Cartels, Violence in Mexico

Topics: Sinaloa Cartel, Drug cartel, Mexican Drug War Pages: 5 (2036 words) Published: October 16, 2013
The state of Sinaloa, from which the cartel derives its name, lies wedged between the Sierra Madre Occidental and Mexico’s west coast. Sun-blasted and remote, Sinaloa is the Sicily of Mexico, both cradle and refuge of violent men, and the ancestral land of many of the country’s most notorious traffickers. Chapo was born in a village called La Tuna, in the foothills of the Sierra, in 1957. His formal education ended in third grade, and as an adult, he has reportedly struggled to read and write, prevailing upon a ghostwriter, at one point, to compose letters to his mistress. Little is known about Chapo’s early years, but by the 1980s, he joined the Guadalajara cartel, which was run by a former policeman known as El Padrino — the Godfather. The most powerful drug lord in Mexico Joaquin Guzman Loera also known as El Chapo for his short, stocky frame, Guzmán is 58. He is an emblematic figure in Mexico, he is subject to countless “corridos”, who has outlived enemies and accomplices alike, defying the implicit bargain of a life in the drug trade: that careers are brilliant but short and always end in prison or in death. According to the Drug Enforcement Administration, Chapo Guzman sells more drugs today than Pablo Escobar did at the height of his career. To some extent, this success is easily explained: as Hillary Clinton acknowledged several years ago, America’s “insatiable demand for illegal drugs” is what drives the clandestine industry (The Washington Post). It’s no accident that the world’s biggest supplier of narcotics and the world’s biggest consumer of narcotics just happen to be neighbors. “Poor Mexico,” its former president Porfirio Díaz is said to have remarked. “So far from God and so close to the United States.” The Sinaloa cartel can buy a kilo of cocaine in the highlands of Colombia or Peru for around $2,000, then watch it accrue value as it makes its way to market. In Mexico, that kilo fetches more than $10,000. Jump the border to the United States, and it could sell wholesale for $30,000. Break it down into grams to distribute retail, and that same kilo sells for upward of $100,000 — more than its weight in gold; having a profit to buy more and continue with the cycle of the business. But this is just cocaine. Among the Mexican cartels, Sinaloa has a diversified manufacture of producing and exporting more drugs such as marijuana, heroin and methamphetamines as well, just to mention some but this are the most demanded and consume among the United States and Mexico. For decades, Mexican smugglers had exported homegrown marijuana and heroin to the United States. But as the Colombian cocaine boom gathered momentum in the 1980s and U.S. law enforcement began patrolling the Caribbean, the Colombians went in search of an alternate route to the United States and discovered one in Mexico. At first, Chapo’s organization controlled a single smuggling route, through western Mexico into Arizona. But by 1990, it was moving three tons of cocaine each month over the border, and from there, to Los Angeles. The Sinaloa has always distinguished itself by the eclectic means it uses to transport drugs. Working with Colombian suppliers, cartel operatives moved cocaine into Mexico in small private aircraft and in baggage smuggled on commercial flights and eventually on their own 747s, which they could load with as much as 13 tons of cocaine. Sinaloa’s cartel not only has point of entry in Arizona and Los Angeles, now its battling with the Gulf Cartel to gain more territory and have different entry points by Texas and have different routes inside the United States. Logistics has been a one of the most important issues within cartels it is said that they constantly update and change routes in Mexico due to the presence of military forces and government officials. (Appendix) But Chapo’s greatest contribution to the evolving tradecraft of drug trafficking was one of those innovations that seem so logical in hindsight it’s a wonder nobody...
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