A recent series of gun battles in the Mexican state of Sinaloa, which have killed at least 12 and one bystander appear to be linked to a recent split within the Sinaloa Cartel. The split appears to be a power grab by one faction that tried to kill off famed leader El Mayo and the sons El Chapo.
The apparent power grab took place over the weekend when Damaso “Mini Licenciado” Lopez, called a meeting with Ismael “El Mayo” Zambada and the sons of Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman Loera, Mexico’s Excelsior reported. It was during that meeting that Lopez’s gunmen killed the security detail, the Guzmans, and El Mayo.
The information published by Excelsior and other Mexican news outlets comes from a letter written by the Guzman family blaming Lopez for the attack. The family claims to have been injured and they had to travel through rural areas to escape. They claim to have been helped by local villagers.
As Breitbart Texas has been reporting, the Sinaloa Cartel is the leading criminal organization in Mexico; largely responsible for most of the illicit drug trade in the United States. Currently, one of their key leaders Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, is in federal detention in New York awaiting trial on multiple trafficking and laundering charges. Guzman’s closest associate, Ismael “El Mayo” Zambada, continues to operate in the Sinaloa Cartel from somewhere in Mexico and is believed to have taken Guzman’s sons under his wing.
Damaso is the son of a former Mexican law enforcement official who is believed to have helped Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman Loera escape prison the first time. As Breitbart Texas reported, Guzman’s sons were kidnapped last year from the resort town of Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco. It was initially believed that the kidnapping, along with various other attacks, were carried out by members of the Beltran Leyva cartel–however, various Mexican news outlets are now crediting Lopez with having been the mastermind.
Ildefonso Ortiz is an award winning journalist with Breitbart Texas. He co-founded the Cartel Chronicles project with Brandon Darby and Stephen K. Bannon. You can follow him on Twitter and on Facebook.