Mexican army Special Forces troops on July 29 killed Ignacio Coronel Villarreal AKA “Nacho”—a top leader of the Sinaloa Cartel. After a manhunt across several Mexican states, elite forces closed roads in Zapopan, part of the Guadalajara metropolitan area in Jalisco state, surrounded at least three houses, and cut off communications in the area. Many soldiers arrived by helicopter, and fierce gun-battle ensued. After Coronel, 56, was killed, several of his men were arrested. One soldier was killed, and one injured. (e-consulta, Aug. 2; BNO News, July 30)
Coronel, who faces charges in the US, is said to be one of the two associates close to Joaquín Guzmán AKA “El Chapo”—the top Sinaloa Cartel kingpin. Ismael Zambada García AKA “El Mayo” is the other. Guzmán and Zambada both remain at large. FBI officials in El Paso, where “Nacho” was indicted, anticipate “some chaos within the Sinaloa drug trafficking organization at the upper-management level,” said spokeswoman Andrea Simmons.
Coronel has been on the most-wanted list of the FBI since 2003. The US State Department and FBI have offered a $5 million reward for information leading to Coronel’s capture. (El Paso Times, July 31)
See our last posts on Mexico’s narco wars.