HomeNewsBriefMexican Authorities on the Offensive Against Chapo Guzman

Mexican Authorities on the Offensive Against Chapo Guzman


Mexico's authorities have gone on the offensive against the Sinaloa Cartel, capturing five alleged lieutenants in the last month and killing one.

Among those taken down was Luis Alberto Cabrera, alias "El Arqui," shot dead by the Mexican Army on January 20, and Fidel Mancipas Franco or Roberto Labrador Lopez, alias "El Fidel," who was arrested in the state of Durango and is wanted by an Arizona court over the killing of 11 undocumented migrants in 2009.

A Mexican military spokesman said Cabrera's death "significantly altered the leadership structure and operational capacity of the Sinaloa Cartel." Authorities arrested Cabrera's brother, a deputy in charge of Durango and southern Chihuahua states, in December. Soldiers also captured one of the cartel's top financial operators, and federal police said they arrested two of its main arms suppliers.

A recent security initiative in the battleground metropolitan region of Comarca Lagunera, much of which is Sinaloa territory, has so far resulted in more than 800 arrests. The initiative followed two similar operations in Guerrero and Veracruz states.

InSight Crime Analysis

The timing of the offensive against the Sinaloa Cartel, in the run-up to July's presidential elections, is conspicuous. Mexican President Felipe Calderon and his party, the National Action Party (PAN) have been accused of favoring the cartel. The PAN has staked the success of its presidency on improving Mexico's security.

With violence levels remaining high, this effort against the Sinaloa Cartel and its iconic leader Joaquin Guzman, alias "El Chapo," could be a way to show they are serious about fighting crime.

Despite the recent arrests of the Sinaloa lieutenants, the party faces significant challenges in the upcoming presidential election. CNN Mexico reports that the PAN's main competitor, the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), leads in the early polls by more than 20 points.

What's more, the campaign to illustrate they are not playing favorites in the war against the cartels is reaching ridiculous levels. One aspiring PAN presidential nominee has released a video game on his website depicting the candidate hunting for a digital Guzman (see video below).

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


Nineteen people shot and burned in a Mexico border state near Texas is a macabre reminder that migrants being smuggled…


A boat that capsized off California’s shores carrying some 30 people who paid more than $15,000 each to be shuttled…


Families combing for clues about their vanished loved ones at recently discovered extermination sites in northern Mexico have turned to…

About InSight Crime


Extensive Coverage of our Chronicles of a Cartel Bodyguard

23 SEP 2022

Our recent investigation, A Cartel Bodyguard in Mexico’s 'Hot Land', has received extensive media coverage.


InSight Crime, American University Host Illegal Fishing Panel

19 SEP 2022

InSight Crime and the Center for Latin American & Latino Studies (CLALS) at American University discussed the findings of a joint investigation on IUU fishing at a September 9 conference.


Impact on the Media Landscape

9 SEP 2022

InSight Crime’s first investigation on the Dominican Republic made an immediate impact on the Dominican media landscape, with major news outlets republishing and reprinting our findings, including in …


InSight Crime Sharpens Its Skills

2 SEP 2022

Last week, the InSight Crime team gathered for our annual retreat in Colombia, where we discussed our vision and strategy for the next 12 months.  During the week, we also learned how to…


Colombia’s Fragile Path to Peace Begins to Take Shape

26 AUG 2022

InSight Crime is charting the progress of President Gustavo Petro’s agenda as he looks to revolutionize Colombia’s security policy, opening dialogue with guerrillas, reforming the military and police, and…