Criminal Justice

Topics: Mexican Drug War, Illegal drug trade, Drug cartel Pages: 2 (600 words) Published: February 24, 2013
Crimes against Persons


Gangs in the United States have always been a major problem for both society and law enforcement, but for El Paso, Texas it seems to be more of a struggle due to close proximity to the Mexico border. As of 2009, El Paso had 539 reported gangs and 5,665 documented gang members, (Borunda, 21Oct2011). The gangs in El Paso are not only largely populated but law enforcement has noticed the Mexican drug cartel has strengthened its ties with the U.S. gangs. According to the 2011 National Gang Threat Assessment, the gang-cartel link is most highly seen in El Paso between the Barrio Azteca gang and the Juarez drug cartel, but similar alliances are emerging in various parts of the country, (Barrio ,n.d.). Most street gangs in El Paso don't deal directly with Mexican cartels, but the alliance between the Barrio Azteca gang and the Juarez drug cartel is well documented. The Barrio Azteca gang was started in 1986 by five street gang members from El Paso, Texas. The Barrio Azteca was formed to unite El Paso street gang members who had been incarcerated by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. The Barrio Azteca had grown from with 35 members and now consists of over 1,000 members, (Barrio ,n.d.).. The Barrio Azteca has a very high tendency for violence being responsible for 6 murders in the El Paso County Jail. Aztecas have served as enforcers, smugglers and foot soldiers for the Juarez cartel in both Mexico and the United States. They have reached out to different cartel for cheaper prices on drugs. They accentually have gotten rid of the middle man in the deal. The National Gang Threat Assessment reported that Surenos gang also has been associated with the Tijuana drug cartel and the Sinaloa cartel, (Borunda, 29Oct2011). These two cartels for nearly four years have been at war with the Juarez cartel for control of drug routes in the state of Chihuahua, Mexico. The hostility...

References: Borunda, D. (2011, October 29). Mexican drug cartels strengthen ties with US gangs. El Paso Times (El Paso), p. 1. Retrieved from
Borunda, D. (2011, October 21). El Paso police report big drop in gang membership. El Paso Times (El Paso), p. 1. Retrieved from
Barrio Azteca. (n.d.). Barrio Azteca. Retrieved from
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