Available to instruct and present on Mexican Drug Cartels

Alex Marentes (Buggs), a retired police officer from the Albuquerque Police Department, is the founder and owner of the Borderland Beat Project that gathers information on the Mexican Drug Cartel War and shares the information in the popular, internationally renowned blog. Marentes is also the author of the book "Borderland Beat, Reporting on the Mexican cartel drug war," released in April of 2019.

Bio and Expertise:
Alex Marentes resides in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He was born in Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua, Mexico, and came to the U.S. at the young age of 10 years old. Alex joined the United States Marines and was honorably discharged after eight years of active duty service. He also served three years in the United States Marine Corps Reserve after his active duty. He joined the Albuquerque Police Department in 1985 and retired after 30 years of service to his community. While serving as police officer in Albuquerque, he served in different capacities, that included patrol, forensic investigations and Gang Prevention Programs.

Marentes has traveled extensively to Mexico, has family and friends there and has always had an interest in the political and social life of old Mexico. Alex is the founder and owner of the Borderland Beat Project that gathers information about the Mexican Drug Cartel War and shares the information in the popular worldwide blog. He was active as a contributor using the pseudonym name of “Buggs” for security reasons from 2008 until 2013 before the fragmentation of the cartels found today.

The Project:
The Borderland Beat Project is a well respected source of information and is often used as a source from many media outlets, publications and experts of the Mexican drug cartels. The blog has been referred to and quoted in many news publications including the New York Times, Washington Post and the Houston Chronicle.

Borderland Beat has been used as a reference in academic papers submitted under the auspices of:

  • US Army War College, Pennsylvania.
  • Congressional Research Service, The Library of Congress, Washington, DC.
  • San Diego State University, San Diego, California.
  • George Washington University, Eye Street, NW Washington, DC.
  • Georgetown University, NW Washington D.C.
  • Colgate University, Hamilton, New York.
  • Universidad Autónoma Latinoamericana, Medellín, Colombia.
  • Oberlin College, Oberlin, Ohio.
  • Center for a New American Security, Washington, DC.
  • Colgen LP, Defense Consulting Services, Mico, Texas.

Robert Bunker regularly writes about the Mexican Drug War for Small Wars Journal, and often refers to Borderland Beat for material. His May 31, 2012 blog post "Mexican Cartel Tactical Note #12" quotes extensively from a Borderland Beat news story. Likewise, InSight Crime frequently uses Borderland Beat as a reference source and they have also reproduced several Borderland Beat news articles in full.

The project is a collaboration from a group of people of different backgrounds located in the US and Mexico that gather information related to the Mexican drug cartels and presents it in English through the internet, publications and presentations.

Marentes released a book called Borderland Beat that is derived from the result of reporting in the Borderland Beat blog and, from personal experience and research.

The Mexican Drug Cartels:
The Mexican Drug War is an ongoing armed conflict taking place among rival drug cartels, who fight each other for regional control (plazas), and Mexican government forces, which seek to combat drug trafficking. Although Mexican drug cartels, or Drug Trafficking Organizations (DTO’s), have existed for a few decades, they have become more powerful since the demise of Colombia's Cali and Medellín cartels in the 1990s.

The main cartels included in his research are the powerful Sinaloa Cartel or Cartel de Sinaloa (CDS) that dominated the Golden Triangle in the states of Chihuahua, Sinaloa and Durango - The Beltran Leyva Organization (BLO) made up of the Beltran brothers mainly concentrating in Guerrero - The Juarez Cartel fighting to protect their turf from the Sinaloa Cartel on one of the deadliest border city in Mexico - The Gulf Cartel fighting their own break away armed wing known as Los Zetas on the gulf coast that turned towns in the state of Tamaulipas in to ghost towns - La Familia Michoacana (LFM) trying to make a presence in the lands of Tierra Caliente of Michoacan and eventually morphing in to the Caballeros Templarios or The Knights Templar.

Trainer Qualifications:
Marentes has developed an expertise on Mexican drug cartel matters and often presents updates, historical background and methodology on these cartels to law enforcement. Marentes also shares cartel activity information to communities at large who have concerns or an interest with security along the border region or in neighborhoods. He is often sought after to provide expertise information to mainstream media, radio talk shows and education institutions.

NM Department of Public Safety Instructor Certification in the area of General Police, Rio Rancho Dept. of Public Safety Instructor Development Course, Albuquerque Police Department Field Training Certification, Gang Resistance and Education Instructor Certification. Researcher of Mexican drug cartels that has conducted interviews and personal experience in order to provide information to the Borderland Beat Project and share with English speaking audience..

Some topics of expertise include:
1) Provide behind the scene information on the development and implementation of the Borderland Beat Project, a project that gathers information on Mexican cartel activities. Evolvement of the cartels and the geographical makeup in Mexico and the US.
2) Discuss the principal drug cartels Drug Trafficking Organizations (DTO’s) that were active and dominant during that peak of cartel activities in the periods of 2008 and 2013. Talk about the current makeup and the fragmentation of the main cartels and how that have evolved in Mexico and the US.
3) Discuss the organizational structure, process and tactics of operations related to drug trafficking and the interaction with the Mexican government establishments. Present a detail understanding of how they form powerful networks throughout Mexico using violence, money and corruption.
4) Highlight the Mexican law enforcement and military strategic and years of corrupt practices. Outline the Mexican government in their campaign to fight the DTOs by revamping the federal police and using the military to fight organized crime. Also touch on the allegations of collusion of some of  the Mexican federal government institutions with organized crime and the corruption from different levels of government.
5) Understand the Mexican society of the narco culture, through music and religion.
6) Understand how the powerful Mexican drug cartels have managed to use the already established structure of the US street gangs to form a solid method of drug distribution network that has generates millions of dollars to the Mexican drug lords.
7) The impact and spill over to the US from cartel violence and the trafficking of drugs, weapons and US currency.

Job Experience:

  • 30 years with the Albuquerque Police department in a sworn capacity.
  • Conducted training and updates to Law Enforcement related to Mexican Cartels.
  • Founder and owner of the Borderland Beat Project that gathers information on the Mexican Drug Cartel War and shares the information in the popular, internationally renowned blog.
  • Extensive experience in research of the Mexican drug war and, the layout and operations of Mexican Drug Trafficking Organizations. Spent years gathering information and translating Mexican documents and reports related to DTO activity. Conducted interviews and gathered information from sources in Mexico related to organized crime.
Alex Marentes is available to present, instruct and share updated information on the Mexican Drug Cartel.  Contact us HERE.

Alex Marentes
(505) 672-8447