A cartel is a group of apparently independent producers whose goal is to increase their collective profits by means of price fixing, limiting supply, or other restrictive practices. Cartels typically control selling prices, but some are organized to control the prices of purchased inputs. Antitrust laws attempt to deter or forbid cartels. A single entity that holds a monopoly by this definition cannot be a cartel, though it may be guilty of abusing said monopoly in other ways. Cartels usually occur in oligopolies, where there are a small number of sellers and usually involve homogeneous products.
In general, cartels can be divided into domestic and international agreements. Export cartels constitute a special case of international cartels. Unlike other cartels they are legal in virtually all jurisdictions, despite their harmful effects on affected markets.
Bid rigging is a special type of cartel.
People of the same trade seldom meet together, even for merriment and diversion, but the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the public, or in some contrivance to raise prices.
A survey of hundreds of published economic studies and legal decisions of antitrust authorities found that the median price increase achieved by cartels in the last 200 years is about 23 percent. Private international cartels (those with participants from two or more nations) had an average price increase of 28 percent, whereas domestic cartels averaged 18 percent. Less than 10 percent of all cartels in the sample failed to raise market prices.
In general, cartel agreements are economically unstable in that there is an incentive for members to cheat by selling at below the agreed price or selling more than the production quotas set by the cartel (see also game theory). This has caused many cartels that attempt to set product prices to be unsuccessful in the long term. Empirical studies of 20th century cartels have determined that the mean duration of discovered cartels is from 5 to 8 years. However, once a cartel is broken, the incentives to form the cartel return and the cartel may be re-formed. Publicly-known cartels that do not follow this cycle include, by some accounts, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).
Price fixing is often practiced internationally. When the agreement to control price is sanctioned by a multilateral treaty or protected by national sovereignty, no antitrust actions may be initiated. Examples of such price fixing include oil whose price is partly controlled by the supply by OPEC countries. Also international airline tickets have prices fixed by agreement with the IATA, a practice for which there is a specific exception in antitrust law.
Prior to World War II (except in the United States), members of cartels could sign contracts that were enforceable in courts of law. There were even instances where cartels are encouraged by states. For example, during the period before 1945, cartels were tolerated in Europe and were promoted as a business practice in German-speaking countries. This was the norm due to the accepted benefits, which even the U.S. Supreme court has noted. In the case, the U.S. v. National Lead Co. et al., it cited the testimony of individuals, who cited that a cartel, in its protean form, is "a combination of producers for the purpose of regulating production and, frequently, prices, and an association by agreement of companies or sections of companies having common interests so as to prevent extreme or unfair competition."
Today, however, price fixing by private entities is illegal under the antitrust laws of more than 140 countries. Examples of prosecuted international cartels are lysine, citric acid, graphite electrodes and bulk vitamins. This is highlighted in countries with market economy wherein price-fixing and the concept of cartels are considered inimical to free and fair competition, which is considered the backbone of political democracy. The current condition makes it increasingly difficult for cartels to maintain sustainable operations. Even if international cartels might be out of reach for the regulatory authorities, they will still have to contend with the fact that their activities in domestic markets will be affected.
OPEC: As its name suggests, OPEC is organized by sovereign states. The traditional view holds that it cannot be held to antitrust enforcement in other jurisdictions by virtue of the doctrine of state immunity under public international law. It serves as an example of state entanglement in anticompetitive conduct.
Although cartels are usually thought of as a group of corporations, the free-market economist Charles W. Baird considers trade unions to be cartels, as they seek to raise the price of labor (wages) by preventing competition. For example, negotiated cartelism is a labor arrangement in which labor prices are held above the market clearing level through union leverage over employers.
Amado Carrillo Fuentes (; December 17, 1956 – July 4, 1997) was a Mexican drug lord who seized control of the Juárez Cartel after assassinating his boss Rafael Aguilar Guajardo. Amado Carrillo became known as "El Señor de Los Cielos" ("The Lord of the Skies"), because of the large fleet of jets he used to transport drugs. He was also known for laundering money via Colombia, to finance fleet.
