HomeNewsAnalysisSinaloa Cartel Operative Arrested in Ecuador
ANALYSIS

Sinaloa Cartel Operative Arrested in Ecuador

ECUADOR / 6 JAN 2011 BY INSIGHT CRIME EN

Police arrested a leader of the hemisphere's most powerful criminal syndicate, the Sinaloa Cartel, who ran an armed cell based in southern Ecuador, authorities said Wednesday. The government did not reveal the leader's name, but an AFP report says the group is run by Colombians.

The two Colombian bosses believed to command the armed cells are Ruben Castro Gomez, alias "El Gordo," who allegedly directs operations from the cities of Guayaquil and Cariamanga in Ecuador, and William Samboni Macias, alias "Calilla," who is reportedly based in Ayabaca, Peru.

The Sinaloa Cartel is thought to have two armed cells of up to 60 soldiers on Ecuador's southern border, with one faction dedicated to buying product and the other in charge of shipping cocaine from Peru to Ecuador. The cells have been active in the region since the late 1990s.

According to El Comercio, police have detected four principal corridors used by the Sinaloa Cartel in Ecuador. The first is from the Colombian border town of Tulcan towards Quito. The second exit and entry point for narcotics is the western port city of Esmeraldas; to the east, the province of Sucumbios, which has the advantage of bordering both Colombia and Peru. For product entering southwards from Peru, the most frequently used corridor runs from Loja to Guayas, near Guayaquil, where cocaine is then transported overseas.

Unlike its Andean neighbors, Ecuador is not a major producer of coca, although the country is increasingly being used as a transit hub for cocaine exportations. In 2009, police seized a record 63 tons of cocaine, although estimates for 2010 say that number is down to just 17.7 tons. This could possibly indicate that operators like the Sinaloa Cartel are using more clandestine methods, including submarines and semi-submersible crafts. 

share icon icon icon

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

What are your thoughts? Click here to send InSight Crime your comments.

We encourage readers to copy and distribute our work for non-commercial purposes, with attribution to InSight Crime in the byline and links to the original at both the top and bottom of the article. Check the Creative Commons website for more details of how to share our work, and please send us an email if you use an article.

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

Related Content

MEXICO / 26 JUL 2013

Infamous Mexican drug trafficker the "Queen of the Pacific" could soon find herself walking free, after receiving a 70-month prison…

EL CHAPO / 30 SEP 2015

Compiling information on the methods likely used by those digging the tunnel that Mexico's Sinaloa Cartel leader Joaquin “El Chapo”…

ECUADOR / 16 APR 2014

In 2013, Ecuador lost around $22 million and over 7,000 vehicles to car theft, a lucrative international trade that connects street…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Guatemala Social Insecurity Investigation Makes Front Page News

10 DEC 2021

InSight Crime’s latest investigation into a case of corruption within Guatemala's social security agency linked to the deaths of patients with kidney disease made waves in…

THE ORGANIZATION

Venezuela El Dorado Investigation Makes Headlines

3 DEC 2021

InSight Crime's investigation into the trafficking of illegal gold in Venezuela's Amazon region generated impact on both social media and in the press. Besides being republished and mentioned by several…

THE ORGANIZATION

Gender and Investigative Techniques Focus of Workshops

26 NOV 2021

On November 23-24, InSight Crime conducted a workshop called “How to Cover Organized Crime: Investigation Techniques and A Focus on Gender.” The session convened reporters and investigators from a dozen…

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Names Two New Board Members

19 NOV 2021

In recent weeks, InSight Crime added two new members to its board. Joy Olson is the former executive director of the Washington Office on Latin America…

THE ORGANIZATION

Senate Commission in Paraguay Cites InSight Crime

12 NOV 2021

InSight Crime’s reporting and investigations often reach the desks of diplomats, security officials and politicians. The latest example occurred in late October during a commission of Paraguay's Senate that tackled…