[Iron Grip: Marauders] Modern Marauders: the Sinaloa Cartel

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We all know that marauders and pirates are just thugs that have acquired a mythical aura over the decades and centuries. To their contemporaries, pirates were nothing but criminals. Therefore today we will put a spotlight on the Mexican crime organisation, the Sinaloa Cartel and its leader Joaquin Guzman Loera, one of the world’s most wanted people.

The Mexican Drug War is the most notorious criminal conflict in our world today. Cartels fight for dominance over different states and counties in Mexico. The conflict has so far claimed 60,000 lives. That is almost twice as much as the estimated number of deaths in the first Gulf War. One of the oldest and richest cartels is the Sinaloa Cartel. They have a foothold in more than half of the Mexican states, most importantly in Sinaloa, Mexico City, Tepic, Toluca and Zacatecas. They smuggle drugs all over the world, using anything from cargo airplanes to a tunnel system under the US-Mexico border.

El Chapo Guzman (shorty Guzman), as their leader is nicknamed, is the most infamous drug baron today. In 1993 he was convicted for possession of firearms, drug trafficking and the murder of a cardinal. A prison guard discovered his empty cell in 2001. Since then El Chapo Guzman has become the kingpin of Sinaloa Cartel. He is estimated to be the tenth richest man in Mexico.

Sinaloa being the richest and most influential cartel has also been a thorn in the side of the Mexican government and police force. Despite numerous arrests, the cartel’s ability to smuggle all around the world hasn’t diminished. The Sinaloa Cartel seems to have a talent for starting its business in areas where it previously had no foothold. The cartel has been sighted as far south as Peru, Paraguay and Argentina. The success of the cartel is mostly due to the fact that it doesn’t solely focus on the USA for export. Latin America and Europe are also important markets.

Another tactic that will give your smuggling organisation a nice advantage, is making sure the right people in the government work for you. It is rumoured that when Sinaloa wanted to take control of the Juarez Valley, they had the entire police department in that area working for them. Former police captain Manuel Fierro Mendez admitted to these allegations and claims that the cartel also used the Mexican Government and military to gain control.

So far, being a smuggler sounds much like being a dubious trader. However, we have all seen footage of mutilated bodies hanging from bridges on the news. The higher ups, like El Chapo Guzman, might be overseeing drug smuggling worldwide, it’s on the bottom of the hierarchy that these nasty fear tactics are employed. Executions, decapitations and the melting of bodies are not unheard of tactics in the war between the Mexican drug cartels. Heads often end up on pikes, sending a grim message to a rival cartel.