How Mexican Cartels Became Worth Over $500 Billion

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Mexican Cartels are worth more than $500 billion and they are growing larger and more powerful every year. Some cartels, like the Sinaloa Cartel, can make billions in revenue every year. That means that some of Mexico’s largest drug cartels are earning more money annually than major tech companies. Cartels smuggling illegal substances into the United States is nothing new. It has been happening for decades. In the 1970s, it was predominantly Colombian cartels that controlled trafficking routes into the United States. As U.S. officials cut off access to trafficking routes in Florida and the Caribbean, the Colombian cartels had to shift focus to Mexico. This resulted in major Mexican cartels forming. Rafael Caro Quintero, Miguel Angel Felix Gallardo, and Ernesto Fonseca Carrillo started the Guadalajara cartel in 1978. In 1989, the arrest of Gallardo sent shockwaves through the Guadalajara Cartel and the group splintered into four separate factions: the Sinaloa Cartel, the Juarez Cartel, the Tijuana Cartel, and the Sonora Cartel. They fought fiercely for territory, but it was El Chapo’s Sinaloa Cartel that gained the upper hand.
The Sinaloa cartel continued to expand under the leadership of El Chapo. His numerous arrests didn’t slow the cartel down at all. A wave of unprecedented violence swept through Mexico allowed El Chapo to gain a near-monopoly on the drug trade. Before long, the Sinaloa cartel crossed $1 billion in annual revenue by controlling drug markets in nearly every state in the US and mexico. Here’s a look at how Mexico’s cartels rose to power and created a massive underground empire. Keep watching to learn more.

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Written by: Max Power
Narrated by: Adam Newmark

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