Here is an excerpt from Alicia Caldwell and Mark Stevenson's Associated Press article, as published in The Houston Chronicle:
"After a two-year battle that has killed more than 5,000 people, Mexico's most powerful kingpin now controls the coveted trafficking routes through Ciudad Juarez. That conclusion by U.S. intelligence adds to evidence that Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman's Sinaloa cartel is winning Mexico's drug war. The assessment was made based on information from confidential informants with direct ties to Mexican drug gangs and other intelligence, said a U.S. federal agent who sometimes works undercover, insisting on anonymity because of his role in ongoing drug investigations. The agent told The Associated Press those sources have led U.S. authorities to believe that the Sinaloa cartel has edged out the rival Juarez gang for control over trafficking routes through Ciudad Juarez, ground zero in the drug war. Other officials corroborated pieces of the assessment. Andrea Simmons, an FBI spokeswoman in El Paso, confirmed that the majority of drug loads arriving from Juarez now belong to Guzman. And Mexican Federal Police Chief Facundo Rosas told the AP that while authorities are still working to confirm the U.S. assessment, 'These are valid theories.'" Link to Full Article
Analysis: I'm hesitant to get too excited about this news article because this would be the biggest thing to happen in the drug war (in my opinion) since the death of Amado Carrillo Fuentes. I sent emails out to my federal, state, and local law enforcement contacts to see if I could get some boots-on-the-ground confirmation that this is actually happening. I'll post any relevant updates after I get more info.
For now, suffice it to say that complete Sinaloa Federation control over the Juárez plaza is going to bring some peace and quiet to that city that its citizens haven't known for quite some time. Cuidad Juárez is arguably the busiest and the best drug smuggling corridor from Mexico into the US, which is why it's been the epicenter of the murder and mayhem along the border for so many years. If the battles between El Chapo's people and the VCFO's people are really winding down - at least for now, anyway - then that means that some sort of stability can be established there. And for the newbies, stability = peace.
Fortunately or unfortunately, depending on how you look at it, it looks like the situation is advancing closer to the megacartel theory that writers like Sam Logan and John P. Sullivan have written about. One huge cartel dominating most trafficking activity means less violence and more peace and quiet for most of Mexico. But it then becomes the six- (or is it seven- ?) headed hydra that the Mexican government is REALLY ill-equipped to do away with. That is, of course assuming the Mexican government would even want to do away with such a megacartel that pours millions of narcodollars into a strapped economy.
More to come, folks...