Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman is one of the most revered drug traffickers of this century. Born in La Tuna, Sinaloa, in Mexico, he heads the fearsome and highly structuralized Sinaloa Cartel, which is the biggest drug trafficking organization in the world. According to a recent report by GQ Magazine, El Chapo’s cartel is said to have the biggest air transport network in Mexico, boasting hundreds of aircraft.
Apparently, Mexican authorities have seized about 600 airplanes from the cartel between 2006 and 2015 and that’s just what’s in the records. However, there is another cartel that has over the years strived to surpass El Chapo’s Sinaloa Cartel in might, and that is the Los Zetas cartel. The cartel has built its reputation as one of the most brutal in Mexico.
However, its operations were crippled in recent years following the capture of its top leaders, among them Omar Treviño Morales. He was captured in 2015 in San Pedro Garza Garcia following a joint operation between the federal police and the army. Between the years 2011 and 2013, the cartel is said to have carried out systematic mass extermination of people and even used ovens to incinerate the remains. The following is an excerpt of the report on this by Breitbart.
“At a ranch near the town of Allende, instead of drums Los Zetas would use ovens to incinerate the human remains. The ranch was raided by Coahuila authorities in 2013 when the government began to look into the case. At the ranch, authorities found not only the ovens, but also ashes and bone fragments from the victims.”
According to a recent report, the Los Zetas cartel also controlled Piedras Negras prison between the years 2009 and 2012, and used it as part of its drug distribution network. The prison is said to have been converted into a death camp, killing approximately 150 people. The following is an excerpt of the report on this by Fox News.
“Authorities estimate that in the three-year period the Zetas killed around 150 people and either burned their bodies or put their remains in acid-filled tanks before disposing of them in a river about 20 miles from the prison.
“While it is unclear if prison officials actively participated in the killings or worked in cahoots with the gang, prosecutors said that Zetas leaders dressed up in uniforms and acted as the prison’s unofficial security force – going so far as to drive around in customized vehicles and wear bulletproof vests.”
Ramón Burciaga Magallanes, the Los Zetas cartel leader in the prison, is said to presently be serving time in another prison. Speaking about El Chapo Guzman’s rival cartel, the Los Zetas, and its history of controlling prisons, a recent prison riot in Topo Chico state prison, which is also controlled by the cartel, led to the death of 52 inmates. The following is an excerpt of the report.
“The riot broke out shortly after 1 a.m. in the Topo Chico state prison near the Mexican industrial hub of Monterrey… The prison is largely controlled by members of the Los Zetas drug cartel who are believed to have tried to fight their way out. The Nuevo Leon government issued a brief statement on social media confirming that the riot was under control and that inmates had not managed to breakout.”
Currently, El Chapo Guzman is incarcerated at a prison in Juarez, which is deemed to be “safe territory” for him as the Sinaloa Cartel has a heavy presence in the area. This is as he awaits the final verdict on his extradition to the United States.
[AP Photo/Marco Ugarte]