A key to President Donald Trump’s immigration agenda is the idea that by securing America’s border with Mexico, D.C. can cut down on the amount of crime associated with the Mexican cartels.
Fortunately, one recent arrest may help the US to combat the scourge of narco-terrorism. Damaso Lopez-Serrano, who is known by the nickname “Mini Lic,” was arrested at California’s Calexico West Port of Entry. This 29-year-old is the highest-ranking member of the Sinaloa drug cartel to ever surrender to American officials, according to the US Department of Justice.
Lopez-Serrano was wanted by US officials after he was arraigned in a San Diego court on August 19, 2016, on charges of importation, distribution, and conspiracy involving controlled substances.
“Mini Lic” is the godson of infamous Sinaloa drug czar Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman. According to some reports, Lopez-Serrano gave himself to American authorities because of an ongoing power struggle within the Sinaloa cartel. Although investigators have yet to disclose the amount of drugs that Lopez-Serrano and his associates are accused of smuggling into the country, there is evidence that “Mini Lic” and his organization are responsible for laundering millions of dollars and distributing even more narcotics within the United States.
The arrest of Lopez-Serrano also means that US officials currently have in their custody the right-hand man of “El Chapo” and one of the narco bosses who helped Guzman escape prison in 2001.
This is a huge victory for the Trump administration, which has placed a premium on breaking up the power of the Mexican cartels in the United States.
The Sinaloa cartel is the largest drug cartel in the world. The group currently controls the fertile soil of the Sierra Madre mountains, where the cartel pays Mexican farmers to grow marijuana, cocaine, and other illicit drugs. The Sinaloa gang also controls the very violent Mexican cities of Tijuana and Ciudad Juárez, both of which border the United States.
It is believed that the Sinaloa cartel is responsible for as many as 100,000 murders since 2007.
When the Mexican Drug War officially began in 2006, Sinaloa’s control of the Mexican drug trade was threatened by a new gang made up of former special forces soldiers known as Los Zetas. This three-way war, pitting Sinaloa against Los Zetas and both against the Mexican government, has contributed to unprecedented bloodletting. Just this May alone, more than 2,000 homicides were recorded, thus making it one of the deadliest epochs in Mexican history.
Almost five years ago, crime and security experts asserted that Sinaloa had essentially won their war against Los Zetas. Although the latter gang still controls some territory in Mexico, and is the cartel that employs MS-13, Sinaloa’s money and firepower have proven to be too much for the upstarts in Los Zetas.
This has not led to a slowdown in crime, however. In February, a close associate of “El Chapo” reportedly tried to assassinate him. Other regional commanders of the Sinaloa cartel have also been targeted. This means that the cartel is currently in the middle of a civil war that is helping to increase Mexico’s homicide rate.
With Lopez-Serrano off the street, hopefully, Mexico and America can work closely together in order to stem the blood red tide that is impacting both nations.