“Socalj” for Borderland Beat
“It’s a breakthrough,” says Carlos Gershenson, a computer scientist at Binghamton University who was not involved in the study. Policing cartels has only led to more violence, he says. “You need to cut the source of the problem rather than dealing with the consequences.”’
First, Prieto-Curiel and his colleagues figured out exactly how many people cartels have employed across the past decade. The team used public data on the number of weekly homicides and imprisonments nationwide between 2012 and 2022, estimating that cartel members accounted for 10% of these murder victims and 5% of incarcerations.
|The data showed the rate of recruitment has outpaced those killed or incarcerated|
The model showed that the criminal organizations collectively lost about 200 members per week. In total, about 37% of cartel members active over the past decade were either killed or incarcerated. But the total size of cartels grew by about 7,000 people per year over the same period, meaning they must have recruited about 19,300 new members per year to make up their losses.
In an unrelated report in July, the DEA estimated that the two largest Mexican cartels, the Sinaloa Cartel (CDS) and Jalisco New Generation (CJNG), employed more than 44,800 people in total. Prieto-Curiel’s model found a similar number of 46,600 cartel members across the two groups.
Under current policies that focus on arresting cartel members, the model predicted cartels would grow by 26% by 2027, resulting in 40% more casualties. Doubling the number of cartel members in prison through police crackdowns would stem these increases a little, but violence would still continue to grow.
|Newly appointed Attorney General of Baja California María Elena Andrade|
“We Do Not Fight Criminal Groups, We Fight Crimes.”
María Elena Andrade is the newly appointed Attorney General of the State of Baja California (after the resignation of Ricardo Iván Carpio). She stated that “it is not my job to directly combat the cartels”, later in the interview, she accepts that, “of course,” she will fight them from the common jurisdiction.
“Precisely those groups that may be criminals under federal jurisdiction, and become a crime of the common order. I know that they operate because they are borders and cartels, and I know precisely what we are facing. We are going to combat crimes, regardless of where they come from; It is our obligation when they are crimes of the common order or to coordinate them with the corresponding authorities if the commission of a crime under federal jurisdiction is clearly noted with the attorney general’s offices of the Republic. As the State Prosecutor’s Office, we do not combat criminal groups in this type of crimes; however, we do combat crimes and it is our obligation to address them from where they arise when they are crimes of the common order.”
“We are not looking at which cartel they belong to, but at the crime they are committing; and if it is known, its participation in that cartel is noted, precisely it is to provide us with information and know what we are stepping on. But each person within their powers,” stated Andrade to Zeta Tijuana.