He died in July 1997, in a Mexican hospital, after undergoing extensive plastic surgery to change his appearance. In his final days, Carrillo was being tracked by Mexican and U.S. authorities.Beltrán-Leyva Cartel
The Beltrán Leyva Cartel (also known as the Beltrán Leyva Organization (BLO); Spanish: Cártel de los Beltrán Leyva (CBL)) was a Mexican drug cartel and organized crime syndicate, headed by the five Beltrán Leyva brothers: Marcos Arturo, Carlos, Alfredo, Mario Alberto and Héctor. Founded as a branch of the Sinaloa Cartel, the Beltrán Leyva cartel was responsible for transportation and wholesaling of cocaine, heroin and marijuana (and the production of the last two). It controlled numerous drug trafficking corridors, and engaged in human smuggling, money laundering, extortion, kidnapping, murder and gun-running.The BLO was one of Mexico's most powerful drug cartel that had effectively infiltrated the ranks of various Mexican government agencies and Mexico's Interpol. Its last known leader, Héctor Beltrán Leyva, was arrested in October 2014, having had a multimillion-dollar bounty placed on him by the governments of both the United States and Mexico. On August 11, 2011 the capture of one of the cartel's former top lieutenants, called "the last Beltran-Leyva link of any importance", prompted Mexican authorities to declare the cartel disbanded and extinct.Cali Cartel
The Cali Cartel (Spanish: Cartel de Cali) was a drug cartel based in southern Colombia, around the city of Cali and the Valle del Cauca Department. Its founders were the Rodríguez Orejuela brothers, Gilberto and Miguel, and José Santacruz Londoño, also known as "Chepe". They broke away from Pablo Escobar and his Medellin associates in the late 1980s when Hélmer Herrera, also known as "Pacho", joined what became a four-man executive board that ran the cartel.With connections to British and Israeli mercenaries, allies among countries, countless spies and informants in the government, and its vast intelligence and surveillance network throughout the city of Santiago de Cali, the cartel was once renowned and compared to the Soviet KGB by the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), which called it, "One of the most powerful crime syndicates in history", later dubbed "The Cali KGB".
At the height of the Cali Cartel's reign, they were cited as having control over 90% of the world's cocaine market and were said to be directly responsible for the growth of the cocaine market in Europe, controlling 90% of the market there as well. By the mid-1990s, the trafficking empire of the Cali Cartel was a multibillion-dollar enterprise.Drug cartel
A drug cartel is any criminal organization with the intention of supplying drug trafficking operations. They range from loosely managed agreements among various drug traffickers to formalized commercial enterprises. The term was applied when the largest trafficking organizations reached an agreement to coordinate the production and distribution of cocaine. Since that agreement was broken up, drug cartels are no longer actually cartels, but the term stuck and it is now popularly used to refer to any criminal narcotics related organization.
The basic structure of a drug cartel is as follows:
Falcons (Spanish: Halcones): Considered as the "eyes and ears" of the streets, the "falcons" are the lowest rank in any drug cartel. They are responsible for supervising and reporting the activities of the police, the military, and rival groups.
Hitmen (Spanish: Sicarios): The armed group within the drug cartel, responsible for carrying out assassinations, kidnappings, thefts, extortions, operating protection rackets, and defending their plaza (turf) from rival groups and the military.
Lieutenants (Spanish: Teniente): The second highest position in the drug cartel organization, responsible for supervising the hitmen and falcons within their own territory. They are allowed to carry out low-profile murders without permission from their bosses.
