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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Episodes

6 days ago

New and intriguing details of the January 5, 2023, arrest of Ovidio Guzman, one of Los Chapitos, the leaders of a prime faction of the Sinaloa Cartel, have continued to emerge both in the press and on social media.  In this Episode, we look at those new details and try to draw some conclusions as to what they mean for Los Chapitos, CDS as a whole, and the relationship between CDS and the Mexican government.

Sunday Jan 22, 2023

CJNG and CDS dominate the cartel landscape in Mexico today. But the two cartels operate in distinct ways and have very different strategies, economically and structurally.  In this Episode, we compare and contrast the operations of CDS and CJNG and identify key questions about the future of each cartel.  

Sunday Jan 15, 2023

In order to understand today's Mexican cartels and the cartel wars, it is critical to understand the (mostly) men and families that formed and lead the cartels of today and the past.  After looking at El Mencho and El Mayo, in this Episode we examine El Chapo's rise to power, his blood battles with the Tijuana Cartel and the BLO, and his arrest and extradition.  We then look at the ascension of some of his sons, Los Chapitos, to leadership of, at least, a faction of the Sinaloa Cartel, their expansion of their father's business, and we speculate on their future and that of the Sinaloa Cartel.  

Sunday Jan 08, 2023

Ismael Zambada Garcia, or "El Mayo," has been a key leader of the Sinaloa Cartel since 1989, overseeing the Cartel's rise to being one of the most influential drug trafficking, criminal organizations in the world.  Despite his prominence, El Mayo has stayed in power for more than 3 decades by being a strategic thinker who has kept those in his organization happy and has given value to avoiding the spotlight and instead going unnoticed.  In this Episode, we examine El Mayo's life, his leadership of CDS, and the future of CDS given El Mayo's age and health concerns.
 

Sunday Jan 01, 2023

CJNG has exploded into one of the largest and most successful Cartels in Mexico and is responsible for a significant portion of the drugs trafficked from Mexico into the US.  CJNG's rise to power, it's almost unmatched brutality, and its economic prowess all can be attributed to its unquestioned leader El Mencho.  Shockingly, the public information on El Mencho is minimal and filled with urban legend, gossip, and innuendo.  In this Episode, we look at what really is known about El Mencho and discuss his confounding ability to evade arrest.  

Sunday Dec 25, 2022

In June, the Congressional Research Service issued a report titled "Mexico: Organized Crime and Drug Trafficking Organizations."  In this episode, we look at the key elements of the report, including its analysis of current Mexican cartels, their illicit activities, and their leadership.  We also discuss some of the drawbacks to or flaws in the report and how they affect policy considerations in both the U.S. and Mexico.  

Friday Dec 16, 2022

Steve Duncan is a retired Special Agent with the California Department of Justice where he spent years investigating the AFO on both sides of the border.  In this Episode, Steve shares his extensive knowledge and unique perspectives on the AFO, dispels oft repeated misinformation, and provides critical insight into this brutally prolific cartel and its leaders.

Monday Dec 12, 2022

After a few reports of issues, here is a new version of Episode 35.

Sunday Dec 11, 2022

Over the last few months, many listeners have asked questions about Mexican cartels today, the Camarena case, and the traffickers in Guadalajara at the time of Agent Camarena's abduction. 
In this episode, I answer some of the most popular questions, discussing the current turf battles in Mexico and the leadership of the cartels.  We also examine Agent Camarena's abduction and some of the key circumstances surrounding his interrogations.

Sunday Dec 04, 2022

As our discussions move beyond just the Camarena case, listeners may not be familiar with the significant Mexican cartels or their most notorious leaders.  This Episode provides a high-level history of the cartel-system in Mexico, identifies the prominent cartels and their areas of influence in the U.S., and discusses the two most known and infamous leaders of Mexican cartels today -- El Mencho and El Mayo.   

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