HomeNewsBriefSinaloa Cartel Members Rank as Tijuana's Most Wanted

Sinaloa Cartel Members Rank as Tijuana's Most Wanted


In one indication of how much the conflict in Tijuana has evolved since 2009, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) issued a new poster identifying the six most-wanted drug traffickers in the border region -- five of them members of the Sinaloa Cartel.

Unsurprisingly, two of the most-wanted on the poster were the top leaders of the Sinaloa Cartel, Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman and Ismael "El Mayo" Zambada.

Also named is Fernando Sanchez Arellano, alias "El Ingeniero," an enigmatic leader of the Tijuana Cartel.

Rounding out the top six is another three members of the Sinaloa Cartel: brothers Alfonzo and Rene Arzate Garcia, alias "El Aquiles" and "La Rana" respectively, and Jose Antonio Soto Gastelum, alias "El Tigre."

InSight Crime Analysis 

The fact that the DEA now considers these Sinaloa Cartel members to be the major drug traffickers in the Tijuana-San Diego area is partly illustrative of how badly weakened the Tijuana Cartel, or Arellano Felix Organization, has become. The Tijuana Cartel lost influence due to a bloody internal feud and a drawn-out war with the Sinaloa Cartel, until a truce was established circa 2009. This resulted in several years of peace in Tijuana, although there have been some signs of rising violence in the city and the surrounding state, Baja California. 

As Tijuana-based Zeta magazine has reported, state security authorities have identified Alfonzo Arzate Garcia and Jose Antonio Soto among the three-most wanted men in Baja California. However, neither the Arzate brothers nor Soto are believed to currently reside in Tijuana. 

DEA most wanted drug traffickers san diego tijuana t670

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.


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.


Related Content

MEXICO / 18 SEP 2019

A new report tackling public displays of brutality by Mexico's criminal groups has found that media coverage of these acts…


The head of President-elect Enrique Peña Nieto’s transition team stated that the move to legalize marijuana in two US states means…


Juarez City police chief Julian Leyzaola replaced a top security aide considered one of his most trusted confidants, although he said…

About InSight Crime


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…


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…


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…


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…


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…