“El Chapo” Guzman has for a long time headed the Sinaloa cartel alongside powerful partners such as Ismael Zambada García, also known as El Mayo and Damaso Lopez Nunez aka El Licenciado. While El Chapo might be the most popular among them as a result of run-ins with the police and escaping from prison, his partners are equally influential within the Sinaloa cartel and continue to run it in his absence.
“Internal DEA documents obtained by The Associated Press after Guzman’s Feb 2014 arrest, shows that over the course of ‘El Chapo’s recent imprisonment, the Sinaloa Cartel was controlled by Zambada, and another old school drug trafficker, Rafael Caro Quintero, along with relative newcomers Damaso López Núñez, “El Lic,” and Ivan Archivaldo Guzman.
Lopez leads a faction of the Sinaloa organization called Los Damaso. The name ‘El Licenciado’ or the ‘The Bachelor’, is derived from his background as a lawyer… He studied law at the University of Sinaloa. ‘El Lic’ briefly practiced law before going to work for the investigative agency at the Sinaloa Attorney General’s Office in 1991, where he earned a pay of $600 per month.”
He is said to have thereafter been appointed head of security at Puente Grande Prison in Jalisco. It was while there when he became friends with El Chapo Guzman, who was at the time serving time at the prison. El Lic is said to have been instrumental in aiding the drug lord to escape and resigned soon after.
He went on to become a close associate of El Chapo in the Sinaloa cartel and prefers to keep a low profile. His son Damaso Lopez Serano, also known as El Mini Lic is said to be El Chapo’s godson and is one of the narco celebrities on social media.
On to their kids, El Mini Lic, Damaso’s son has a presence in the Eldorado region. His men are said to dress flamboyantly, mostly donning Hermés vests and Armani caps and like to keep a close eye on suspicious individuals in the area, noting down number plates and sharing intelligence if anything is out if the ordinary.
El Chapo’s sons are also said to control certain regions vital to the trade and are in the Sinaloa cartel leadership. Currently, Ivan Guzman is said to be the likely heir to ‘El Chapo’s cartel operations. He has a violent history. Known as “Chapito,” he was a suspect in the killing of a Canadian student outside a nightclub in Guadalajara in 2004.
[AP Photo/Marco Ugarte]