Latin American Program in the News: World's Most Powerful Drug Dealer Joaquín 'El Chapo' Guzmán Makes A Mockery Of U.S. Law Enforcement

By: Dolia Estevez,

Nov 20, 2013


Laura Duffy, the United States attorney for the San Diego region, tied the tunnel to Guzman’s Sinaloa Cartel. Considered the most powerful drug-trafficking organization in the world, the Sinaloa Cartel is responsible for an estimated 25% of all illegal drugs that enter the U.S. via Mexico.

DEA said that this is the first time traffickers try to move cocaine through tunnels. “They are desperate,” William R. Sherman, special agent in charge for the DEA in San Diego, told The New York Times. But Eric Olson, an expert on border security at the Woodrow Wilson Center, told me he disagrees. “Far from being desperate, the tunnel illustrates the ingenuity of the cartels and what they are able to do given their resources. They have mastered many ways to penetrate the border using low tech as well as high tech methods so if one avenue is closed it represents only a temporary interruption in the supply and demand chain.”

The tunnel took a year to build and involved the expertise of architects and engineers. It’s the fifth so-called “super tunnel” discovered since 2010 in the San Diego area. With the exception of one tunnel, which was linked to the Arellano Félix Tijuana syndicate, authorities believe the Sinaloa Cartel is behind all the rest. The San Diego-Tijuana border is the Sinaloa Cartel’s main smuggling entrance point into the U.S.


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Experts & Staff