Mexico official says more drug cartels now operating

December 18, 2012

Mexico's new attorney general says there are many more cartels operating in the country than former President Felipe Calderon’s administration had claimed.

Mexico’s Attorney General Jesus Murillo Karam says as many as eighty small to medium drug cartels are operating in the nation, a large rise from the last government assessment. Former President Felipe Calderon’s government issued an August report naming only eight large drug cartels. Murillo says officials are working to identify all of Mexico’s drug-trafficking organizations, which vary widely in size. The administration of President Enrique Pena Nieto took office on December first, and officials criticized Calderon for fragmenting the country’s cartels—making them more dangerous by focusing on the killing and capture of cartel heads. Before leaving office, Calderon said his forces had captured 25 of Mexico's 37most-wanted drug lords.