The Sinaloa Cartel, believed to be one of the most powerful criminal organizations in the world, is no longer at war with itself, but it is struggling to re-organize after internal strife and continued pressure from the Mexican government.
|"El Vic" in custody
The result is that the security situation in rural Sinaloa has fallen apart. The circumstances are particularly grave in the municipality of Concordia, in the Sierra Madre Occidental, with mines closing and hundreds of people fleeing their villages due to threats from drug traffickers. Many of these villages are now completely vacant ghost towns.
This is happening as the Sinaloa Cartel struggles to recover from a breakdown that began while its leader Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán was on the run, and that accelerated with his detention on January, 2016. By the time of his extradition to the United States, one year later, the leadership vacuum was complete.