HomeNewsBriefRegional Leader’s Death is Blow to Sinaloa Cartel: Officials
BRIEF

Regional Leader's Death is Blow to Sinaloa Cartel: Officials

EL MAYO / 17 OCT 2012 BY GEOFFREY RAMSEY EN

The Mexican military has claimed that the death of Sinaloa Cartel lieutenant Manuel Torres Felix, alias "El M-1" or "El Ondeado" is a major blow to the organization, but its true impact is dificult to measure.

On October 12, Mexico military personnel killed Torres in a clash on a road outside of Oso Viejo, Sinaloa. Rio Doce reports that soldiers intercepted and surrounded the Sinaloa Cartel leader’s vehicle, and that he was killed while trying to escape. Authorities seized $9,500 dollars and arrested three of Torres’ bodyguards in the operation.

According to a statement released by Mexico’s Defense Ministry (SEDENA), the death comes as a major blow to the internal structure of the Sinaloa Cartel. Torres was seen as the right hand man of Ismael Zambada Garcia, alias “El Mayo,” and SEDENA officials believe he played an important administrative role in the organization. His loss “significantly weakens the logistical and operations network” of the cartel, according to SEDENA.

InSight Crime Analysis

SEDENA’s statement aside, it is difficult to know the true impact that Torres’ death will have on the Sinaloa Cartel. Because of its immense size and influence, it is most likely that the loss of Torres will not set the cartel’s overall trafficking structures back.

The death does, however, send a signal to El Mayo and other Sinaloa Cartel leaders that the Mexican government is willing to strike at the organization, even in its home turf in Sinaloa. If Torres was as key to the Sinaloa Cartel’s operations as officials claim, then El Mayo is likely uneasy at the news of his death. It would be the second hit to his inner circle this year, after the arrest of his son’s alleged bodyguard in September.

At the same time, there is reason to doubt Torres’ importance to El Mayo. As Borderland Beat notes, narco-banners hung around the Sinaloa city of Culiacan claim that El Mayo purposefully set Torres up to be killed, along with other cartel operatives. 

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

BELTRAN LEYVA ORG / 11 MAY 2011

At least 14 municipal police officers from a town in Mexico State are under investigation for links to the Mano…

EL CHAPO / 11 JAN 2016

Mexico confirmed that it has begun the process to extradite Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán to the United States, but…

ILLEGAL MINING / 19 JUL 2012

As Mexican authorities crack down on drug trafficking, criminal gangs are increasingly moving into the illicit trade in minerals, with…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Unraveling the Web of Elites Connected to Organized Crime

27 JUL 2021

InSight Crime published Elites and Organized Crime in Nicaragua, a deep dive into the relationships between criminal actors and elites in that Central American nation.

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime’s Greater Focus on US-Mexico Border

20 JUL 2021

InSight Crime has decided to turn many of its investigative resources towards understanding and chronicling the criminal dynamics along the US-Mexico border.

THE ORGANIZATION

Key Arrests and Police Budget Increases Due to InSight Crime Investigations

8 JUL 2021

With Memo Fantasma’s arrest, InSight Crime has proven that our investigations can and will uncover major criminal threats in the Americas.

THE ORGANIZATION

Organized Crime’s Influence on Gender-Based Violence

30 JUN 2021

InSight Crime investigator Laura N. Ávila spoke on organized crime and gender-based violence at the launch of a research project by the United Nations Development Programme.

THE ORGANIZATION

Conversation with Paraguay Judicial Operators on PCC

24 JUN 2021

InSight Crime Co-director Steven Dudley formed part of a panel attended by over 500 students, all of whom work in Paraguay's judicial system.