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New drug cartel emerges in Mexico in the wake of El Chapo’s extradition to U.S.

February 6, 2017  |  Posted by: Francesca Falzarano
New drug cartel emerges in Mexico in the wake of El Chapo’s extradition to U.S.

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A new Mexican drug cartel has emerged in the wake of the extradition of drug kingpin Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman to the United States, and it could be the latest indication, Mexico’s most powerful cartel is experiencing a fragmentation.

The criminal group calling themselves La Nueva Alianza (“The New Alliance”) or “Los Chapo-Zetas Levantados” uses the practices of the ruthless Los Zetas cartel.

The New Alliance announced their arrival on a Youtube channel, uploading several videos, which included footage of gunmen interrogating members of rival groups based in Mazatlan, Sinaloa, an intimidation tactic often associated with the Zetas.

According to Mexico’s El Debate news agency, the new drug cartel consists of members of ‘Los H,’ a reference to Hector Beltran Leyva, the jailed leader of Beltran-Leyva Organization (BLO) and a Sinaloa Cartel faction led by ‘El Chapo’s’ longtime partner Ismael ‘El Mayo’ Zambada.

It would be a surprising development given the fact the two criminal groups had remained at war since the cartels split back in 2008.

At one time the BLO led by the Beltran Leyva brothers worked as a dominant faction of the Sinaloa cartel allied with ‘El Chapo’ Guzman.

However, the two cartels split after the brothers accused Guzman of providing authorities information leading to the arrest of Alfredo Beltran Leyva, igniting a brutal turf war for control of lucrative drug trafficking routes.

Moreover, if confirmed,  the emergence of another drug cartel signals a fractioning Guzman’s drug trafficking organization.

“El Chapo” was extradited to New York at the end of January, where he will stand trial for charges listed in a 17-count indictment accusing him of running a drug trafficking organization that oversaw the large-scale smuggling of narcotics into the United States, and other drug-related crimes including kidnapping, money laundering, and conspiracy to commit murder in furtherance of an ongoing criminal enterprise.

U.S. Federal prosecutors say Guzman’s Sinaloa Federation drug cartel, named after his native Mexican state, smuggles cocaine from Colombia through Mexico into the U.S.

According to the indictment, the Sinaloa cartel is responsible for a significant portion of cocaine, heroin, and marijuana reaching the streets of the United States.

If found guilty, he faces a mandatory life sentence and the forfeiture of assets totaling $14 billion.

Additionally, Guzman faces similar indictments in several other jurisdictions including  Texas, Chicago, Miami, California, and the District of Columbia.

Guzman escaped from the Altiplano maximum security prison in July 2015 through an underground tunnel. Mexican authorities captured El Chapo in January 2016 in Los Mochis, Sinaloa after spending six months on the lam.

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