Drug lords (Spanish: Capos): The highest position in any drug cartel, responsible for supervising the entire drug industry, appointing territorial leaders, making alliances, and planning high-profile murders.There are other operating groups within the drug cartels. For example, the drug producers and suppliers, although not considered in the basic structure, are critical operators of any drug cartel, along with the financiers and money launderers. In addition, the arms suppliers operate in a completely different circle, and are technically not considered part of the cartel's logistics.Ernesto Fonseca Carrillo
Ernesto Fonseca Carrillo (born 1930 or 1942), commonly referred to by his alias Don Neto, is a convicted Mexican drug lord and former leader of the Guadalajara Cartel, a defunct criminal group based in Jalisco. He headed the organization alongside Miguel Ángel Félix Gallardo and Rafael Caro Quintero. Fonseca Carrillo was involved with drug trafficking since the early 1970s, primarily in Ecuador, and later moved his operations to Mexico.Fonseca is the uncle of former Juarez Cartel leader, Amado Carrillo Fuentes.Guadalajara Cartel
The Guadalajara Cartel (Spanish: Cártel de Guadalajara) was a Mexican drug cartel which was formed in the 1980s by Rafael Caro Quintero, Miguel Ángel Félix Gallardo and Ernesto Fonseca Carrillo in order to ship cocaine and marijuana to the United States. Among the first of the Mexican drug trafficking groups to work with the Colombian cocaine mafias, the Guadalajara cartel prospered from the cocaine trade.
According to some writers, like Peter Dale Scott, the Guadalajara Cartel prospered largely because it enjoyed the protection of the Mexican DFS intelligence agency, under its chief Miguel Nazar Haro.Gulf Cartel
The Gulf Cartel (Spanish: Cártel del Golfo, Golfos, or CDG) is a criminal syndicate and drug trafficking organization in Mexico, and perhaps one of the oldest organized crime groups in the country. It is currently based in Matamoros, Tamaulipas, directly across the U.S. border from Brownsville, Texas.
Their network is international, and are believed to have dealings with crime groups in Europe, West Africa, Asia, Central America, South America, and the United States. Besides drug trafficking, the Gulf Cartel operates through protection rackets, assassinations, extortions, kidnappings, and other criminal activities. The members of the Gulf Cartel are known for intimidating the population and for being particularly violent.Although its founder Juan Nepomuceno Guerra smuggled alcohol in large quantities to the United States during the Prohibition era, it was not until the 1980s that the cartel was formed and shifted to drug trafficking—primarily cocaine, methamphetamine, and heroin—under the command of Juan Nepomuceno Guerra and Juan García Ábrego.Ismael "El Mayo" Zambada
Ismael "El Mayo" Zambada García (born 1 January 1948), is a Mexican suspected drug lord and leader of the Sinaloa Cartel, a criminal group based in Sinaloa. Before assuming leadership of the entire cartel, he served as the logistical coordinator for the Zambada-García faction of the Sinaloa Cartel which has assisted in the exporting of cocaine and heroin into Chicago and other US cities by train, ship, jet, and narco-submarines.Jalisco New Generation Cartel
The Jalisco New Generation Cartel (Spanish: Cártel de Jalisco Nueva Generación, CJNG, Los Mata Zetas and Los Torcidos) is a Mexican criminal group based in Jalisco and headed by Nemesio Oseguera Cervantes ("El Mencho"), one of Mexico's most-wanted drug lords. The CJNG are currently fighting La Nueva Plaza for control of the city of Guadalajara, Jalisco, Los Viagras for the state of Michoacán, Los Zetas for the city of Puebla, the Sinaloa cartel in Tijuana and Baja California, and the Cartel de Juarez in Ciudad Juarez. The CJNG also operates in the states of Nayarit, Colima, and Guanajuato. While this cartel is best known for its fights against the Zetas, it has also been battling La Resistencia for control of Jalisco and its surrounding territories.Jalisco New Generation Cartel started as one of splits of Milenio Cartel the other being La Resistencia. La Resistencia accused CJNG of giving up Oscar Valencia (El Lobo) to the authorities and called them Los Torcidos (The Twisted Ones). Jalisco Cartel defeated La Resistencia and took control of Millenio Cartel's smuggling networks.
