Ismael Mario Zambada, in a file photo.
The United States this Wednesday tripled the reward offered by the leader of the Sinaloa cartel, Ismael
Zambada. In a statement from the State Department, the US government has announced that it is increasing the value of information that could lead to the arrest of the drug trafficker from five to 15 million dollars. The increase responds, they say, to the leadership status that Zambada has within the organization. The announcement of the reward is complemented by the inclusion of eight El Mayo collaborators on the blacklist of the US Department of the Treasury.
Zambada has a rare condition in the world of drug traffickers: he has never been in jail. At the age of 73, the supreme leader of the Sinaloa cartel, Joaquín
, has never been arrested. The US Government is now looking for that to change. He is ranked as the DEA's second most wanted offender; The first, for 20 million dollars, is Rafael Caro Quintero, former leader of the Guadalajara cartel and with whom the US narcotics agency has a pending personal matter after the torture and murder of its agent Enrique
This Wednesday, the United States has added Sergio Valenzuela as the head of the Sinaloa cartel in Nogales (Sonora) in the Law for the Designation of Foreign Narcotics Capos, known as the Kingpin Law.
From there, he "supervises the shipment of tons of fentanyl and other drugs to the United States," emphasizes the Treasury Department, and provides financial and technological support to El Mayo.
In addition, Leonardo Pineda, Valenzuela's right-hand man, and six lieutenants of the Sinaloa cartel who report to him have been included.
These identifications try to close the fence on El Mayo.
The DEA does not forget: on the hunt for Caro Quintero 35 years later
Rumors suggest that this old drug trafficker lives in seclusion in the mountains of northern Mexico, barely going down to the city. In an interview with Julio Scherer, director of the weekly
in 2010, the capo told him that at that time he had a wife, five women, 15 grandchildren and a great-grandson. “They, the six, are here, in the ranches, daughters of the mountain, like me. The mountain is my home, my family, my protection, my land ”.
He has seen all his partners fall: those from Tijuana, the Arellano Félix, dead or in prison;
the one from Juárez, Amado Carrillo Fuentes,
The Lord of the Skies,
who died during cosmetic surgery, the one from Sinaloa, El Chapo, his compadre, sentenced to life imprisonment in the United States.
The trick of El Mayo, who unlike Guzmán Loera who even tried to record a movie about his life, has always been to flee from the spotlight.
In that interview, Scherer asked him if he feared that one day he would be arrested.
"I have a panic that they will lock me up," he replied.
"Will they catch him?" Asked the veteran journalist.
"At any time," El Mayo said, "or never."
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