This is how the Sinaloa Cartel and the CJNG expanded their control in Colombia, according to NarcoFiles

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The massive leak of emails from the Attorney General’s Office of Colombia revealed, in a more profound way, how Mexican cartels operate in that country

More than a year after the hacking and leak of five terabytes of information from the Attorney General’s Office of Colombia – which contains more than seven million emails between agencies of that country and others – the project Narco Files: The New Criminal Order has been released to the light. The investigation had the participation of more than 40 media outlets from America and Europe, and it reported, among other things, the expansion of the Sinaloa Cartel and the Jalisco New Generation Cartel (CJNG) in the South American nation.

Although the relationship between Mexican drug cartels and criminal groups in Colombia has been going on for decades, the investigation released on November 6 – and in which Infobae Argentina participated – indicates that, in recent years, the Sinaloa Cartel and the CJNG have taken more control in the cocaine business in that country.

According to Univision, one of the media that participated in the creation of Narco Files, a key point in the consolidation of the alliance of Mexico and Colombia for drug trafficking was Joaquín ‘El Chapo’ Guzmán, who in the 80s began negotiating with Colombian criminal groups.

The documents hacked by the ‘Guacamaya’ group reveal that, in 2007, the former leader of the Sinaloa Cartel reached agreements with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) to expand its control in that country, on a par with Los Zetas. However, a few years later, a new group began to have a presence in South America: the four letters cartel.

By 2012 and 2014, the pattern of cocaine trafficking to Mexico changed, strengthening both Mexican cartels. The organizations led by Ismael ‘El Mayo’ Zambada and Nemesio Oseguera Cervantes are now in charge of directing operations in Colombia and other South American countries.

Alliances, the key to its expansion

Colombia has been a key country for the activities of Mexican cartels for a reason: along with Peru and Bolivia, they are one of the main producers of cocaine internationally.

For their part, Colombian criminal organizations need to maintain a relationship with the CDS and the CJNG because they are in charge of the export of drugs to the United States and other countries in the world.

However, the level of intervention of Colombian criminal groups in drug transportation is increasingly lower. According to the former general of the Colombian Police, Oscar Naranjo, to Univision, criminal organizations in that country began to delegate their participation due to fear of being accused and investigated by the United States authorities.

The leaked documents from the Attorney General’s Office of Colombia confirm this, showing that the shipment of drugs in narco-submarines is increasingly depending on Mexicans.

Now, the CDS and the CJNG seek to have control of the cocaine production chain, from plantation to international distribution, which has prompted them to negotiate with all types of criminal groups and organizations from both the right and the left; and even among themselves.

Mexican cartels grow crops in Colombia

One of the regions affected by this expansion is Tibú, a municipality located in the northeast of the country and adjacent to the border with Venezuela.

Its mayor, Nelson Leal López, explained to Univision that “Mexicans” no longer want to limit themselves to buying cocaine, return to their country and start trafficking drugs. Now they want to be “the owners of the land,” he said. In addition, he accused the cartels of entering directly into farming.

But that is not all. In addition to their alliance with various local groups, both cartels maintain links with their main Colombian counterparts, such as those in Medellín and Cali.

It should be remembered that, in July 2023, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) indicated that the expansion of the Sinaloa Cartel has reached more than 100 countries, in which they have at least 26 thousand members, associates and facilitators. For their part, US authorities have identified that the CJNG has also consolidated its business through 18,800 members spread across a hundred nations.

Source: Infobae