Overall Threat Assessment
The Gulf Cartel, a criminal drug trafficking enterprise in Mexico, is one of the oldest organized crime syndicates in that country. In 2008, the Attorney General of Mexico stated that the Gulf Cartel exceeded all other criminal organizations in Mexico in terms of presence and violent activity. Since the December 2006, the officially recognized beginning of Mexico’s most recent campaign against the drug cartels, the Gulf Cartel has been involved in kidnapping, torture and extrajudicial killings. Their actions have contributed to the violence that has resulted in between 40,000 and 60,000 Mexican narcotics trade related deaths since 2006 (Carpenter 2013). In Mexico, the Gulf Cartel actually controls wide swaths of…show more content… The two most common non-narcotic related crimes are extortion and money laundering. Mexican newspaper El Universal reported in 2011 that the Gulf Cartel is targeting undocumented immigrants in the United States for extortion because they are very unlikely to report the crimes to American authorities. The same article accuses the Gulf Cartel of paying Mexican immigrants to open legitimate businesses in American border towns for use as centers for money laundering (Gomora 2011). Anyone who refuses to comply with the demands of the Cartel risks having their businesses burned their families becoming the target of…show more content… The Cali Cartel, once referred to by the Drug Enforcement Administration as “the most powerful crime syndicate in history” is a major refiner of cocaine that has reportedly recently started developing a process for refining opium. Although their links to the heroin trade are dubious at best, the DEA assesses that the Cali Cartel controls nearly all of the land that is suitable for growing poppy in Columbia. The Gulf Cartel’s arrangement with the Cali Cartel is what brought the group out of obscurity and is a major factor in its continued existence. The Gulf Cartel also works with other criminal organizations to move drugs from Mexico into the United States. One unlikely partner in their drug trafficking operation, particularly methamphetamine, is the Aryan Brotherhood. A Mexican news source reported that an Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms agent gave information that an Aryan Brotherhood member recently admitted to being a go-between for his group and the Gulf Cartel.