are active along the Pacific coast and on the western border with Mexico. The plan is to avoid having a formal structure in Guatemala, and to prevent criminal organizations in the country from getting too organized and trying to compete with them.

He also noted that Guatemala is transitioning from being a transit country to a producer with drug manufacturing facilities on its soil.

The U.S. Treasury Department imposed sanctions against six people on June 2 as a result of their cooperation with the CJNG. All of their American assets have been frozen as part of the penalties imposed.

“Violence and corruption have been critical to CJNG’s growth in the past decade. Support networks help CJNG’s fugitive leaders remain in hiding and evade justice. Treasury will continue working with U.S. partners and the Mexican government to target the violence, corruption, and facilitation that undergird CJNG’s power.”

Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Brian E. Nelson
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