Mexico extradites alleged drug kingpin to US
By Dialogo April 05, 2012
MEXICO CITY — Mexico has extradited to the United States an alleged drug kingpin of the powerful Sinaloa cartel headed by Mexico’s most-wanted fugitive, Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán, Mexican officials said April 4.
Jesús Zambada was handed to U.S. officials at the U.S.-Mexico border April 3 and sent to a jail in New York, where he has been indicted in federal court, said an official from the attorney general’s office.
Nicknamed “The King,” Zambada is the brother of Ismael “Mayo” Zambada, the alleged second-in-command of the Sinaloa Federation, which is believed to operate in more than 48 countries.
Jesús Zambada was detained in October 2008 after a shootout with police in the northern section of the Mexican capital and presented by the authorities as a leader within the notorious gang who had worked to smuggle cocaine from South America.
He was accused of controlling imports of cocaine and precursor chemicals for synthetic drugs through Mexico City international airport.
The drugs have an approximate street value of US$10 billion.
The extradition is part of a five-year crackdown on drug gangs by the government of President Felipe Calderón, which has seen a rise in violence despite tens of thousands of soldiers deployed.
The Sinaloa cartel, based in the drug-trafficking northwestern state of Sinaloa, has allied with other gangs in turf wars against the ultra-violent Zetas drug gang, according to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.
[AFP, 04/04/2012; Voanews.com, 04/04/2012]