Sinaloa group 101: Five facts about Mexico's powerful drug cartel

The Sinaloa cartel is the most powerful drug trafficking organization operating in Mexico – and, some say, in the Western Hemisphere. Who are they?

By , Staff writer

2. The Sinaloa group’s origins

The Sinaloa group has its origins in the state of Sinaloa, on Mexico’s northwest Pacific coast. From the 1970s, the state was a key area for moving Colombian cocaine and other contraband, as well as for the cultivation of marijuana and poppy. The drug-trafficking network evolved from a group of rural families, who over the decades have formed alliances with groups in various parts of the country. For a detailed history of their start, see a background page by the security analyst group InSight Crime.

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