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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  1. 13:13 "people are 't kidnapped for no reason" yes, that's what he tells himself to sleep at night, willingly ignore the cartels monopoly in South America over child sex-trafficking, human slave trafficking and organs harvesting, besides the drugs market. But I'm sure he thinks those kids and poor people somehow deserve it. After all, he let's a 13 yo fight and risk his own life.

    Remember that, when you buy drugs from your dealer. Your money goes straight to those disgusting people, aids them in ALL of their trafficking. You are part of the problem, and all because you wanted so desperately to buy drugs you didn't need to begin with.

  2. Reporter doesn’t know that the cops he’s interviewing most likely work for the cartel. That one cop who’s been at it for 15 years for sure takes bribes…

  3. How this report should of gone:
    Reporter "What would happen if the US ended the drug war and legalized drugs"
    Cartel guy "Well, shit. This wouldn't be profitable and completely pointless, so I'd need a new job"
    Reporter "What would you do instead?"
    Cartel guy "Well, since I have no empathy or morals, probably high finance, maybe also real estate"

  4. You never mentioned how the CIA is involved with the Mexican drug cartels The CIA, according to William Cooper, are the international drug dealers. CIA works with Mexican cartel.

  5. american politicians should watch this video. why are they criticising the philippines on its war on drugs. if the government or mr. duterte's administration did not do something then we would be like mexico which is uncontrollable already. this people druglords, politicians could easily kill an ordinary citizen or anybody they would like to eliminate. these people are powerful controlling politicians, the magistrate, etc. they gave campaign funds, lots of money inorder not to be arrested or stopped.

  6. My only theory that some people in the Mexican government are corrupt possibly some future presidents can be one of the cartel's People being or just working with them.

  7. I wondering some guys in nato's launch some operation to liberate the mexsico and other cartel's country to find some hope and justice,now they living afghanistan and i wondering all of them liberate this country

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