With "El Chapo" out of business, in whose hands remains his criminal empire?

Testimonies in the trial of "El Chapo" Guzmán harm the leader of the Sinaloa Cartel, Ismael Zambada García. However, the capo's empire remains intact, despite the losses that his organization has had. "El Mayo" continues as one of the priority targets for the United States government. This is recognized by a report by the North American Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), released in November 2018, stating that Mexican cartels represent the greatest threat to the country. Among the six drug trafficking organizations that are mentioned, with an increase in their power, the criminal faction directed by the Sinaloan stands out.

Zambada. Photo: Taken from Internet
Zambada. Photo: Taken from Internet

"El Mayo" Zambada, Rafael Caro Quintero and Nemesio Oseguera Cervantes "El Mencho", leaders of the criminal organizations of Sinaloa, Beltrán Leyva, and Jalisco Nueva Generación, are considered by the United States as priority targets along with other Mexican drug traffickers. For Zambada 5 million dollars of reward are offered.

In theory, the same individuals would be important objectives for the Government of Mexico, as they were pointed out during the last administration; however, the current federal authorities have not spoken about it and the issues of drug trafficking and organized crime have ceased to be part of the daily agenda.

Mario Ismael Zambada García is an alleged illicit drug trafficker who has been active in the country for at least four decades, initially supervising marijuana and poppy plantations, and later, moving north. He is accused of being responsible for the import of cocaine from South America and the production of methamphetamines for distribution in the United States.

Although in Mexico he has several arrest warrants against him for crimes against health, on US soil he is claimed in extradition by the Federal Court of the District of Columbia, to be prosecuted for cocaine trafficking. In the Third District Court in Criminal Matters of Mexico City, a provisional arrest warrant was issued for the purpose of international extradition since 2003.

Various operations formed by Mexican and North American police officers have been carried out for at least 18 years without success. During searches and assurances, only some traces of their stealthy presence have been found, both in ranches and in cities. In that time, numerous employees of the capo, including partners, lieutenants, and even their children, have been taken prisoner by agents of the State or killed by their enemies.

The drug continues its course towards the north and bears the seal of the Sinaloan organization, also called the Pacific Cartel. Everything seems to indicate that the seaway, favorite of "Mayo", is the safest for large volumes of cocaine to reach its destination. First on large ships and then aboard speedboats that run along the coasts of Michoacán to the two Baja California.

In the Court of Brooklyn, New York, "sparks" have come out of the trial that the US government is following against "El Chapo" Guzmán, a compadre of Ismael Zambada. And the fact is that with the desire to earn benefits, witnesses, imprisoned for belonging to the criminal organization of Sinaloa, have made accusations not only against Joaquín but against "El Mayo", recognizing them as the leaders of the cartel.

The first to turn on the dresser was Guzmán's lawyer, Jeffrey Lichtman, who on November 13, 2018, assured the jury that his client had paid millionaire bribes to two former presidents of Mexico, but also that the real boss of the cartel Sinaloa is Ismael "El Mayo" Zambada, "who has never spent a day in prison and remains a fugitive." He added that he paid former governors Felipe Calderón Hinojosa and Enrique Peña Nieto, millions of dollars in bribes.

Then, on December 18, Pedro Flores considered the most important drug trafficker in Chicago, revealed that during the 2000s he distributed up to 60 tons of narcotics, but the business multiplied once he came in contact with Guzmán Loera and Zambada.

Jesus "El Rey" Zambada, brother of Mario Ismael, who had testified a few days later that Guzmán Loera's lawyer avoided mentioning his consanguineous and attacking the "Chapo" and the government. However, when the trial resumed after a winter break, on January 4, 2019, Vicente Zambada Niebla "Vicentillo", son of "Mayo", placed his father as leader of the cartel next to his compadre Joaquín, of whom He said, "they had influence over the police authorities and used them at will."

"Vicentillo", pending a ruling in a Federal Court in Chicago and a collaborating witness of the Americans to not be sentenced to life imprisonment, stated that Guzmán and Zambada used the Federal Police in the war they had in Mexico against the drug cartel. Beltrán Leyva and the Carrillo Fuentes. In addition, he acknowledged that the DEA allowed him to make phone calls to his father, in exchange for information about rival criminal groups.

Between 2004 and 2014, the criminal cells that comprised the part of the Sinaloa Cartel that Ismael Zambada controlled suffered at least ten relevant losses, without undermining the operation of the organization. Detained, extradited or killed, "El Mayo" was reduced to its group of trusted collaborators, for whom it always had emerging leaders.

They fell Javier Torres Felix "El JT", Gonzalo Araujo Payán "El Chalo Araujo", Vicente Zambada Niebla "Vicentillo", Roberto Burgos Beltrán "El Doctor", Manuel Garibay Espinoza "El Meño", Manuel Torres Félix "El M1" and / or "El Ondeado", Serafín Zambada Ortiz, Gonzalo Inzunza Inzunza "El Macho Prieto", Rodrigo Aréchiga Gamboa "El Chino Anthrax" and Ismael Zambada Imperial "El Mayito Gordo".

