I've just stumped upon this video on Reddit which shows Jalisco New Generation Cartel fighters.

They look like a private army. They openly wear uniforms with insignia and have numerous armored fighting vehicles, also with insignias and even police lights.

So, they do not seem to be hiding. It would be absolutely easy to locate them using drones or sattelites.

So, what is going on in Mexico? Are there private armies and regions not controlled by the government? How elections are conducted there then? Is not Mexico a failed state?

Why an emergency or military state is not declared in the country where lots of the territory is not controlled by the govenment?

Wikipedia cites "police corruption" as an impendance of dealing with such cartels, but wait, this is not an issue for police to deal with as it seems. It is an issue for the army.

Even having some tens of AFVs at disposal is still not enough to directly confront a regular army, I suppose. Or Mexico has no loyal army?

Are these organizations officially legal, being registered as security firms or PMCs?

What's going on there?


1 Answer 1


The Mexican government tried to fight a war against the cartels, especially in 2006. By 2020, it became apparent that it has largely lost this war. Sinaloa and Jalisco have won.

However, unlike Hamas and Taliban, which are, in absence of any other (except on paper), the only governments of their respective countries, the Mexican Cartels have not taken over the government's responsibilities. They have partially replaced the police, and collect the taxes, but don't take over healthcare and education.

Rather, the formal government has been taken over and co-opted. It's not government vs cartels. Most officials in any position of power are either in a cartel, bribed, or threatened by them. As such, they're not necessarily in conflict. As long as the local police works for the same cartel that controls the territory, they don't clash.

But there's still conflict between the two big cartels, there still are plenty of smaller gangs, other cartels keep rising and falling, and still many parts of Mexico that aren't controlled by either of them. This maintains conflict, which leads to a high ongoing level of violence.

Since there are still considerable government-controlled parts of Mexico, it's not a failed state yet, but it might be in the process of failing. Or it might never fail completely, and just continue under cartel control, while maintaining most of the common institutions.


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