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LatinNews Daily - 16 March 2020

US authorities home in on CJNG

Mexico: On 11 March US authorities announced the arrest of 600 people suspected of being members of the Cártel Jalisco Nueva Generación (CJNG), Mexico’s most powerful drug trafficking organisation (DTO), during a major operation in the US. The six-months-long joint operation between the US Department of Justice (DoJ) and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) was dubbed ‘Project Python’ in reference to the tactic of wrapping around the DTO until delivering wide-scale arrests over the final week. Across the operation the DEA also seized over 20,000kgs of drugs and US$22m-worth of money and assets. The operation was initiated following President Donald Trump’s signing of Executive Order 13773 which prioritises the targeting and dismantling of transnational criminal organisations. The DoJ deems the CJNG to be one of the highest-priority transnational threats. The CJNG is amongst the largest producers in the world of methamphetamines; and is believed to be responsible for a significant proportion of the drugs smuggled from Mexico to the US and the elevated levels of violence in Mexico. Project Python’s campaign against CJNG remains ongoing and the US Department of State has issued one of the largest rewards ever –US$10m – for information leading to the capture of the CJNG’s main leader, Rubén ‘El Mencho’ Oseguera Cervantes, who is believed to be in Mexico.

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