Sunday, January 6, 2013

La Resistencia (Cárteles Unidos)

Juan Carlos Nava Valencia
Cárteles Unidos took a fairly big hit when  the Mexican Federal Police arrested Victor Manuel Torres Garcia (El Papirrin) in Michoacán almost two years ago now. At that time there were two branches of Cárteles Unidos. Victor Torres ran one branch and Juan Carlos Nava Valencia (El Tigre) ran the other. When the federal police arrested Ramiro Pozos Gonzales (El Molca) last September, it left Juan Carlos Nava in command.* 

*His brother, Oscar Orlando Nava Valencia (El Lobo) has been in US Custody in Texas for some time now.
Citizens of this municipality, you are notified that from 
this day forward los Caballeros Templarios are present in 
Jose Azueta (Zihuatanejo)... Establishing the people's order 
and tranquility. "Thank you"
The Apatzingan Plaza was disrupted by arrests two years ago, but the disruption was only temporary and cooperative efforts between Los Caballeros Templarios (LCT) and La Resistencia/Cárteles Unidos got the plaza back on its feet quickly. At the time the LCT methamphetamine output was significant enough that they needed Cárteles Unidos to move at least a portion of it into the United States. 

Cárteles Unidos had/have clandestine methamphetamine laboratories of their own but arrests of leadership both in LCT/LFM and the occasional raid on labs that are not paying off sufficiently to the police (or are denounced by rival drug kingpins to the police/army) caused the cartels to cooperate in trafficking across Mexico and into the United States. Both cartels have significant holdings in Avocados and produce in the same region and worked together through the US Customs/CTPAT route discussed before on this blog.

Today La Resistencia exists because their methamphetamine labs and their distribution routes inside the US still exist. It's an odd mix of different cartels including the Millennium Cartel/Valencia Cartel and an assortment of outcasts from the Sinaloa Federation. With the leadership on the ropes, they have dropped below the radar to rebuild. Never fear, there are other actors in Mexico for MEXGOV and their American cousins to focus on. But they're not gone.

Victor Manuel Torres Garcia currently awaits his fate, wondering whether or not he'll do the rest of his life in a Mexican prison or a prison in the United States. The future is not bright, Victor.

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