Cartels are typically large, organized groups that engage in illegal activities, such as drug trafficking or price fixing, in order to control a particular market. Gangs, on the other hand, are smaller groups of individuals who typically commit street-level crimes, such as robbery or vandalism.

What are cartels?

A cartel is an illegal organization composed of a group of individuals or companies that attempt to monopolize a particular market or industry through price-fixing, production quotas, and other restrictive practices. Cartels typically use violence, intimidation, and bribery to achieve their goals.

What are gangs?

Gangs are groups of individuals who engage in criminal activity for personal gain. Gangs typically do not have the same level of organization as cartels and often lack the financial resources to monopolize a particular market or industry. While gangs may engage in some forms of price-fixing and other illegal activities, they are more likely to resort to violence and intimidation to achieve their goals.

Cartels and gangs – The difference

Gangs are often much smaller in size than cartels. Additionally, gangs typically operate within a single city or neighborhood, while cartels often span multiple regions or countries. Gangs typically engage in petty crime such as robbery and vandalism, while cartels are involved in more serious offenses such as drug trafficking and money laundering.

Why is it called cartels?

A cartel is a formal (usually illegal) organization created for the purpose of monopolizing a particular industry or commodity. The term originated in Spain, where it was used to refer to an association of merchants who controlled the price and distribution of a particular good or service.

Today, cartels are most commonly associated with the drug trade. In this context, they are typically organized crime syndicates that control the production, transportation, and sale of illegal drugs. However, cartels can exist in any industry where there is a limited supply of a good or service and high demand for it. For example, there are oil cartels and diamond cartels.

The word “cartel” has come to be used more broadly to refer to any group of companies that collude to fix prices or otherwise limit competition. This type of cartel is sometimes referred to as an “oligopoly.”

Some examples of famous cartels and gangs

Some examples of famous cartels and gangs include:

-The Sinaloa Cartel
-The Juárez Cartel
-The Gulf Cartel
-Los Zetas
-The Tijuana Cartel
-Mexican mafia


Photo by Kajetan Sumila on Unsplash

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