Sinaloa cartel chief Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán has spent much of the last three years locked up in Mexico, jail time that culminated in his extradition to the US in January.

While those stints in Mexican prison ostensibly took Guzmán out of the picture, his presence, and influence, still loomed over the country’s narco landscape.

Now, however, with Guzmán in the US for good, a new dose of uncertainty has been injected into relations between Mexico’s cartels, and with Guzmán out of the way, a new round of drug-related violence seems likely.

The Jalisco New Generation cartel, a relatively new cartel that blossomed from a former Sinaloa cartel faction and has never shied from violence during its rapid expansion, seems likely to seize on the moment.

The Sinaloa cartel “is still strong,” Mike Vigil, the former chief of international operations for the US Drug Enforcement Administration, told Business Insider in the days after Guzmán’s extradition, and the cartel’s horizontal structure, which has allowed it to endure personnel changes, may also help it survive in the near term.


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Featured image courtesy of Reuters.