- El Chapo's successors within the Sinaloa cartel have managed to overcome the blow of his capture.
- Ismael 'El Mayo' Zambada and El Chapo's sons are believed to be the main leaders of the criminal group.
- It has distribution hubs in Phoenix, Los Angeles, Denver, Atlanta, and Chicago.
The Sinaloa cartel is still the leading supplier of narcotics into the United States. This is despite the arrest of kingpin Joaquin ‘El Chapo’ Guzman. This is according to the DEA. The internal power struggles and the violence associated with drug trafficking have continued unabated, but the Sinaloa Cartel has remained unfazed. This is according to DEA’s 2019 National Drug Threat Assessment report.
Long-time leader, Joaquin ‘El Chapo’ Guzman Loera, has just served six months in a maximum-security prison in the United States after being sentenced to life in prison. Despite the drawback, his successors within the Sinaloa cartel have managed to overcome the blow of his capture.
“Mexican cartels remain the biggest criminal threat of drugs to the United States,” the report says. It underlines that “The Sinaloa Cartel maintains the most expansive footprint in the United States. While the Jalisco New Generation Cartel [Cartel Jalisco Nueva Generación or CJNG] has become the second-most dominant domestic presence over the past few years.”
A Few Internal Wrangles
Ismael ‘El Mayo’ Zambada and El Chapo’s sons are believed to be the main leaders of the criminal group. The organization recently suffered a few heavy blows, such as the extradition of ‘El Mayo’s son to the United States. A few key members have also faced the same fate.
In October 2019, there was an attempt by Mexican authorities to arrest Ovidio Guzmán, a son of El Chapo. The authorities were, however, forced to free him after being overwhelmed by cartel gunmen. Apart from the authorities, the cartel is facing external pressure from the CJNG, which is considered to be among the most powerful drug trafficking syndicates in Mexico. It currently has a presence in 24 of the 32 states in the country.
Distribution Zones in the United States
The DEA underlines that the Sinaloa cartel is the organization with the bigger network. It allegedly has an extensive international projection compared to the other Mexican criminal organizations. It imports and distributes wholesale quantities of marijuana, methamphetamine, heroin, cocaine, and fentanyl.
It reportedly maintains distribution centers in cities that such as Phoenix, Los Angeles, Denver, Atlanta, and Chicago. The group manages to transport drugs into the country through all the states located on the southern border.
The Drugs Crisis Continues
The influence of drugs in the United States is tragic. They have caused serious public health problems, mostly linked to addiction.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “drug overdose deaths continue to impact communities in the United States. From 1999 to 2017, more than 702,000 people have died from a drug overdose. In 2017, more than 70,000 people died from drug overdoses, making it a leading cause of injury-related death in the United States.”