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So while the capture and trial of Guzman “was a great moral victory for the rule of law, it did very little to have a negative impact on the Sinaloa cartel,” Vigil said.During Guzman’s absence, the cartel has continued to develop a highly lucrative profit-center in fentanyl.
The border city across from San Diego has become one of the world’s deadliest cities.
But, Bojorquez noted, Sinaloa has been largely able to fight off its rival.
That is probably one of the two biggest threats to the Sinaloa cartel: It’s literally killing its customers.
The other is the upstart Jalisco New Generation cartel, which has tried to stage incursions into Sinaloa territory, sparking bloody turf battles in places like Tijuana.
“It’s still a major, major force in the Mexican criminal underworld,” Mexican security analyst Alejandro Hope said.
The cartel still controls a worldwide web of contacts that can move Colombian cocaine to Cameroon and Mexican meth cooks to Malaysia.“All 23 of our divisions have an investigation at least at the local level that ties back to the Sinaloa cartel,” said Will Glaspy, a U. Drug Enforcement Administration agent in charge of the Houston division who has held posts along the U. “Their distribution network is that well established in the United States.” So at the cartel’s stronghold in the mountains of Sinaloa state, it’s business as usual for Ismael “El Mayo” Zambada, who has helped run the cartel since it was founded over three decades ago. border agency says fentanyl bust is its biggest ever “El Mayo is still considered the main player at the table,” Glaspy said.He has a reputation as a level-headed, old-style capo known more for negotiating than for bloodshed. A succession fight that broke out after Guzman’s third detention, in 2016, was ultimately resolved by the arrest of Damaso Lopez Nunez and his son Damaso Lopez Serrano, who led a rival faction.Although drug use is often discussed as a local or a national issue, it’s also an international one.The American taste for heroin, marijuana, and cocaine creates a black market that stretches around the globe.“We haven’t arrested capos, because that is not our main function,” President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said Jan. “The government’s main function is to guarantee public safety, and the strategy is no longer to carry out raids to capture capos.” He added, “Officially there isn’t a war anymore.” Some in Mexico believe that authorities and even U. officials prefer the continued reign of a relatively stable, old-school boss like Zambada, rather than the confusion and bloodshed that might break out if he were gone. He has never been captured or pursued as much” as Guzman, said author Jose Reveles, who writes about the cartels.The cartel is best understood as “more of a federation of different clans than as a corporate-like structure,” Hope said.It also controls seaports to get drugs and precursor chemicals shipped in from around the globe; employs labs and chemists to process them; bribes corrupt cops to ensure the drugs can be moved to the border; has engineered multimillion-dollar tunnels to smuggle tons of marijuana and cocaine under the frontier; and pays “mules” to ferry shipments in cars and trucks.That doesn’t even count the armies of hitmen and enforcers who moonlight in extortion and kidnapping, plus the money launderers, front corporations and political contacts.Although they aren’t always in the American public eye, drug interdiction programs that go after international trafficking can promise much greater payoffs than street-level enforcement at home. The demands of American drug interdiction can strain the law enforcement and military resources of countries that aren’t always willing or eager to support our drugs-and-prohibition habit.Stop the drugs before they ever reach the United States, and there will be fewer drug dealers on American streets. Standing up to the United States isn’t easy, either, and even America’s friends can’t necessarily persuade it to change policies.