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In the Heart of the Sinaloa Cartel (2020)

58m | English | Vincent Prado

Whether it’s opium, cocaine, marijuana or fentanyl, trafficking drugs earns the Sinaloa cartel earns an estimated three to twelve billion dollars per year. It’s a huge business, with more than 200,000 people in the region of Sinaloa alone, working directly or indirectly for organized crime. We gained exceptional access to several factions of the Sinaloa cartel. 


In the heart of a clandestine laboratory, the “cooks” showed us how drugs are manufactured and then concealed in vehicles to enter the United States illegally. An important leader of the cartel, protected by his heavily armed men, also agreed to meet with us and explain how the organization works for us. Hired killers, like El Guero, show us their daily life as a sicario. 


Before each new mission, he prays to the goddess of death. As an offering, he offers him bullets, with the names of the people he is to kill on them. In the poor neighborhoods of Culiacan, money from drug traffickers turns heads, like Jamilet’s. The young woman does everything possible to seduce a drug lord as a means out of poverty. Among adolescents, too, joining the cartel is a dream. 


Many boys like Luis, 17, are ready to drop out of school to become a hit man. But tragedies are numerous. In the last 15 years, the drug war has claimed the lives of more than 230,000 people in Mexico. 2019 broke all records with 35,000 murders. These tragedies make funeral directors happy: Santos runs from crime scene to crime scene trying to get funeral contracts. With more than 50,000 people ‘disappeared’, Isabel is a “researcher of corpses”. 


This morning, an informant slipped her the plan of a mass grave under her door, a new perilous mission begins…

In the Heart of the Sinaloa Cartel

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