The Sinaloa Cartel is an international criminal organization and is one of the world’s most powerful drug-trafficking syndicates. Its headquarters are located in Culiacán, Sinaloa state, Mexico. Its roots can be traced back to the Guadalajara cartel, which was one of Mexico’s most powerful crime syndicates in the early 1980s. But do you know much money the Sinaloa Cartel makes in a year?
The Sinaloa Cartel earns between $3 billion and $39 billion per year through illegal activities such as drug trafficking and smuggling. The cartel smuggles it all throughout the United States.
The Sinaloa Cartel
Its roots can be traced back to the Guadalajara cartel, one of Mexico’s most powerful crime syndicates in the early 1980s. However, US and Mexican forces cracked down on the syndicate after the cartel was implicated in the torture and murder of a US drug enforcement agent in 1985. By the decade’s end, it had split into several groups, one of which was based in Sinaloa.
As the home of marijuana and poppy crops, that state was long involved in the illegal drug industry. It was also the birthplace of numerous drug traffickers, including Héctor Luis Palma Salazar and Joaquin Guzmán Loera, also known as El Chapo Shorty. The two men rose through the ranks of the Guadalajara organization to become leaders of the Sinaloa cartel.
At the time, the Colombian cartels’ power was dwindling, in part due to the deaths of various drug lords, most notably Pablo Escobar, who died in 1993, and the United States’ crackdown on drug trafficking in the Caribbean, which was then the preferred route for bringing drugs into the United States.
As Mexico’s popularity as a drug route grew, so did the strength of its criminal organizations, particularly the Sinaloa cartel, which benefited from Guzmán’s innovative smuggling methods, mainly through tunnels, and his extensive use of bribes.
He remained a crucial figure in the cartel despite being arrested and sentenced to more than 20 years in prison in 1993. According to various reports, he took complete control of the organization in 1995. (Source: Brittanica)
Who is El Chapo?
Joaquin Archivaldo Guzmán Loera, nicknamed El Chapo for his 5’6″ frame, began his journey to the top of the drug world in his early teens as a successful marijuana dealer in the 1970s.
He eventually moved to cocaine dealing in western Mexico, where drug lord Miguel Angel Félix Gallardo mentored him. Guzmán truly stepped up to the big leagues of international drug trafficking after Gallardo’s capture in the 1980s, expanding the notorious Sinaloa Cartel.
Guzmán would soon spend eight years in prison during the 1990s before eluding capture in 2001. Even while he was imprisoned, his cartel grew in strength. He rose to the level of the infamy of historic kingpins like Pablo Escobar in the decade following his escape. And at one point, he was in charge of nearly a quarter of the world’s illegal drugs.
But, after being apprehended by police in 2014, he fell from his perch. Though he managed to flee again, he was quickly arrested in 2016. He has been detained in the United States since then. (Source: Brittanica)