According to state governor Aristoteles Sandoval, the Jalisco New Generation Cartel (CJNG) has for some time been contracting foreign mercenaries, experts in different types of warfare.
They’ve been hired, above all, to train cartel member members in various skills, many of them weapon/terrorist related.
Sandoval said his government have been aware of the foreign infiltration thanks to intelligence at both the federal and state levels, coupled with the discovery of training sites in isolated parts of the Jalisco Sierra.
The governor said the bulk of the mercenaries hired to beef up the CJNG’s combat capacity of their rank-and-file are Colombians. Colombia has for decades been torn by strife between various entities, including the government and a byzantine collection of paramilitary groups and revolutionary armies, including the notorious FARC rebels, whose attempts at peace negations with the Colombian government over the years has been a roller coaster ride. Many of these groups, including the FARC, have long funded their activities via drug trafficking.
Sandoval stressed that his aim is not to criminalize or stigmatize all Colombians living in Jalisco, which number around 1,500, according to Immigration Institute statistics. “There are good people who come as tourists or to work,” he emphasized. “But yes, we have found cells where [Colombians] have participated in cartels.”