Friday 29 March 2013

Joaquín "El Chapo” Guzmán's Sinaloa Cartel brings in $3 billion a year

El Chapo - all business
According to a report to be released next week, Joaquín "El Chapo” Guzmán controls 80% of the methamphetamine market in the United States and is the main trafficker of opium from Asia to Mexico and the United States.

Guzmán, the de facto head of the Sinaloa Cartal, Mexico’s largest, is estimated to earn about US$3 billion annually, comparable to Netflix or Facebook.

The report, by analyst José Luis León, is within the Rand Corporation’s 2012 security and defence “atlas” on Mexico. It alleges that the Sinaloa Cartel’s reach is truly global, extending to Europe and Australia, and that the criminal organization is still involved in trafficking marijuana and cocaine.

What is of note is that with such deep pockets, and with precursor chemicals sourced in Asia and the methamphetamine “product” sold in the United States, the Sinaloa Cartel (also known as the Pacific Cartel) can avoid much of the heat faced by Los Zetas and the Gulf Cartel. These two organizations, which are embroiled in conflict on Mexico’s east coast, are more heavily involved in extortion and human smuggling – two activities that draw much more attention from law enforcement.

(TE Wilson is the author of Mezcalero, a Detective Sánchez novel.)

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Twitter: @TimothyEWilson
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