Jalisco New Generation Cartel expanded its operation network from coast to coast in only six months, making it one of the criminal groups with the greatest operating capacity in Mexico as of 2012. The Sinaloa Cartel, led by Joaquín Guzmán Loera (a.k.a. El Chapo), has used the Jalisco New Generation Cartel as its armed wing to fight off Los Zetas in Guzmán's turf and to carry out incursions to other territories like Nuevo Laredo and Veracruz in the past.Through online videos, the Jalisco New Generation Cartel has tried to seek society's approval and tacit consent from the Mexican government to confront Los Zetas by posing as a "righteous" and "nationalistic" group. Such claims have stoked fears that Mexico, just like Colombia a generation before, may be witnessing the rise of paramilitary drug gangs.By 2018 the CJNG became the most powerful cartel in Mexico.Joaquín "El Chapo" Guzmán
Joaquín Archivaldo Guzmán Loera (; Spanish: [xoaˈkin aɾtʃiˈβaldo ɣuzˈman loˈeɾa]; born 4 April 1957) is a Mexican drug lord and former leader of the Sinaloa Cartel, an international crime syndicate. Known as "El Chapo" ("Shorty", pronounced [el ˈtʃapo]) because of his 168 cm (5 ft 6 in) stature, Guzmán is considered to have been the most powerful drug trafficker in the world.Born in Sinaloa, Guzmán was raised in a poor farming family, and endured physical abuse at the hands of his father. Through his father, Guzmán entered the drug trade, helping him grow marijuana for local dealers during his early adulthood. By the late 1970s, Guzmán began working with Héctor Luis Palma Salazar, one of the nation's rising drug lords, whom he helped map routes to move drugs through Sinaloa, and into the United States. Guzmán later supervised logistics for Miguel Ángel Félix Gallardo, one of the nation's leading kingpins, in the mid 1980s, but founded his own cartel in 1988 after Gallardo's arrest.
As the leader of the Sinaloa Cartel, Guzmán oversaw operations whereby mass cocaine, methamphetamines, marijuana, and heroin was produced and subsequently smuggled into and distributed throughout the United States and Europe, the world's largest users. He achieved this by pioneering the use of distribution cells in the U.S. and long-range tunnels near borders, which enabled him to export more drugs to the United States than any other trafficker in history. His leadership of the cartel also brought immense wealth and power; Guzmán was ranked by Forbes as one of the most powerful people in the world between 2009 and 2013, while the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) estimated that he matched the influence and wealth of Pablo Escobar.Guzmán was first captured in 1993 in Guatemala and was extradited and sentenced to 20 years in prison in Mexico for murder and drug trafficking. He bribed prison guards and escaped from a federal maximum-security prison in 2001. His status as a fugitive resulted in an $8.8 million combined reward from Mexico and the U.S. for information leading to his capture, and he was later arrested in Mexico in 2014. He escaped prior to formal sentencing in 2015, through a 1.5 km (0.93 mi) tunnel under his jail cell. He was recaptured by Mexican authorities following a shoot-out in 2016, and was extradited to the United States a year later, where he was found guilty of a number of criminal charges related to his leadership of the Sinaloa Cartel. He is expected to be sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole in a sentencing hearing scheduled for 25 June 2019.Juárez Cartel
