Mexico has been taken over by a powerful and brutal criminal syndicate which is feared to be the world’s most powerful. The Sinaloa Cartel is dominating drug trafficking in Mexico through fear and violence against police, judges and rival cartel members.
The Cartel is known for resorting to horrifying means to kill opponents including melting people in giant vats of acid, the Mirror reports.
Drug boss Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán was the leader of the Sinaloa Cartel before his eventual arrest and trial in February 2019 following a number of high-profile prison escapes.
Fernando Villavicencio, Ecuador’s presidential candidate, was fatally shot during a political event in the capital city on Wednesday.
This incident occurred just a few days after he acknowledged getting several death threats ascribed to Sinaloa Cartel members.
In an act of bravery, he announced: “Here I am showing my face. I’m not scared of them.”
Six Colombians have now been caught, and President Guillermo Lasso has hinted that his death may have been linked to organised criminal activity.
Three prominent members of the Sinaloa Cartel were sanctioned for their involvement in importing illegal drugs into the United States at the same time as Villavicencio’s assassination.
While the former Sinaloa Cartel leader, Joaquín ‘El Chapo’ Guzmán, is serving his life sentence, his three sons, known as the little Chapos, continue to traffic fentanyl across borders in exchange for cash.
“They know that they’re poisoning and killing Americans. They just don’t care because they make billions of dollars doing it,” Anne Milgram, chief of the US Drug Enforcement Administration, said of Guzman’s sons.
“Their greed is shocking and without bounds.” The cartel is based primarily in the city of Culiacan, Sinaloa, whilst operating in the Mexican states of Baja California, Durango, Sonora and Chihuahua, and also the United States.
This week, the US Treasury Department sanctioned three cartel members for alleged involvement in the production and trafficking of fentanyl into the US. Officials said two of the men, Alfonso Arzate Garcia, and his brother Rene Arzate Garcia, acted as “plaza bosses” in Tijuana.
The siblings are involved in carrying out kidnappings and executions for the cartel. The third, Rafael Guadalupe Feliz Nuñez, or ‘The Anthrax Monkey’ has been part of a gang of hitmen for the last 20 years.
Since being locked up, family members of the victims have banded together to encourage police to identify the remains left over at the grave site at La Gallera, which is known as ‘the Chicken Coop’. According to reports, bodies have been retrieved from the site since its discovery. It is feared that the remains of up to 650 victims could be discovered at the site in Tijuana.
The cartel was reported to be using children in their fight against the Mexican Army earlier this year, when drug lord Ovidio Guzmán López, the son of El Chapo, was arrested.
Youngsters are manipulated into joining gangs and given basic weapon training at camps, ranging from AR-15 rifles to 9-mm calibre pistols, then put into cells led by experienced cartel soldiers.
But schoolchildren often have no other option. Juan Pablo Garcia, a social worker from Monterrey, told the group: “The schools are closed, and there is no work and no opportunity. On the other side, the criminals, they say, ‘Come here. There is a job for you.'”