Crime and Violence

Ignacio “Nacho” Coronel, cartel kingpin, dies in confrontation with Mexican army

The death of cartel kingpin, Ignacio “Nacho” Coronel, was described by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) as a devastating blow to the functionality of the Sinaloa cartel. Likewise, Mexican news sources are calling the death of Coronel, one of the strongest blows by the Felipe Calderón administration against drug-trafficking organizations in several years. Ignacio Coronel died in a confrontation between army elements in an exclusive residential neighborhood on the outskirts of Guadalajara, Jalisco, which lasted three hours. The Secretariat of National Defense (Secretaría de la Defensa Nacional –Sedena) reported that his location was found through an intense military intelligence operation.

The confrontation occurred after Coronel tried to escape military personnel by the use of firearms. The operation began at 13:00 hours on Thursday when 120 soldiers, backed by two helicopters, stormed the exclusive neighborhood of Colinas de San Javier, in the municipal of Zapopan, resulting in the death of “Nacho” and the arrest of his lieutenant, Francisco Quiñónez Gastélum.

According to the online news source, El País, Coronel was regarded as the head of the introduction network of Colombian cocaine and the largest distributor of methamphetamine in the U.S. market. He controlled Nayarit, Colima and part of Michoacán, what is known as the Pacific route. According to El País, the relative peace that was lived by Guadalajara in recent years was attributed to him, however with the death of Arturo Beltrán Leyva, it began to decompose. Violence rose as the Beltrán drug cartel attempted to take over Nayarit after the death of its leader. He was considered the third most important person in the structural organization of the Sinaloa cartel.


Camarena, Salvador. “México da el primer gran golpe contra el cartel de Sinaloa.” El País. 30 Julio, 2010.

Informador. “Califican diarios europeos de gran golpe al narco la muerte de ‘Nacho’ Coronel.” NTX / MRPH. 30 Julio, 2010.

La Cronica de Hoy. “Muerte de “Nacho” es un golpe demoledor: DEA.” Notimex. 30 Julio, 2010.

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  1. Pingback: Federal government identifies new drug trafficking organizations | Justice in Mexico

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