Welcome to the Uppsala Conflict Data Program (UCDP) Newsletter!


The outbreak of fighting between different drug-trafficking gangs in Mexico can be understood against the background of changes in the Mexican political landscape during the last decades. During the 1980s, there was a loose network of drug smugglers controlling their own plaza. Governmental authority was highly centralized under Partido Revolucionario Institucional rule, and by bribing high officials, the drug smugglers could manage their businesses without getting interrupted by the authorities. As the single-party system began to give way to local opposition, these networks and relationships were transformed to the advantage of some actors but to the detriment of others. Several drug cartels began fighting for territory, and previous alliances broke down.


Today, one of Mexico's major cartels is the Jalisco Cartel New Generation. Read more about this non-state actor below.


For any questions, suggestions, or comments, you may contact us at ucdp@pcr.uu.se.


Magnus Öberg

UCDP Director

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Mert Can Yilmaz, Uppsala Conflict Data Program

The conflict between the Government of Ethiopia and TPLF continued with a drastic increase in the number of fatalities in September 2022. Given the lack of independent media from the conflict area in Ethiopia, fatality numbers are hard to confirm. Nevertheless, the UCDP best estimate for the number of people killed due to organized violence reaches over 20 000 in September 2022 in Ethiopia. Meanwhile, the fighting continued in eastern Ukraine during this month, causing at least 8000 fatalities.


The trends in Africa dominated the figures on the fatalities due to armed organized violence, while we noted an upward trend in every region when compared to August 2022. Globally, the intensity of organized violence has increased.


The five deadliest state-based conflicts in September were Ethiopia: Government, Russia - Ukraine, Turkey: Kurdistan, Somalia: Government, and Ukraine: Novorossiya.


Conflicts between Bateke and Yaka communities in DR Congo affected the trends in non-state violence in September 2022, causing over 150 fatalities. The clashes between Jalisco Cartel New Generation and various other cartels in Mexico caused at least 200 deaths during the month. Non-state violence in Nigeria was also noteworthy during this month.


DR Congo was significantly affected by one-sided violence in September 2022 with nearly 200 civilians deliberately killed by organized actors. IS's one-sided attacks in Afghanistan, DR Congo, Mali, Mozambique, Niger, Burkina Faso, Nigeria, Syria and Cameroon caused almost 300 fatalities in total during this month. One-sided violence by the government forces in Mali was also noteworthy.

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Garoun Engström, Uppsala Conflict Data Program

After its formation in 2010, the Jalisco Cartel New Generation (CJNG) quickly gained a reputation for its ruthlessness and expansionist agenda. Over a decade later, the CJNG is one of Mexico's most powerful drug cartels, alongside the Sinaloa cartel, and has presence in 28 of 32 Mexican states.


The CJNG originally emerged as a splinter from the Milenio Cartel, a faction of the Sinaloa Cartel. Despite being allied against Los Zetas during the early years after the CJNG's formation, the CJNG and the Sinaloa Cartel have since endured a bloody fight to control drug trafficking across Mexico. In 2022, the conflict between the CJNG and the Sinaloa Cartel took place in 15 Mexican states, most notably Baja California and Zacatecas states. In recent years, the rivalry between the groups have expanded well beyond Mexico’s borders, as they have gained influence in Colombia and support opposing gangs in Ecuador.


Other enemies of the CJNG include the Santa Rosa de Lima, Nueva Plaza Cartel, La Familia, Independent Cartel of Acapulco, Los Rojos, as well as remnants of Los Zetas and the Gulf Cartel. In Michoacán state, CJNG's fight against Carteles Unidos, has recently gained attention due to the use of IEDs, "narco tanks" and drones.


Unlike other cartels, the CJNG has long maintained a steady growth with few break-away factions. In 2022, the CJNG has started to lose strength due to the arrest of key figures and inner fragmentation. In Colima state, a local enforcer of the CJNG has formed the Independent Cartel of Colima, and now battles the CJNG for control over the important Manzanillo port. Another crucial drug trafficking route between Jalisco and Michoacán states has also seen infighting, with the rise of the Pájaros Sierra splinter group.


Between January and September 2022, the CJNG has been involved in 14 dyads, which have resulted in over 8000 deaths.

The Uppsala Conflict Data Program (UCDP) is the world's main provider of data on organized violence and the oldest ongoing data collection project for civil war, with a history of almost 40 years. Its definition of armed conflict has become the global standard of how conflicts are systematically defined and studied.


Uppsala Conflict Data Program