- The Sinaloa Cartel has ordered all members to stop selling fentanyl
- The message comes in the context that the cartel is under strong pressure from US law enforcement agencies
- Tensions have recently increased within the cartel since one of El Chapo’s four sons was arrested and extradited to the states.
Mexico’s top exporter of fentanyl to the US has sent explicit orders to its cartel members to stop shipping opioids into the US.
The order comes as the Sinaloa Cartel expressed concerns about pressure from US law enforcement and future arrests of its top leaders.
According to the Wall Street Journal, a faction of the cartel called Los Chapitos, a group led by four sons of notorious drug lord Joaqun ‘El Chapo’ Guzmn, recently issued the order.
The decision to abandon comes as the Biden administration has pushed the Mexican government to be stricter with the cartel that has brought illegal drugs into the country and caused countless deaths.
The latest message from Los Chapitos comes after El Chapo’s sons ordered the killing and kidnapping of street dealers who failed to comply with a ban on the production and sale of fentanyl.
Since the arrest of El Chapo’s only son, Ovidio Guzmn, in Culiacn in January, cartel members have reportedly been killed for flouting the ban.
Ovidio was extradited to the United States on September 15 and appeared before a federal court judge three days later and pleaded not guilty to drug trafficking, money laundering and weapons charges.
In April, the US indicted the four brothers and two dozen of their associates.
The Wall Street Journal report added that the Sinaloa Cartel is also temporarily halting fentanyl production to push the US to crack down on its rival – the Jalisco New Generation Cartel.
The Jalisco New Generation Cartel, once known as Los Mata Zetas, is run by Nemeio Oseguera Cervantes, another famous drug lord.
“Exports of cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine to the US are likely to increase in the near future to compensate for the revenue shortfall caused by the fentanyl ban,” one cartel member told The Wall Street Journal.
Los Chapitos directed manufacturers in Culiacn, Sinaloa to stop producing fentanyl in July, according to Sinaloan investigative agency Riodoce.
Soon after, the bodies of several men were found with signs of torture and fentanyl pills placed on them, a warning sign to anyone else if they did not follow his orders.
On the morning of June 26, authorities discovered the bodies of two handcuffed and shot men also in Culiacn. Pills containing Fentanyl were also placed on their bodies.
Two days later, a man was found shot to death with fentanyl pills spread across his back in the city of Navolato.
The total ban on the highly addictive opiate has also hit the pockets of dealers, who no longer see their usual illegal profits.
In early October, Los Chapitos posted banners hanging from overpasses in Sinaloa cities such as Ahome, Culiacn, Guamchil and Mazatln issuing stern warnings not to sell drugs.
The signs say that “misinformation in the media” means the government has not pursued “the real culprits of this epidemic” and warn that the production or transportation of fentanyl is “strictly prohibited.” ”.
‘We have never been and will not be involved in that business. You have been warned. Sincerely, Chapitos,” it added.
Since Ovidio’s arrest, other members and drug leaders fear that they could be arrested or extradited to the United States.
Over the past ten days, more than a dozen people suspected of being linked to the fentanyl community have gone missing or been kidnapped.
Miguel ngel Murillo, a human rights activist, said: ‘We believe these kidnappings and disappearances are related to the fentanyl ban because their relatives have not filed an official complaint with the authorities. These people are very scared.”
As fentanyl production is expected to shut down, US officials are not counting on Mexican cartels trafficking other drugs such as heroin and guns into the states.
In May, the four brothers issued a public statement through a Mexican media outlet, distancing themselves from the accusations.
‘We have never manufactured, manufactured or commercialized fentanyl nor any of its derivatives. We are victims of repression and have been made scapegoats,” they said in the statement.
According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there were an estimated 109,680 drug overdose deaths last year in the United States. About 75,000 of those involved fentanyl and other synthetic opioids.
DEA agents seized 58.4 million fentanyl pills and 13,000 pounds of fentanyl powder in 2022. The total equates to 387.7 million lethal doses.
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