The Juárez Cartel (Spanish: Cártel de Juárez), also known as the Vicente Carrillo Fuentes Organization, is a Mexican drug cartel based in Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua, across the Mexico—U.S. border from El Paso, Texas. The cartel is one of several drug trafficking organizations that have been known to decapitate their rivals, mutilate their corpses and dump them in public places to instill fear not only into the general public, but also into local law enforcement and their rivals, the Sinaloa Cartel. The Juárez Cartel has an armed wing known as La Línea, a Juarez street gang that usually performs the executions. It also uses the Barrio Azteca gang to attack its enemies.The Juárez Cartel was the dominant player in the center of the country, controlling a large percentage of the cocaine traffic from Mexico into the United States. The death of Amado Carrillo Fuentes in 1997 was the beginning of the decline of the Juárez cartel, as Carrillo relied on ties to Mexico's top-ranking drug interdiction officer, division general Jesús Gutiérrez Rebollo.In September 2011, the Mexican Federal Police reported that the cartel is now known as "Nuevo Cartel de Juárez" (New Juárez Cartel). It is alleged that the New Juárez Cartel is responsible for recent executions in Ciudad Juárez and Chihuahua.Knights Templar Cartel
The Knights Templar Cartel (Spanish: Los Caballeros Templarios) is a Mexican criminal organization originally composed of the remnants La Familia Michoacana drug cartel based in the Mexican State of Michoacán.After the first alleged death of Francisco Montes and co-founder Nazario Moreno, leaders of the La Familia Michoacana cartel, on 9 December 2010, a split between the cartel leaders emerged. Some of the cartel co-founders, Montes brothers; Fred Montes CM and Frank Montes, Servando Gómez Martínez, and Dionisio Loya Plancarte, formed into a Royalty of La Familia calling itself Caballeros Templarios (or Knights Templar). A large part of La Familia Michoacana left with them to form the Knights Templar group, while José de Jesús Méndez Vargas kept the leadership of the now greatly diminished "Familia Michoacana", starting a fight for the control of Michoacán.The Knights Templar Cartel indoctrinates its operatives to "fight and die" for the cartel. They have taken full control of the now defunct La Familia Michoacana operations in states including Michoacán, Guerrero, the state of Mexico, and Morelos.
Along with the Sinaloa Cartel and Gulf Cartel, the Knights Templar formed a short-lived joint enforcer gang called Cárteles Unidos (English: United Cartels) or La Resistencia, composed of well-trained gunmen dedicated to kill and expel Los Zetas Cartel operatives who were invading the former Familia Michoacana territories in Michoacán and Jalisco.
The Templars' most recent feud is against the Jalisco New Generation Cartel, which is trying to gain full control of Jalisco and Michoacán, and also against Civilian vigilante and Militia groups that are fighting back the criminals in an attempt to clear Michoacan from the Knights Templar.
On February 27, 2015, Servando "La Tuta" Gómez Leader of the Knights Templar was arrested by the Mexican federal police. A number of his associates were also arrested and many properties were also seized by the Mexican government.List of Mexico's 37 most-wanted drug lords
This is a list of Mexico's 37 most-wanted drug lords as published by Mexican federal authorities on 23 March 2009. According to a BBC Mundo Mexico report, the 37 drug lords "have jeopardized México national security." As of 8 January 2016, 25 drug lords have been captured, eight have been killed and four remain fugitives.
