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MEXICAN COLONEL KIDNAPPED AND AN INCREASED VOLUME OF MIGRANTS CROSS TO US

December 15-21, 2022 | Issue 31 - NORTHCOM

Rhiannon Thomas, Jan García Casanova, Nancy Lattimer, Jennifer Radlinsky, Hae Lim Park

Rohan Rajesh, Editor; Salomon Montaguth, Senior Editor


Jalisco New Generation Cartel Logo [1]


Date: December 16, 2022

Location: Tapalpa, Jalisco, Mexico

Parties involved: Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador; Mexican government; Colonel Jose Isidro Grimaldo Muñoz; Mexican army; Mexican authorities; Mexican citizens; Jalisco residents; Jalisco New Generation cartel (CJNG); Mexican cartels

The event: The army announced the kidnapping of Muñoz in Jalisco following a traffic incident while he was on vacation. The colonel commanded an army detachment in Nuevo Laredo, a region impacted by gang violence. The event is still under investigation as the perpetrators are not yet confirmed, but Mexican authorities believe the CJNG is behind the kidnapping due to its presence in the region and background targeting other members of the army.[2]

Analysis & Implications:

  • Mexican citizens will almost certainly raise security concerns against the government, very likely increasing pressure on López Obrador to fulfill his campaign promise to reduce violence. Demands for increased security measures will likely lead to protests, very likely occurring outside of government buildings. There is a roughly even chance of demonstrations becoming violent with confrontations between protesters and police, very likely heightening tensions between the public and authorities.

  • Cartels will almost certainly continue targeting high-ranking Mexican officers, with another death almost certainly raising insecurity among Mexican authorities. Threats against army officers will very likely result in increased requests for continued protection like personal security escorts. Extended security measures will unlikely continue in the long term due to personnel and financial costs, very likely resulting in further attacks against army officers in the coming months.


Date: December 17, 2022

Location: El Paso, Texas, USA

Parties involved: USA; US Department of Homeland Security; US Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) officers; US Supreme Court; El Paso Mayor Oscar Leeser; El Paso residents; Mexico; migrants; government agencies; humanitarian organizations

The event: Leeser declared a state of emergency in El Paso due to the increased volume of migrants crossing the Mexican-US border, many of whom are sleeping on the streets in cold temperatures.[3] This recently increased immigration is related to the expected end of Title 42 by December 21, an anti-immigration law that allows the US to deny migrant entry to prevent the spread of COVID-19. On December 19, the US Supreme Court blocked Title 42’s end, forcing the law to be kept in place while a legal challenge plays out.[4]

Analysis & Implications:

  • Increasing numbers of migrants will almost certainly overwhelm migrant reception centers, likely reducing accuracy during the medical screening process. Medical omissions during screenings, including incomplete routine vaccinations, and movement out of reception centers will likely cause infectious diseases to spread further and very likely lead to outbreaks. Health authorities will likely send critically ill individuals to the hospital, very likely adding to the patient load and rapid depletion of medications and medical care resources.

  • The number of migrants arriving at the Mexican-US border will almost certainly continue to increase, with demands likely outpacing humanitarian supplies procured via the state of emergency. There is a roughly even chance of crime increasing in El Paso and neighboring Ciudad Juarez as the need for food, water, and medicine will likely lead to instances of theft and violence. There is a roughly even chance that migrants' needs for critical services will overburden government agencies and humanitarian organizations, likely reducing their capacity to respond to other emergencies as the migrant crisis continues.

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[1] “Cártel de Jalisco Nueva Generación logo 2” by Librero2109 licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0

[2] Mexican army says Jalisco drug cartel kidnapped colonel, Associated Press, December 2022, https://apnews.com/article/mexico-caribbean-laredo-79f08d41c1c4a05189dc32b1ec5036c5

[3] El Paso mayor declares state of emergency over influx of migrants from Mexico border, Reuters, December 2022, https://www.reuters.com/world/us/el-paso-mayor-declares-state-emergency-over-influx-migrants-mexico-border-2022-12-18/

[4] COVID border restrictions on migrants to stay in place after Supreme Court order, Reuters, December 2022, https://www.reuters.com/world/us/us-preps-more-migrant-crossings-covid-era-restrictions-set-end-2022-12-19/

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