“El Mayo” Zambada still in control of Sinaloa Cartel, expert says


Los Chapitos are nowhere near as powerful as El Mayo in the Sinaloa Cartel hierarchy.

El Chapo’s sons are regarded as more violent than their father.

Several incidences have raised questions about the amount of influence that the cartels now have over the authorities.

Fallen Sinaloa Cartel drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman most likely had an agreement with Ismael “El Mayo” Zambada, his partner in the organization, on the position of his sons in the event that he was incarcerated. This is according to Duncan Wood, the Director of the Wilson Centre’s Mexico Institute.

The Sinaloa Cartel, also known as the Guzmán-Loera Organization, the Pacific Cartel, the Federation and the Blood Alliance, is an international drug trafficking, money laundering, and organized crime syndicate established during the late 1980s. The cartel is primarily based in the city of Culiacán, Sinaloa, with operations in the Mexican states of Baja California, Durango, Sonora, and Chihuahua.

Speaking to the Daily Star on Friday, he said that El Chapo’s sons are not even lieutenants in the Sinaloa Cartel hierarchy. He hypothesized that here was most likely an agreement between the two men in that, yes, El Mayo is the overall leader, but his sons are still important.

Right now, Ivan Archivaldo Guzman is thought to lead the Los Chapitos segment of the cartel. The 36-year-old is a primary Sinaloa Cartel leader who played a key role in the October cartel operation against security forces that freed his brother. His brother, Ovidio Guzmán López, had been briefly captured by the authorities in a residence in Culiacan, but a quick response by cartel gunmen overwhelmed the police contingent subsequently securing his release.Ivan was initially reported to have been captured alongside his brother, but government officials dismissed the claims as inaccurate and aimed at distorting the truth.

According to a statement made thereafter by Federal Security Secretary Alfonso Durazo, the government remains committed to fighting the cartels through non-violent means. He also criticized the previous regime’s strategy of going after cartel kingpins, describing it as ineffective and a major cause of the current levels of violence in the country. He underscored that arrests and asset freezes were more effective in combating the organizations.

Cartel Intimidation and Rivalries

The Jalisco New Generation Cartel is a Mexican criminal group based in Jalisco and headed by Nemesio Oseguera Cervantes (“El Mencho”), one of Mexico’s most-wanted drug lords. The CJNG are currently fighting La Nueva Plaza for control of the city of Guadalajara, Jalisco, Los Viagras for the state of Michoacán, Los Zetas for the city of Puebla, the Sinaloa cartel in Tijuana and Baja California, and the Cartel de Juarez in Ciudad Juarez.

Since the failed operation to capture El Chapo’s son, there have been incidences of cartel intimidation. In November, a woman caught at Benito Juárez International Airport with two kilograms of cocaine reportedly made a call to Ovidio Guzman to intervene. She was released after he spoke to the officers in charge. She had arrived from a South American country and was about to take a flight to Culiacan when she was apprehended.

In such circumstances, the officers involved are required to contact the National Institute of Migration, Interpol, Federal Police, and the Attorney General’s office to request a background check and kick-start the prosecution process. She was also supposed to remain in detention, but that did not happen. Such incidences have raised questions about the amount of influence that the cartels now have over the authorities.

El Chapo’s sons have, however, had to contend with the rise of rival gangs such as the CJNG. In 2016, Ivan and Jesus Alfredo were kidnapped by members of the group, which is led by Nemesio Oseguera Cervantes. This is while partying at a beach resort in Puerto Vallarta. The incident which took place at La Leche restaurant led to four other associates being abducted. They were released about a week later, following intense negotiations between the cartels.