The list of drug lords is grouped by their drug cartels. Mexico offers up to 30 million pesos (about 1.6 million U.S. dollars) for the capture of each of the fugitives. The United States also offers rewards for two of them. The most-wanted of the 37 drug lords was Joaquín Guzmán Loera, for whom Mexican and U.S. governments offered a total bounty of 7 million USD. He was captured on 22 February 2014 in Mazatlán, Sinaloa, where he was staying at a hotel. He escaped yet again on 11 July 2015 through a 1.5 kilometer long tunnel from his cell in the Mexican maximum security prison he had been housed in. Guzmán was recaptured by Mexican Marines following a gun battle on 8 January 2016.Los Zetas
Los Zetas (pronounced [los ˈsetas], Spanish for "The Zs") is a Mexican criminal syndicate, regarded as the most dangerous of the country's drug cartels. While primarily concerned with drug trafficking, the organization also runs profitable sex trafficking and gun running rackets. The origins of Los Zetas date back to the late 1990s, when commandos of the Mexican Army deserted their ranks and began working as the enforcement arm of the Gulf Cartel. In February 2010, Los Zetas broke away and formed their own criminal organization, rivalling the Gulf Cartel.Los Zetas engages in violent tactics such as beheadings, torture, and indiscriminate murder. They were at one point Mexico's largest drug cartel in terms of geographical presence, overtaking their rivals, the Sinaloa Cartel. Los Zetas also operate through protection rackets, assassinations, extortion, kidnappings and other activities. The organization is based in Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas, directly across the border from Laredo, Texas.In recent times, Los Zetas has become fragmented and seen its influence diminish. As of December 2016, Los Zetas Grupo Bravo (Group Bravo) and Zetas Vieja Escuela (Old School Zetas) formed an alliance with the Gulf Cartel against Cartel Del Noreste (Cartel of the Northeast).Medellín Cartel
The Medellín Cartel (Spanish: Cartel de Medellín) was a highly organized Colombian drug cartel originating in the city of Medellín, Colombia that was founded by Pablo Escobar. The drug cartel operated throughout the 1970s and 1980s in Bolivia, Colombia, Panama, Central America, Peru, and the United States, as well as in Canada and Europe.
At the height of its operations, the Medellín Cartel smuggled tons of cocaine each week into countries all over the world and brought in up to US$60 million daily in drug profits. For a time, the Medellín Cartel supplied at least 80% of the United States' cocaine market.Mexican Drug War
The Mexican Drug War (also known as the Mexican War on Drugs; Spanish: guerra contra el narcotráfico en México) is an ongoing asymmetric low-intensity conflict between the Mexican government and various drug trafficking syndicates. In 2006 when the Mexican military began to intervene, the government's principal goal was to reduce drug-related violence. The Mexican government has asserted that their primary focus is on dismantling the powerful drug cartels, rather than on preventing drug trafficking and demand, which is left to U.S. functionaries.Although Mexican drug trafficking organizations have existed for several decades, their influence increased after the demise of the Colombian Cali and Medellín cartels in the 1990s. Mexican drug cartels now dominate the wholesale illicit drug market and in 2007 controlled 90% of the cocaine entering the United States. Arrests of key cartel leaders, particularly in the Tijuana and Gulf cartels, have led to increasing drug violence as cartels fight for control of the trafficking routes into the United States.Federal law enforcement has been reorganized at least five times since 1982 in various attempts to control corruption and reduce cartel violence. During that same period there have been at least four elite special forces created as new corruption-free soldiers who could do battle with Mexico's endemic bribery system. Analysts estimate that wholesale earnings from illicit drug sales range from $13.6 to $49.4 billion annually.The U.S. Congress passed legislation in late June 2008 to provide Mexico with US$1.6 billion for the Mérida Initiative to provide Mexico with law enforcement training and equipment, as well as technical advice to strengthen the national justice systems. By the end of Felipe Calderón's administration (December 1, 2006 – November 30, 2012), the official death toll of the Mexican Drug War was at least 60,000. Estimates set the death toll above 120,000 killed by 2013, not including 27,000 missing.Miguel Ángel Félix Gallardo
Miguel Ángel Félix Gallardo (born January 8, 1946), commonly referred to by his alias El Padrino ("The Godfather"), is a convicted Mexican drug lord who formed the Guadalajara Cartel in the 1980s, and controlled almost all of the drug trafficking in Mexico and the corridors along the Mexico–United States border.
Félix Gallardo was arrested for the murder of Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agent Enrique "Kiki" Camarena, who was tortured to death on one of Félix Gallardo's ranches. Félix Gallardo was serving his 37-year sentence at the Altiplano maximum-security prison but was transferred to a medium-security facility in 2014, due to his declining health.Rafael Caro Quintero
Rafael Caro Quintero (born October 3, 1952) is a Mexican drug trafficker who co-founded the now-disintegrated Guadalajara Cartel with Miguel Ángel Félix Gallardo and other drug traffickers in the 1970s. He is the brother of fellow drug trafficker Miguel Caro Quintero, the founder and former leader of the defunct Sonora Cartel.
