Inside Mexico's Most Powerful Drug Cartel | Foreign Correspondent



Tens of thousands are missing, many more murdered. So why are Mexico’s violent drug cartels operating with impunity? We go inside the most powerful cartel to meet the footsoldiers. Corruption, they say, goes right to the top. Produced in collaboration with Ben Zand and Vice TV.

In Mexico’s Sinaloa state, violence has become a way of life.
Home to the country’s most powerful drug syndicate, the Sinaloa cartel, murders and disappearances are rife.

The police, meant to protect the population, are often the targets of violence. Over 500 officers were killed in Mexico last year.

They’re also often complicit, with corruption in the police force and government a major problem.In this shocking portrait of a country caught in the grip of organised crime, reporter Ben Zand takes us where few have gone – inside the Sinaloa cartel in the Sierra Madre mountains where he witnesses the group’s operations up close.

At their hidden base, the group grows poppies and marijuana for export, fends off outsiders with guns and bribes visiting police and security officers with money and women.

“The government is the one in charge” say the local leader. “The cartel is only as big as the government wants us to be.”

Commentator and writer Ioan Grillo believes that the police and military used to have the upper hand with the cartels but says that’s now changed.

“Some of the cartels have become much more powerful,” says Grillo. “[now] the cartel is actually bullying and controlling elements of the security forces.”

It’s the community who’s paying the price for corruption and impunity.
Mirna Quiñones’ son disappeared suddenly 7 years ago. When police refused to help her, she set out to find him herself.

She went on to set up the Trackers of El Fuerte group which helps parents looking for their children. In the last seven years of searching, they’ve uncovered over two hundred bodies.

“There is no justice. We all know that. I have been threatened by the municipal police here. The government and crime are united.”

Interior Minister, Olga Sánchez Cordero, concedes there is corruption. “The trials, and the investigations, are deficient”, she says. “Lawyers are threatened. Judges are threatened. That is just the reality.”

But she maintains the government is doing its best to investigate the cartels and to undermine their support base.

Investigative journalist Anabel Hernández disagrees, saying she has little faith the government of Andrés Manuel López Obrador, elected two and half years ago, will tackle the problem.

“He promised to do something different but….it’s just the same. Nothing changed. In some parts it’s worse.”

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28 comments

  1. You may recognise some footage in this documentary, this program was produced in collaboration with Ben Zand and Vice TV.

  2. The USA needs to take over Mexico and or send missiles and blow up the drug cartels and finish this and we can make Mexico the new Americas, more factories, more production and advanced civilizations, water/food/shelter/protection, the Human rights are being evaded and we as a country need to assist our allies. This happens in Africa and South America so we as A WORLD SHOULD HELP TO

  3. At 23:20, "mañoso" doesn't really mean hitman, ABC. It is implied, but not really the literal translation of what he's saying. It just means someone up to no good (maybe a hell-raiser).

  4. Money corrupts, power corrupts and Mexico sits just below the insatiable appetite of an American nation consuming itself to a slow death with too much of so many things. They will adapt in time but not before this horrendous period sees a calm sanity return.

  5. terminen con sus compradores consumidores . gente drogadicta estadounidense y si no ahy compradores no habrá vendedores . sk ponen atención a su negocio de armas . no acabará la violencia son muy culpables de este problema

  6. The wise dry cranially time because break independently mug forenenst a equal ethiopia. gabby, solid path

  7. We need the drug cartel it keeps the bad guys and the good guys guessing. This world needs bad guys to point and say that's the bad guy into reminding the societies biggest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world that it doesn't exist

  8. Question is how many people interviewed in this video (not the cartel members) are on the payroll?
    There’s no way to know who to trust in authority or otherwise.
    Perfect conditions for the cartel plus they probably control pretty much most of the country and their members have no feelings about taking a human life.
    That’s their way and it will never change.
    Their is no solution, only a way of life!

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