Insight Crime, January 3, 2012
"…Analysts have long considered the Sinaloa Cartel, headed by drug baron Joaquin Guzman Loera, alias “El Chapo,” to be the foremost drug trafficking organization in the country. Their apparent loss of ground to the Zetas calls this into question.
However, even assuming that Salinas’ report is a perfect representation of Mexico’s criminal landscape, the fact that the Zetas are present in more territory does not necessarily make them more influential. As InSight Crime has pointed out, the nature of criminal control varies from location to location. Just because a drug cartel maintains a physical presence in an area does not automatically mean that they exert authority over the local government...
…As Andrew Selee, director of the Washington, DC-based Mexico Institute told the Associated Press in October:"
"The Zetas have certainly gotten bigger since they split with the Gulf, but whether that will amount to a long-term ability to control and defend the territories where they have a presence is a little less clear. In reality, they're much thinner, where Sinaloa is hierarchical and compact."
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