Cartels, Conspiracies, and Camarena

An in-depth analysis of the 1985 murder of DEA Agent Enrique Camarena and the various conspiracy theories relating to his death, as well as the rebuttal to many of those theories in the newly published true crime novel Someone Had to Die. Subsequent seasons will also discuss other conspiracies, historical anomalies, and peculiar events and occurrences.

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2 days ago

It is remarkable that 38 years after the abduction, torture, and murder of DEA Agent Enrique "Kiki" Camarena significant questions remain as to some of the most fundamental elements of the crime.  
In this Episode, we examine the main theories on the question of who ordered Agent Camarena's abduction, providing evidence and reasoning both for and against the prominent arguments.  

Sunday May 21, 2023

Narcos: Mexico portrayed many events relating to the Camarena case in such a manner that some likely believe all of those events are true and occurred as depicted.  
As we continue to investigate the Camarena case and seek answers to lingering questions, it is important to separate dramatic license from actual events.
In this episode, we look at the depictions of the kidnapping of Agent Camarena, the interrogations at Lope de Vega, and the confrontation at the Guadalajara airport, separating fact and fiction, and explaining the significance of these events in particular.  

Sunday May 14, 2023

Narcos: Mexico presented, over the course of three seasons, a dramatic account of the kidnapping and murder of Agent Camarena and the growth of Mexican drug trafficking.  Despite clearly being a dramatization based on certain real events, some people accept as true things events presented in Narcos: Mexico that are partially dramatized or even complete fiction.
In this Episode, we look at some of the depictions in Narcos: Mexico relating to the Camarena case, strip away the dramatizations, and present a clear demarcation between fact and fiction.

Sunday May 07, 2023

The Knights Templar cartel formed as from a split in leadership of La Familiar Michoacana, and it left a lasting impression from its short reign.  The Knights Templar history is filled with stories of their strict Code of Conduct, drug rehabilitation centers, and graphic violence.  It is even alleged that their induction ceremonies included extensive costumes and the eating of hearts.  
This Episode provides a historical recap of the Knights Templar and draws some parallels between their ultimate demise and the fall of other cartels.  

Sunday Apr 30, 2023

The short reign of La Familia Michoacana as a key Mexican cartel was distinguished by their rapid growth, violent nature, and "unique" leaders, including the bible carrying Nazario Moreno González, known as El Más Loco ("The Craziest One"), and José de Jesús Méndez Vargas alias El Chango ("The Monkey" or "The Ape").
La Familia long had a fractured power structure which, together with defections to the Knights Templar, precipitated the cartel's demise.
In recent years, a new La Familia Michoacana has announced its presence in parts of Mexico City and in Michoacan, where its methamphetamine business may be opposed by CJNG's aggressive growth in that state.
This episode explores the rise and fall of La Familia Michoacana, examines its leaders, and details the cartel's rebirth.  

Sunday Apr 23, 2023

The recent announcement by the Department of Justice of indictments in three federal courts of Los Chapitos and many of their associates was accompanied by significant detail on the Los Chapitos organization and the efforts of the DEA to infiltrate that organization.  
In this Episode, we look at the indictments themselves, the statements of the DOJ, and the materials presented by the DEA detailing the Los Chapitos organization.  We then look at what the indictments and the DEA investigations mean to many central figures in the drug trade, on both sides of the border.  

Sunday Apr 16, 2023

Led primarily by two former members of the Mexican special forces, Arturo Guzmán Decena and Heriberto Lazcano Lazcano, designated Z-1 and Z-3, respectively, the Zetas started as the military wing of the Gulf Cartel and became a fierce cartel, driven by military tactics and ruthless aggression.  This Episode explores how, despite their miliary elements, internal fractionalization and external threats arising from their merciless actions led to the rapid downfall of the once-feared cartel.  Today, Los Zetas are gone and all that remains are isolated factions and groups claiming, without much effect, to be its successors.   

Sunday Apr 02, 2023

As part of our series analyzing the older Mexican cartels and, in particular, understanding their leaders, today we discuss Osiel Cardenas Guillen, who rose from being a mechanic in Matamoros to leader of the Guld Cartel. 
While heading CDG, Cardenas Guillen was directly responsible for the creation of Los Zetas, as well as the territorial and operational growth of the Cartel.  He also made a curious display of power that drew the attention of law enforcement in Mexico and the United States, likely precipitating his arrest. 
Following Cardenas Guillen's arrest and eventual extradition to the U.S., the Zetas split from and battled with the Gulf Cartel.  Today, the Zetas essentially are no longer, and the Gulf Cartel is little more than several smaller, much less powerful factions. 

Sunday Mar 26, 2023

The Beltran Leyva brothers rose to a prominent role in the Sinaloa Cartel together with their long-time "friend" El Chapo, then splintered from the CDS, formed an alliance with Los Zetas, only to be decimated by arrests and killings. 
In this Episode, we examine the life of Alfredo Beltran Leyva in order to understand the BLO and to identify the reasons behind their blood feud with El Chapo.  We also address the reasons for the BLO's ultimate fall, and, finally, we consider Alfredo's prosecution and imprisonment in the U.S., which finds him now residing at the Supermax facility in Florence, Colorado, alongside El Chapo himself. 

Sunday Mar 19, 2023

Jesús Héctor Luis Palma Salazar, "El Guero" Palma, has led a tragic and violent life that has seen him rise from an impoverished childhood, to being a main cog in Miguel Angel Felix Gallardo's operation, to being a partner and friend of El Chapo Guzman.  Along the way, El Guero lost his wife and sons to the violent ways of cartels, he was responsible for numerous killings, and has spent decades in prison.  His tale is both a cautionary and a tragic one. 
His relationship with El Chapo also provides interesting clues about El Chapo's relationship with American agencies. 
Finally, El Guero is one of a dwindling few who may have knowledge or information significant to a true and more complete understanding the growth of the cartel system in Mexico and knowledge about cases of interest and import, including, but certainly not limited to, the tragic case of Agent Camarena.  


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