Friday, 30 Oct 2020

Inside brutal cartel’s deadly female hit squad – with recruits being picked off

A Mexican cartel is recruiting young women and training them as killers – with its troops under attack.

Reports in the summer suggested that women were being coerced into the lower levels of the Jalisco New Generation Cartel (CJNG).

The gang, led by Nemesio "El Mencho" Oseguera Cervantes, intimidates its rivals with brutal displays of violence and is one of the most powerful cartels in the country.

Its female recruits have collaborated in kidnappings and even been trained as killers from a young age, according to Infobae.

In August, officials arrested 16 CJNG members – three of whom were young women aged between 18 and 20.

Several of them have also been killed this year.

Earlier this month, cops shot dead alleged CJNG member Brisa del Mar in Palma Sola, Veracruz.

The officers were ambushed at a property in the town and opened fire on two people, killing them.

Officials then entered the home, where there was another shootout which left La Brisa and another man dead.

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She had been arrested on September 6 along with several others for various federal crimes, Excelsior reports.

In the past few weeks, cartel members of the United Cartels slaughtered CNJG troops in the city of Aguililla, Michoacan.

Among the dead was a woman nicknamed La Guadana – The Scythe – who leaves behind two children, La Voz de Michoacan reports.

The United Cartels dumped their bodies on the street and bragged in a social media post, inviting the CJNG to come pick them up.

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The city has been plagued by violence, with the two gangs battling for territory.

Back in January, suspected CJNG ringleader Maria Guadalupe Lopez Esquivel, 21, was blasted in the neck from point-blank range after special forces raided the HQ of her personal hit squad.

A crack special forces unit surrounded her compound in Aguililla, Mexico, after locals tipped them off about the fortified safe house.

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She had amassed a huge online following by posing semi-naked with guns on Instagram.

Bodycam footage from one of the soldiers showed the 21-year-old gasping for breath after a gunshot wound to the throat.

Earlier this month, an expert claimed the CJNG is now a “greater force” than El Chapo’s criminal empire.

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In July, authorities estimated the gang oversaw one-third of all drugs being transported from Mexico into the US.

Its illicit products have also been sold in Europe and Asia.

Dr Robert J Bunker, Director of Research & Analysis, C/O Futures, LLC, believes the Sinaloa Cartel – led by Chapo's sons and former partner Ismael "El Mayo" Zambada afterhis imprisonment last year– is now operating in its shadow.

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He told Daily Star Online: “The federal Mexican forces have far more military capacity and firepower than the cartels.

“The issue is that they are stretched thin across the county containing the 'criminal insurgency' taking place and now having to respond to the effects of theCovid-19pandemic in Mexico.

“The CJNG presently appears to be a greater force than the Sinaloa Cartel throughout Mexico and overseas is now eclipsing it.

“Still, the Sinaloa Cartel is stronger in some of its core territories such as Culiacan and extended regions.”

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