Deadly cartel violence is in the spotlight this week, following an ambush in Mexico that killed nine American citizens — including six young children.
Officials are investigating activity tied to the Juarez and Sinaloa cartels, which are both active in the area where the Monday attack occurred, just 90 miles south of Douglas, Ariz. The killers were reportedly believed to be from the Juarez cartel’s armed wing, “La Linea.”
According to federal data, both the Juarez and Sinaloa cartels have active presences in the U.S. and parts of Mexico.
Recent data obtained from the DEA and Stratfor Global Intelligence and the Federation of American Scientists shows the Sinaloa cartel with a dominant regional presence in nearly every U.S. state, including Arizona.
The Juarez cartel is dominant in New Mexico, while Texas has presences from the Sinaloa, Gulf, and Juarez cartels.
Take a look at the interactive map below to see cartel influence across the United States and Mexico.
Border patrol officials say another worrying cartel statistic in Arizona is recruitment among children, including kids as young as 11, for smuggling and other purposes.
Teens in Arizona have reportedly been tied to bringing drugs into the U.S., and smuggling weapons and ammunition southbound into Mexico for use by the cartels.