So while the capture and trial of Guzman “was a great moral victory for the rule of law, it did very little to have a negative impact on the Sinaloa cartel,” Vigil said.During Guzman’s absence, the cartel has continued to develop a highly lucrative profit-center in fentanyl.
If Guzman had done like Zambada “and just stayed up in the mountains, perhaps he would still be a free man,” said Mike Vigil, former chief of international operations for the DEA.
“All 23 of our divisions have an investigation at least at the local level that ties back to the Sinaloa cartel,” said Will Glaspy, a U. Drug Enforcement Administration agent in charge of the Houston division who has held posts along the U. “Their distribution network is that well established in the United States.” So at the cartel’s stronghold in the mountains of Sinaloa state, it’s business as usual for Ismael “El Mayo” Zambada, who has helped run the cartel since it was founded over three decades ago. border agency says fentanyl bust is its biggest ever “El Mayo is still considered the main player at the table,” Glaspy said.
He has a reputation as a level-headed, old-style capo known more for negotiating than for bloodshed. A succession fight that broke out after Guzman’s third detention, in 2016, was ultimately resolved by the arrest of Damaso Lopez Nunez and his son Damaso Lopez Serrano, who led a rival faction.
The border city across from San Diego has become one of the world’s deadliest cities.
But, Bojorquez noted, Sinaloa has been largely able to fight off its rival.