The Phaserl


A Deal with the Right Devil

by Douglas Lucas, WhoWhatWhy:

How do you replace an El Chapo? Insert an El Mayo. The thing about arresting a drug lord is, it rarely makes any difference.

If, as expected, Ismael “El Mayo” Zambada-Garcia replaces Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzmán Loera—the kingpin arrested February 22, as head of Sinaloa—the close relationship between the U.S. government and the most powerful drug trafficking organization in the world seems likely to continue.

This relationship was revealed during the trial of El Mayo’s son, Sinaloa logistics coordinator Jesus Vicente Zambada-Niebla. Court documents show that, by the U.S. government’s own admission, a lawyer for the cartel served as an intermediary between the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and Sinaloa leadership. For nearly ten years, that lawyer, Humberto Loya-Castro, provided the DEA with information the defense characterizes as intelligence on rival cartels.

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