The sons of a top Sinaloa Cartel drug capo from Mexico are set to take over the family business — if US authorities don’t lock them up first.
Ismael Zambada Garcia, alias “El Mayo,” and his infamous business partner Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, are two of the Sinaloa Cartel’s top leaders. According to Margarito Flores — a former Chicago-based operative of El Mayo’s turned-witness cited by Reforma — the aging El Mayo (67 years old) has tapped his sons to replace him when he leaves the drug business.
Preparing his four sons, known collectively as “Los Mayitos,” is El Mayo’s number one priority, Flores said. Beginning roughly 10 years ago, El Mayo instructed his associates to educate his sons in drug trafficking. In particular, the drug capo is looking to sons Ismael Zambada Imperial, alias “El Mayito Gordo,” and Ismael Zambada Sicairos, alias, “El Mayito Flaco,” to take over, according to Flores.
Ismael Zambada Sicairos, alias, “El Mayito Flaco”
However, El Mayo’s plan may be derailed by US and Mexican authorities. His sons Serafin Zambada Ortiz, alias “Sera,” and Vicente Zambada Niebla, alias “El Vicentillo,” have already been extradited to the United States on drug charges. Meanwhile, El Mayito Gordo is being held by Mexican authorities and also awaits US extradition. Only El Mayito Flaco, who supposedly keeps a low profile, remains free, but is also wanted in the United States on drug charges.
Vicente Zambada Niebla, alias “El Vicentillo”
InSight Crime Analysis
Assuming one of El Mayo’s sons manages to succeed him, they will likely be well groomed to take the reins of their father’s drug operations.
The children of prominent drug traffickers generally receive good educations, not uncommonly receiving advanced degrees in business administration or relate areas. For instance, El Mayo’s son Serfin attended the Autonomous University of Sinaloa. Unlike their father and his partner El Chapo — who both started off as farmers in Sinaloa state with minimal education — Los Mayitos may be better equipped to deal with the dynamics of modern drug trafficking, being more knowledgeable of technology, business strategy, and intricate money laundering schemes.
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Nonetheless, should El Mayito Flaco be captured and his brothers sentenced to long prison terms, the Sinaloa Cartel’s drug operations will undoubtedly continue. Indeed, the organization is structured more as a federation than a rigid, vertical hierarchy. Even during top leader El Chapo’s temporary incarceration, Sinaloa Cartel operations continued largely uninterrupted.