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Cártel del Noreste the Principal Actor Responsible for Outbreaks of Violence in Nuevo León


Nuevo León closed 2022 with 1,430 intentional homicides, being the third year with the most crimes of this type in the history of the state, only below 2011 and 2012, when there were 2,003 and 1,459 homicides, respectively.

Source: Nuevo León State Prosecutor's Office

If the trend continues, in 2023 it could again end up above one thousand intentional homicides per year.


In the first half of 2023, the state reported attacks against police elements, with a balance of 2 state police officers and one municipal officer dead, this in the peripheral municipality of Zuazua, Nuevo León.

The available information suggests that these attacks on authorities, as well as the confrontations that have occurred, have been perpetrated by the Northeast Cartel (CDN), which seems to be more of an internal adjustment and/or rearrangement of the criminal group.

Another hypothesis suggests that the violence could be the result of a way of seeking to regain control of the municipalities that they used to maintain and that they have been losing as a result of the various arrests and affectations they have suffered by the authorities.


As part of the actions of the State Government in matters of security, the Secretary of the State Government, Javier Navarro, pointed out that by 2023, the Civil Force will have 20 percent more resources this year, which is equivalent to about 500 million more pesos (~$26.5M USD).

The investment will be spent on a greater number of police elements, as well as better equipment, which would include an 80 million-peso helicopter gunship (~$4.24M USD).


Violence in the State is concentrated in two main areas:

  1. Monterrey Metropolitan Area (ZMM).

  2. Municipalities in the northern part of the State as well as on the highway to Colombia, which connects with the municipality of Anáhuac, Nuevo León.

Note: You should not stop monitoring the southern part of the State in the face of a possible increase in violent acts from groups from Tamaulipas and San Luis Potosí.


Despite the fact that the CDN is the main generator of violence in the state, it is not the only criminal group seeking to position itself in Nuevo León.

As we have previously commented, with an eventual weakening of the CDN, other groups that could take its place in the Monterrey Metropolitan Area could be strengthened, such as the Jalisco Nueva Generación Cartel, the Sinaloa Cartel or even independent groups, which are relevant in the entity and could generate outbreaks of violence.

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