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Power Struggle Intensifies in Sinaloa Cartel Following Deportation of Chapo Guzmán

ISSN:1054-8890
LADB Article ID: 80224
Category/Department: Mexico
Date: 2017-03-01
By: Carlos Navarro

The deportation of Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzmán to the US in January appears to have intensified a simmering power struggle in western Mexico among several factions of the Sinaloa cartel, contributing to a spike of violence in Sinaloa and neighboring states. Other criminal organizations, namely the Cártel Jalisco Nueva Generación (CJNG) and the Beltrán Leyva organization, also view Guzmán’s departure as an opportunity to move into territory controlled by the Sinaloa cartel. At least 150 murders have been reported in Sinaloa in the first six weeks of the year, many in the coastal city of Culiacán. If the number of homicides continues at the current rate, this year could be one of the bloodiest in recent history. “Even though the year is just beginning, 2017 could become the most violent in the state since 2010,” independent security analyst Alejandro Hope wrote in a guest column in the daily newspaper El Universal. According to analysts, three factions are vying to control the Sinaloa cartel, also known as Cártel del Pacífico. One f is led by Guzmán’s two sons, Jesús Alfredo and Ivan Archivaldo Guzmán Salazar, along with Ismael “Mayo” Zambada, long considered the second in command in the cartel. Dámaso López Núñez, also known as El Licenciado, and his son Dámaso López Serrano are leading the second faction. The third group is led by Guzmán’s brother Aureliano Guzmán Loera, also known as El Guano.

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