Having formed the Guadalajara Cartel in the 1970s, Caro Quintero worked with Gallardo, Ernesto Fonseca Carrillo, and Pedro Avilés Pérez by shipping large quantities of marijuana to the United States from Mexico. He was allegedly responsible for the kidnapping and murder of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agent Enrique "Kiki" Camarena, Camarena's pilot Alfredo Zavala Avelar, the American writer John Clay Walker, and dentistry student Alberto Radelat in 1985. After the murders, Caro Quintero fled to Costa Rica but was later arrested and extradited back to Mexico, where he was sentenced to 40-years in prison for murder. Following his arrest, the Guadalajara Cartel disintegrated, and its leaders were incorporated into the Tijuana Cartel, Sinaloa Cartel, and Juárez Cartel.
Caro Quintero was freed from jail on August 9, 2013, after a state court concluded that he had been tried improperly. However, amid pressure from the federal government of the United States to re-arrest him, a Mexican federal court issued an arrest warrant against Caro Quintero on August 14. He remains at large, as a wanted fugitive in Mexico, the United States, and several other countries. The United States is offering a $20 million bounty for his arrest.Sinaloa Cartel
The Sinaloa Cartel (Spanish: Cártel de Sinaloa), also known as the Guzmán-Loera Organization, the Pacific Cartel, the Federation and the Blood Alliance, is an international drug trafficking, money laundering, and organized crime syndicate established during the mid-1980. The cartel is primarily based in the city of Culiacán, Sinaloa, with operations in the Mexican states of Baja California, Durango, Sonora, and Chihuahua. The 'Federation' was partially splintered when the Beltrán-Leyva brothers broke apart from the Sinaloa Cartel.The United States Intelligence Community considers the Sinaloa Cartel "the most powerful drug trafficking organization in the world" and in 2011, the Los Angeles Times called it "Mexico's most powerful organized crime group." The Sinaloa Cartel is associated with the label "Golden Triangle", which refers to the states of Sinaloa, Durango, and Chihuahua. The region is a major producer of Mexican opium and marijuana. According to the U.S. Attorney General, the Sinaloa Cartel was responsible for importing into the United States and distributing nearly 200 tons of cocaine and large amounts of heroin between 1990 and 2008. According to the National Drug Intelligence Center, within the U.S. the Sinaloa Cartel is primarily involved in the distribution of cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, marijuana and MDMA. It is the majority supplier of illicit fentanyl to North America.As of 2017, the Sinaloa Cartel is the most active drug cartel involved in smuggling illicit drugs into the United States and trafficking them throughout the United States. After the arrest of Joaquín 'El Chapo' Guzmán, the cartel is now headed by Ismael Zambada Garcia (aka El Mayo) and Guzman's sons, Alfredo Guzman Salazar and Ivan Archivaldo Salazar.Tijuana Cartel
The Tijuana Cartel (Spanish: Cártel de Tijuana) or Arellano-Félix Organization (Spanish: Cártel Arellano Félix, CAF) is a Mexican drug cartel based in Tijuana. The cartel once was described as "one of the biggest and most violent criminal groups in Mexico." However, since the 2006 Sinaloa Cartel incursion in Baja California and the fall of the Arellano-Félix brothers, the Tijuana Cartel has been reduced to a few cells. In 2016, the organization has become known as Cartel Tijuana Nueva Generación (New Generation Tijuana Cartel) and has begun to align itself under the Jalisco New Generation Cartel, along with Beltrán Leyva Organization (BLO) to create an anti-Sinaloa alliance, in which the Jalisco New Generation Cartel heads, creating a possible powershift in Mexico.