Definition/Scope: The Juárez Cartel is a Mexican drug trafficking cartel based in Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua, Mexico. The cartel has most recently transformed itself into the Golden Triangle Alliance, or La Alianza Triángulo de Oro, because of its leaders in three Mexican states: the border state Chihuahua, which is south of the U.S. state of Texas, and Durango and Sinaloa, which both share border with the southern tip of the international border state. Until 2004 the organization was headed by Juan José Esparragoza Moreno, also known as El Azul (The Blue). In late 2004 control of the cartel was assumed by Ricardo Garcia Urquiza until his arrest in Mexico City during November 2005. At its height, the Juárez cartel was assumed to be responsible for some 70 percent of illegal drugs that pass through Mexico to the United States. It rose in the past decade to become one of the hemisphere’s - if not the world’s - most powerful crime organizations. Some US sources estimate the cartel’s income reached as high as $200 million a week under former boss Amado Carrillo Fuentes, who died due to a plastic surgery in July 1997. The Juárez Cartel was featured battling the rival Tijuana Cartel in the 2000 motion picture “Traffic”. Members of the cartel were implicated in the serial murder site in Ciudad Juárez that was discovered in 2004 and has been dubbed the House of Death. The Juárez cartel has been found in 21 Mexican states and its principle bases are: Culiacán, Sinaloa; Monterrey, Nuevo León; the cities of Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua, and Ojinaga, Chihuahua; Mexico City; Guadalajara, Jalisco; Cuernavaca, Morelos; and Cancún, Quintana Roo.
Broader Terms:Army National Guard
Narrower Terms:counterdrug intelligence