US authorities announced this week the dismantlement of a massive drug-smuggling operation in Arizona, believed to have generated $2 billion in proceeds over five years. The 76 suspects arrested in the 17-month probe, dubbed Operation Pipeline Express, are allegedly connected to Mexico’s Sinaloa cartel, the most powerful drug-trafficking organization operating in Mexico – and, some say, in the Western Hemisphere. “Today we have dealt a significant blow to a Mexican criminal enterprise that has been responsible for poisoning our communities,” Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne said in the statement. But who are the Sinaloa cartel?
Joaquín Guzmán, head of the Sinaloa drug cartel, was arrested this weekend. His capture could unleash infighting within the cartel and turf wars with other groups.
Zetas leader captured: The arrest of drug kingpin Miguel Angel Treviño Morales could open the door to internal power struggles and challenges from other cartels.