(NEWSMAX) — Growing turf wars among Mexican drug cartels after the arrest of Jaoquin “El Chapo” Guzman in 2014 has been linked to the huge surge in inner-city drug violence as these groups distribute heroin through street-level gangs, a new analysis has found.
“There is reason to believe that recent crime spikes are associated with a growing heroin market and the capture of drug lord ‘El Chapo’ Guzman, both of which have caused local cartel affiliates to battle for territory and kill Americans caught up in the crossfire,” the American Enterprise Institute said.
AEI analyzed data from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, which identifies the cartels as “Mexican transnational criminal organizations” — or TCOs.
The groups “remain the greatest criminal drug threat to the United States,” the DEA said in a recent report. “No other group can challenge them in the near term.”
The agency added later in the report that the cartels “are moving to expand their share of US illicit drug markets, particularly heroin markets.
“Many gangs rely on Mexican TCOs as their primary drug source of supply, and Mexican TCOs depend on street-level gangs, many of which already have a customer base, for drug distribution.”