US Treasury Adds Sinaloa Cartel’s ‘King Midas’ to Kingpin List

08/22/16 InSight Crime

The US Treasury Department has placed two high-level Sinaloa Cartel associates on its “kingpin” list, calling the move a “strategic blow” to Mexico‘s most powerful drug trafficking organization even as it appears to be confronting a new threat from a rival cartel.

On August 16, the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) designated Mexican nationals Juan Manuel Alvarez Inzunza, alias “King Midas,” and Jose Olivas Chaidez, alias “El Blanco,” as Specially Designated Narcotics Traffickers, becoming the latest Sinaloa Cartel operatives added to the so-called “kingpin” list.

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The world’s most powerful drug lord may be headed back to a prison he’s already broken out of

08/19/16 Business Insider 

elchapoA little over three months after arriving at a prison near the US border, Sinaloa cartel kingpin Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán is to be sent back to Altiplano prison in central Mexico, where he pulled off a brazen escape in July 2015.

A federal judge in Mexico’s Chihuahua state ruled on August 17 that prison officials had transferred Guzmán in May without authorization.

The decision came in response to injunction 384/2016, filed by Guzmán’s legal team.

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Grainy footage appears to capture kidnapping of son of Mexican cartel leader ‘El Chapo’

08/18/16 Los Angeles Times 

Grainy footage aired on Mexican media appears to capture in cinematic fashion the moment when gunmen stormed an upscale restaurant and kidnapped six men — including Jesus Alfredo Guzman Salazar, a son of Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, the imprisoned head of the Sinaloa cartel.

The website of  Mexican news outlet El Universal late Wednesday posted the silent footage, apparently taken from security cameras at the targeted La Leche restaurant in the coastal resort city of Puerto Vallarta.

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‘El Chapo’ Guzmán is not getting enough sleep, his attorney says

07/09/16 The Washington Post 

el chapo
Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán

Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán, the world’s most notorious drug lord, has been having trouble sleeping.

The lights in his prison cell are on around the clock. The surveillance video and prison staff watch him 24/7. If a dozing Guzmán even inadvertently covers his face or crosses his arms, prison guards rouse him, according to his lead defense attorney, José Refugio Rodríguez.

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Mexico arrests suspected associate of drug boss ‘El Mayo’ Zambada

07/07/16 Reuters

prisonOne of the top suspected associates of Mexican drug kingpin Ismael “El Mayo” Zambada has been arrested in Mexico City, prosecutors said on Thursday, in a new blow to the infamous Sinaloa drug cartel.

Heriberto Zazueta, alias “El Capi Beto,” was detained on Wednesday by federal agents in coordination with Interpol. There was a warrant for his arrest in Mexico and an order for his extradition to the United States.

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Famed Mexico Drug Lord Challenging Sinaloa Cartel: Official

Insight Crime 07/06/16 

chihuahua-mapIntelligence reports suggest legendary drug trafficker Rafael Caro Quintero is seeking to expel the Sinaloa Cartel from Mexico‘s Chihuahua state, raising fears the city of Ciudad Juárez may experience yet another drug-fueled murder spike.

Chihuahua’s attorney general, Jorge Enrique González Nicolás, said on July 5 that military intelligence indicates Caro Quintero “hopes to dispute and occupy the Sinaloa Cartel‘s territory” in the state, reported Reforma. This includes the northern border city of Ciudad Juárez, once considered the murder capital of the world in part due to violence between warring drug cartels.

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Mexico’s Kingpin Strategy Against the Drug Cartels

2/16/16 New York Times 

mexico-statesPope Francis’ visit to the violence-plagued Mexican state of Michoacán brought new attention to the government’s decade-long effort to break up drug cartels by targeting their leaders. The recent recapture of “El Chapo” — Joaquín Guzmán Loera, perhaps the most notorious cartel king — has been the signature achievement of the strategy, but it has also had other consequences.

A Spike in Violence

Felipe Calderón began the “decapitation” strategy when he became president of Mexico in 2006, and violence shot upward soon after. The tumult was widely viewed as evidence of disruption: a signal that more deadly and unpredictable gangs were competing to fill a vacuum. Kidnapping and extortion became more frequent as smaller gangs looked for profits.

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