A suburb of Mexico City is not a very likely place for cartel activity. Local governments have long been adamant about keeping large organized crime groups out of the country’s capital, and for a long time they were to some extent successful.
Mexico went through major changes under former president Felipe Calderon. During his time in office most of the country erupted in a drug-fueled war between governments and cartels who had all but seized control of the nation. During this time, the Mexico City suburb, Ecatepec, turned into one of the bloodiest cities in Mexico. Unfortunately, even today, the title holds and many corporations often need to acquire security services in Mexico when visiting. In Ecatepec’s case, the reason for the violence is not the cartels, however.
There have always been localized gangs in Ecatepec which were always independently managed. These gangs have traditionally focused on the drug trade to make their money but during the former president’s term these groups began making connections with stronger, regional forces from around the country. The result is much more serious crime carried out by groups with supplies and support which is something that our security services in Mexico take very seriously.
As most of the gangs in Ecatepec are in the business of selling drugs on the black market, they must use business owners to sell and clean their money. Many of the city’s murders come as a result of business gone wrong, or when someone refuses to work with one of the gangs. There has never been a more important time to get security services in Mexico when traveling to this shaken city.