HomeNewsBriefBodyguard of Sinaloa Cartel Leader’s Son Arrested
BRIEF

Bodyguard of Sinaloa Cartel Leader’s Son Arrested

EL MAYO / 26 SEP 2012 BY CLAIRE O NEILL MCCLESKEY EN

Mexican authorities have arrested an alleged bodyguard of the son of Sinaloa Cartel leader Ismael “El Mayo” Zambada, one of the few captures this year to hit the inner circle of the elusive drug trafficker.

State police arrested Juan Angel Santos Lara in Baja California, reported Milenio. Santos Lara allegedly served as a bodyguard for El Mayo’s son, Vicente Zambada Niebla, alias “El Mayito,” who was extradited to the United States in 2010. At the time of Santos Lara’s arrest, authorities found firearms, a large amount of cash, ammunition, and a substance that appeared to be cocaine in his vehicle.

Santos Lara has twice escaped from custody. First, he broke out of detention in 2008 after being arrested on charges of weapons possession. He was captured again in November 2011, but escaped from a prison in Sinaloa the following January by bribing a prison guard.

As well as his work as a bodyguard for El Mayo’s son and his alleged involvement in running marijuana farms for the cartel, Santos Lara has been linked to a murder in Sinaloa state. 

InSight Crime Analysis

Given Santos Lara’s previous escapes from prison, the test for Mexican authorities will be whether they can keep him behind bars this time. According to Mexico’s National Commission of Human Rights (CNDH), 521 inmates have escaped from prison in 14 separate incidents since 2010. Santos Lara’s apparent ability to buy his way out also speaks to the Sinaloa Cartel’s  power to corrupt: leader Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman famously escaped from jail in a laundry cart in 2001.  

Despite Santos Lara’s arrest, the Mexican government does not appear to be any closer to capturing El Mayo or his fellow Sinaloa Cartel leaders. El Mayo, Chapo Guzman, and Juan Jose Esparragoza Moreno, alias “El Azul,” have all been active in Mexico’s drug trade since the 1980s. While Colombia recently arrested powerful drug trafficker Daniel “El Loco” Barrera, whom President Juan Manuel Santos called the country’s “last capo,” Mexico has had a more difficult time rounding up the “old school” traffickers running the Sinaloa Cartel.

Compartir icon icon icon

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.

Related Content

MEXICO / 15 MAR 2016

The cost of oil theft for Mexico's state-owned oil company Pemex continues to increase year on year, suggesting rock-bottom prices…

KNIGHTS TEMPLAR / 28 OCT 2020

Six months after a sophisticated robbery where gunmen hijacked gold and silver bars being loaded onto a plane in Mexico,…

LA UNIÓN TEPITO / 31 OCT 2019

A recent raid against the La Unión Tepito gang in Mexico City may not have a lasting impact on the group's…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

We Have Updated Our Website

4 FEB 2021

Welcome to our new home page. We have revamped the site to create a better display and reader experience.

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Events – Border Crime: The Northern Triangle and Tri-Border Area

ARGENTINA / 25 JAN 2021

Through several rounds of extensive field investigations, our researchers have analyzed and mapped out the main illicit economies and criminal groups present in 39 border departments spread across the six countries of study – the Northern Triangle trio of Guatemala, Honduras, and El…

BRIEF

InSight Crime’s ‘Memo Fantasma’ Investigation Wins Simón Bolívar National Journalism Prize

COLOMBIA / 20 NOV 2020

The staff at InSight Crime was awarded the prestigious Simón Bolívar national journalism prize in Colombia for its two-year investigation into the drug trafficker known as “Memo Fantasma,” which was…

ANALYSIS

InSight Crime – From Uncovering Organized Crime to Finding What Works

COLOMBIA / 12 NOV 2020

This project began 10 years ago as an effort to address a problem: the lack of daily coverage, investigative stories and analysis of organized crime in the Americas. …

ANALYSIS

InSight Crime – Ten Years of Investigating Organized Crime in the Americas

FEATURED / 2 NOV 2020

In early 2009, Steven Dudley was in Medellín, Colombia. His assignment: speak to a jailed paramilitary leader in the Itagui prison, just south of the city. Following his interview inside…