Mexican drug cartel, Jalisco cartel, has been expanding its criminal connections into Central America and South America through alliances, threatening authorities, and appropriating drug routes.

Jalisco cartel has spread its operations to almost every state in Mexico and most recently to nearby countries such as Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, and Nicaragua.

Colombia and Chile have also been reached by the Mexican drug cartel, according to a Business Insider report.

U.S. officials had described the Jalisco cartel as the best armed criminal organization in Mexico and one of the most dangerous transnational criminal groups globally.

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Jalisco Cartel: Extending Operations Throughout Central America and South America

Chile's Attorney General's Office noted in a recent report that Jalisco cartel is trying to establish operations inside the country for large-scale production of marijuana.

Chile's Attorney General Jorge Abbott addressed the issue, saying that Chile had gone from being a transit country for drugs heading north to being a country where well-known Mexican drug cartels are looking to settle.

Guatemala has been facing the same issues. The cartel's members recently threatened Guatemala's Police for "stealing" loads of drugs belonging to the Jalisco cartel leader.

Nemesio Oseguera Cervantes, also known as "El Mencho," is leading the cartel. U.S. authorities are offering $5 million for his capture.

An active member of the Nicaraguan military also confirmed the presence of Jalisco cartel in Honduras and Nicaragua.

The operative added that the Jalisco cartel is allied with several gangs involved in shipping cocaine to Europe.

Sergio Guzmán, director of Colombia Risk Analysis, noted that the Sinaloa cartel and Jalisco cartel are now posing threats to all the region.

Colombian groups like Medellin and Cali cartels used to reign in Colombia. However, more Mexican criminal groups upped their presence in the country when the two groups fell from power.

Jalisco Cartel

Jalisco cartel had risen to power after former Sinaloa cartel capo Ignacio Coronel was killed by Mexican security forces in July 2010.

Two groups fought for control of drug trafficking in Jalisco upon Coronel's death. The Torcidos and La Resistencia were the two factions that fought.

The Torcidos now became the Jalisco cartel and rising as the successors to the Sinaloan cap's network in the region, according to an InsightCrime report.

Jalisco cartel has been associated with the use of extreme violence, with homicides, forced disappearances, and the discoveries of mass graves rising in Jalisco.

The group was also known to recruit children as young as 10. One witness recounted being recruited when he was 12 to carry out his first murder for the cartel, according to an Associated Press report.

The witness, identified as Jacobo, said that the cartel looks for kids who are out on the streets and need money. He added that by the time he was 12, he became sort of a hired killer.

He also picked up a drug habit, partly due to the psychological effects of what he was doing.

When he reached his mid-teens, he said that he was torturing members of rival cartels for information, killing them, and dismembering their bodies.

Jacobo recounted his story to a Mexican non-profit group, Reinserta.

READ MORE: Clashing Mexican Drug Cartels Leave 2 Police and 7 Others Dead in Mexico

This article is owned by Latin Post.

Written by: Mary Webber

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