In which countries is Ismael ‘El Mayo’ Zambada, leader of the Sinaloa Cartel, sought?

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It has been 26 years since he became one of the most wanted men by the authorities in Mexico, and to date, no one has any indication of his whereabouts. He is Ismael Zambada García, better known as ‘El Mayo’, leader of the Sinaloa Cartel, who on April 18, 2024, was named as one of the “military targets of terrorist groups” in Ecuador; with this, he is now sought in three countries.

His inclusion in the list, which is part of the ‘Plan Fénix’ launched by President Daniel Noboa to combat terrorism and organized crime, was announced through social networks by the Presidency of Ecuador.

The information specifies the full name of the drug trafficker, his nickname, and the criminal organization to which he belongs, as well as the level of priority for the Andean government—first level.

In this regard, it is noteworthy that this is the first time Zambada García has been labeled as a “terrorist”, but Ecuador is not the first country—besides Mexico—that seeks to stop his criminal operations.

The rewards for ‘El Mayo’

The first time the authorities offered some type of reward for information leading to the capture of Zambada García was in 1998, the year in which the then Attorney General’s Office (PGR) issued a search notice against him. This was after the capo was identified as a member of the Guadalajara Cartel and the Juárez Cartel.

In that line, it is noteworthy that the first reward in his name was 30 million pesos, a figure that remained until October 27, 2021.

Currently, the Reward Administration Mandate that the now FGR maintained is no longer active. The resources (millions of pesos) were allocated to the Fund for the Improvement of Justice Procurement.

Five years later, in 2003, ‘El Mayo’ caught the attention of the authorities in the country of the stars and stripes. However, it was not until 2007 that the United States Department of State included him in the list of most wanted along with a reward of five million dollars for his capture.

Currently, his reward (updated on September 23, 2021, to 15 million dollars) is positioned as one of the highest against Mexican criminals, only behind that of Rafael Caro Quintero, the ‘Narco of Narcos’.

It is worth noting that he faces accusations in five states of the country: Washington, D.C., Illinois, Texas, California, and New York.

Why is ‘El Mayo’ Zambada so sought after?

Since the nineties, Zambada García has played a key role in directing one of the world’s most powerful drug trafficking organizations.

Unlike other cartel leaders, ‘El Mayo’ has managed to stay out of the reach of the law for decades, partly due to his low profile and strategies to avoid capture.

According to reports, he has been involved in coordinating the production, transport, and distribution of multiple types of narcotics, including cocaine, marijuana, heroin, and methamphetamines, to various countries, especially to the United States.

His ability to establish alliances with other criminal groups and his capacity to adapt to changes in the world of drug trafficking have allowed him to maintain his influence and power within the Sinaloa Cartel, even after the arrest of Joaquín ‘El Chapo’ Guzmán and the rise of the latter’s sons.

Currently, the Reward Administration Mandate that the FGR (Attorney General’s Office) maintained is no longer active. The resources (millions of pesos) were allocated to the Fund for the Improvement of Justice Procurement.

Five years later, in 2003, ‘El Mayo’ caught the attention of the authorities in the country of the stars and stripes. However, it was not until 2007 that the United States Department of State included him on the list of most wanted along with a reward of five million dollars for his capture.

Currently, his reward (updated on September 23, 2021, to 15 million dollars) is positioned as one of the highest against Mexican criminals, only behind that of Rafael Caro Quintero, the ‘Narco of Narcos’.

It is worth noting that he faces accusations in five states of the country: Washington, D.C., Illinois, Texas, California, and New York.

Why is ‘El Mayo’ Zambada so sought after?

Since the nineties, Zambada García has played a key role in the leadership of one of the world’s most powerful drug trafficking organizations.

Unlike other cartel leaders, ‘El Mayo’ has managed to stay out of the reach of the law for decades, partly due to his low profile and strategies to avoid capture.

According to reports, he has been involved in coordinating the production, transport, and distribution of multiple types of narcotics, including cocaine, marijuana, heroin, and methamphetamines, to various countries, especially to the United States.

His ability to establish alliances with other criminal groups and his capacity to adapt to changes in the world of drug trafficking have allowed him to maintain his influence and power within the Sinaloa Cartel, even after the arrest of Joaquín ‘El Chapo’ Guzmán and the rise of the latter’s sons.

Currently, it is believed that he shares the leadership of the organization with ‘Los Chapitos’ and Aureliano Guzmán Loera, alias ‘El Guano’, brother of ‘El Chapo’.

Source: Infobae