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World

An upstart cartel's rise to the top

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Opening sequence

World

An upstart cartel's rise to the top

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COMING UP:An upstart cartel's rise to the top

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Transcript

00:00:01
>> Notorious drug lord El Chapo seeing his domination of the Mexican underworld challenged by an upstart criminal gang. Once servants to Joaquín Guzmán in a lower syndicate, members of the Jalisco New Generation cartel or CJNG, carving out their own empire over the last four years. Brutally seizing trafficking routes from their former bosses and other rivals.
00:00:22
And helping push murders to their highest levels in years. Reuters' Dave Graham looked into how the gang's been able to grow so big so fast.>> Effectively when this gang decided it was going to take control over the operation that it more or less oversaw for the Sinaloa cartel in Jalisco and the surrounding areas,
00:00:39
>> It also took over the police inside Mexico, a lot of the municipal police in particular are not well-paid at all. Some may earn as little as $500 a month. That means they're much more exposed to threats, to money, to all the things that basically a gang can use to bring influence to bear on the police.
00:00:55
And it's traditional, if you're trying to run a criminal operation, you need to get the police working for you, and in this case well, as in other parts of Mexico it must be said, there's a particularly strong sense of penetration of the police by the gang.>> That sense of penetration, especially true of CJNG whose leader Nemesio Oseguera, or El Mencho, used to be a policeman himself.
00:01:16
And while that kind of crossover may seem extreme, corruption among law enforcement in Mexico is nothing new. Jalisco's Attorney General estimates about one in five municipal officers in the state actively collaborate with gangs and one captured CJNG member claims that more than half are on the cartel's payroll.
00:01:33
Such widespread collusion has helped El Mencho's groups spread from its original stronghold to having a dominant presence in ten states as of April 2015. And while the US Drug Enforcement Agency estimates El Chapo's in the lower cartel still holds the advantage in Mexico's drug world by about a 60 to 40 margin, one official tells Reuters CJNG has the potential to become a new super power in the trade.