The Sinaloa Cartel(also known by its Spanish initials CDS, Cartel de Sinaloa) is a drug trafficking and organized crime syndicate based in the city of Culiacán, Sinaloa, with operations in the Mexican states of Baja California, Durango, Sonora and Chihuahua.The cartel is also known as the Guzmán-Loera Organization(for its leader, Joaquín "El Chapo" Guzmán) and the Pacific Cartel, the latter due to the coast of Mexico from which it originated. The cartel has also been called the Federation and the Blood Alliance.[The 'Federation' was partially splintered when the Beltrán-Leyva brothers broke apart from the Sinaloa Cartel. One of its current biggest rivals, the Jalisco New Generation Cartel, was a splinter from a Federation member, the Milenio Cartel.
The United States Intelligence Community considers the Sinaloa Cartel "the most powerful drug trafficking organization in the world" and in 2011, the Los Angeles Times called it "Mexico's most powerful organized crime group."The Sinaloa Cartel is associated with the label "Golden Triangle", which refers to the states of Sinaloa, Durango, and Chihuahua. The region is a major producer of Mexican opium and marijuana. According to the U.S. Attorney General, the Sinaloa Cartel is responsible for importing into the United States and distributing nearly 200 tons of cocaine and large amounts of heroin between 1990 and 2008. It controls most of the western part of the US-Mexico border, but also smuggles drugs over water using narco-submarines.
In 2019, well-equipped gunmen(they had body armor, 50 caliber rifles, rockets launchers and other military equipment) of the Sinaloa Cartel ambushed Mexican police in Culiacán to rescue Guzman's son, Ovidio Guzmán López. Following the ambush, other gunmen blocked roads with burning vehicles and clashed with authorities, preventing reinforcements from arriving and allowing their fellow gangsters to leave with Guzman Lopez. By the end, 14 people were dead, 5 being cartel gunmen, and 21 people were injured. The rescue mission was a success for the cartel, and an embarrassment for Mexico's President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, who had already been criticized for his perceived shortcomings in fighting the cartels.
A subdivision of the cartel, Los Jaguares, was suspected in the massacre of the American-Mexican LeBaron family. However, investigations revealed that the perpetrators were most likely the Juárez Cartel, due to the LeBaron family's links to another division of the Sinaloa Cartel, Los Salazar.