There stopped the difficulties and changes in Zambada's strategies. Between 2016 and 2018 there were also significant losses, such as the rumor of betrayal between compadres that arrived from England, when in March an interview with the alleged daughter of "Chapo", Rosa Isela Guzmán Ortiz, was broadcast in the Guardian newspaper. The woman reportedly said that her father was betrayed by "El Mayo" and by high-level politicians, who he financed his electoral campaigns for, so they recaptured him.

In 2016 the arrest of the cartel's main launderer, Juan Manuel Álvarez Inzunza "El Rey Midas"; the extradition of Abraham Inzunza Inzunza "El Peque", brother of the bloodthirsty "Macho Prieto"; the capture of Inés Enrique Torres Acosta "El Kike", one of the main operators of Zambada García; and the murder of Juan Carlos Landeros "El Güero 90", after a confrontation between armed groups.

In the same year, the Interpol office in the country captured Heriberto Zazueta Godoy in Mexico City "El Capi Beto"; then he was executed in Culiacán, Edgar Parra Zambada, nephew of Ismael; the US Treasury Department included Eliseo Imperial Castro "Cheyo Anthrax", also a nephew of "El Mayo"; and three members of the Anthrax criminal cell were shot in a gun battle with rivals.

In February 2017, the children of Joaquín "El Chapo" affirmed - through a letter - having been attacked by Dámaso López "El Licenciado". Presumably, when the aggression occurred, the "Chapitos" was accompanied by "El Mayo" Zambada. After the arrest of Dámaso in May of that year, the prisoner expressed his fear of being killed in prison, denying his participation in any attack against Zambada. At the end of that annuity, César Rafael Vázquez Pérez was arrested "El Comándate Fierro", head of the plaza in Jalisco and Colima.

Finally, in November 2018, "El Clan Familiar" was dismantled in Colombia, a structure dedicated to the international traffic of cocaine in speedboats, linked to Zambada García. Nine of its members were apprehended. The criminal organization sent drugs from Colombia to Panama, Costa Rica, Mexico, and the United States.

This last action made it clear that in the absence of "Chapo" Guzman and others of his star characters, the Sinaloa Cartel may have decreased its activity in drug trafficking, but in the seaway maintains its old structures, as it is more It is difficult for international authorities to detect shipments, which are also in greater volume.

The "Mayo" has been classified as a good negotiator not only inside the criminal organization but with other groups, mainly with government representatives. Part of its success, according to previous inquiries integrated by the Deputy Attorney General in Organized Crime Investigation, is its management before port and shipping authorities. His minions obtain documents for the departure of vessels of the shark and shrimp type for navigation on Mexican coasts.

It is documented in official national and North American investigations that the ships that the Sinaloa Cartel has used to transport cocaine from Colombia are acquired in the area of Texas, United States; Later they cross them to Mexico to take them to a shipyard located in Tampico, Tamaulipas, where they are manufactured a hidden compartment inside the storage tanks of fuel, water or oil in the form of "nail".

The conditioned boats pass through the Panama Canal and are loaded with cocaine, they sail all night towards Mexico and arrive at Mexican coasts in the Pacific Ocean, where they land the cocaine in shrimp vessels or sharks, being the main places: Mazatlán, Teacapan, and Escuinapa, Sinaloa. The drug also arrives on the coasts of Chiapas and Manzanillo, in Colima.

The operating mode of the Zambada faction was reported in actions:

1. They move a ship of Mexican flag to Central America (Honduras, Panama, Ecuador or Peru), where it is structurally prepared to transport illicit cargo for a period of between 15 and 20 days; in the place, they pretend to be of the Central American flag

2. Once prepared, set sail for Panama, where he has a stay of between 10 and 15 days, to receive the illicit cargo

3. Three days before the departure of this vessel, a second vessel from the North Pacific coast in Mexico sets sail for South America

4. Once loaded with cocaine, the first ship sets sail for Mexico

5. One day after the ship sails for Mexico, a third vessel leaves from Mexican coasts in the North Pacific, with a destination via fishing towards Chiapas

6. The second vessel crosses with the first after leaving Mexican waters in the Pacific Center and continues its navigation towards Central America, where it will be prepared

7. The third vessel encounters the first one in waters of the area bordering the Exclusive Economic Zone, where it carries out the transfer of crew members, change of name, flag and documents, in such a way that the first vessel supplants the third, continuing its navigation towards a North Pacific port in Mexico; the third simulates being the South American flag vessel and heading south

8. When these events take place, the second vessel could be in Panama with the illicit cargo, ready to go to Mexico and continue with the cycle.

The aforementioned, work in the knowledge of the DEA and the Navy Secretariat of Mexico since the investigations date from the previous decade, when it was discovered that the ships that transported cocaine were modified in their name registration, "cloned" with others.

The original text of this article was published by the Zeta at the following address: https://zetatijuana.com/2019/02/el-poderio-impune-del-mayo/