11/23/11 – Mexico’s Ministry of National Defense (Secretaría de Defensa Nacional, SEDENA) announced the administration’s second major seizure in the battle against drug trade. On Friday November 18, the Mexican Military in conjunction with state authorities, seized 15.3 million dollars believed to belong to the Sinaloa Cartel.
In the well-coordinated “Operación Zorro” (Operation Zorro), with which drug tunnels and significant marijuana plantations have been recently discovered by means of intensive search, gathering of information, as well as thorough analysis and operative execution, and with the support of state police (Policía Estatal Preventiva, PEP), the response to an anonymous tip became one of the biggest hits against drug kingpin Joaquín “el Chapo” Guzmán Loera, the head of the infamous Sinaloa Cartel and Mexico’s number one wanted drug lord. $15,350,000 was found in a vehicle, along with jewelry, 3 kilos of cocaine and 4 firearms. The vehicle was found in a home in one of Tijuana’s most renowned upper-scale neighborhoods – Residencial Rincón Toscano – and is believed to have been the criminal organization’s financial center.
In spite of the gunshots that were heard by various neighbors as reported by Frontera, no injuries were reported and nobody was arrested at the scene. Nevertheless, in a different set of occurrences in the same the day, Jehová Israel, alias “El Cuervo,” allegedly a liaison of the Sinaloa Cartel, was arrested by the Ministerial Police (Policía Ministerial) in Tijuana, wanted for homicide and harming of law enforcement.
“As long as there is space for delinquents to occupy, they will try and do so. We will obviously be there attentively to stop them for the benefit of the community” said Baja California Attorney General Rommel Moreno Manjarrez in regards to the weakening Sinaloa Cartel that could likely be replaced by other drug organizations in the region. This is the second largest confiscation of drug money in President Felipe Calderón’s government, the first one taking place in the state of Sinaloa in 2008.