El Chapo's business with Pemex boats to transport cocaine

The cocaine traveled through Ecuador and was transported by the Colombian army to Quito and Guayaquil

El Chapo tried using Pemex boats to transport cocaine
El Chapo - Photo: File Photo/AP
English 13/12/2018 15:56 AP New York Actualizada 16:07
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During El Chapo's trial on Wednesday, a witness revealed that the Mexican drug lord met with Pemex's employees to see if the company's boat would transport cocaine from Ecuador to Mexico.

In the end, they didn't and the drug, which was purchased from the FARC and transported throughout Ecuador in the Ecuadorian army's trucks, ended up being transported to Mexico through a complex boat and speedboat system.

Jorge Milton Cifuentes, a Colombian drug lord, revealed the sophisticated operation and bribe system managed by the Sinaloa Cartel during the 2000s to be able to buy cocaine and transport it to the U.S.

Cifuentes explained that Vicente “Vicentillo” Zambada, the son of Ismael “El Mayo” Zambada, one of the cartel leaders, was their contact with Pemex and he also said that the meetings took place in 2007 at a mountain range in Culiacán.

The idea was, said Cifuentes, that Pemex's boats traveled to Ecuador to pick up oil and cocaine and transport it to the Lázaro Cárdenas port, in the Pacific.

They plan wasn't carried out, said the witness, without explaining why. Cifuentes only named one of Pemex's employee present in the meetings: Alfonso Acosta.

Pemex officials didn't immediately respond to the accusations made in court.

After not using Pemex's boats, Cifuentes explained how El Chapo gave him money, the product of the drug sale in the U.S.

With that money, a Colombian named Gilberto García, also known as “El Político”, bought cocaine in the Putumayo Department in Colombia, an area controlled by the FARC, Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia.

Cifuentes claimed he told El Chapo that he bought the drugs from the FARC and that he thought it was a good idea.

The cocaine then traveled through Ecuador and was transported by the Colombian army to Quito and Guayaquil. Cifuentes also said that a captain named Telmo Castro asked for USD $600,000 to carry out those operations. On the other hand, there was a USD $200,000 bribe to the members of the Ecuadorian navy so they would inform the cartel about the location of the U.S. Navy in the area, said Cifuentes.

The process to transport the drug to Mexico was complicated: a shark boat left Peru and met with speedboats, which contained the drug that had been transported from Ecuador. The drug was then transported in the shark boat. Later, while on international water, the boat met with a Mexican boat and transported the drug.

The Mexican boat approached the Mexican coast and met with speedboats that took the cocaine shipments to Mexico.

Cifuentes explained that in 2008, he could send Guzmán six cocaine tons through this method, which resulted in millions of dollars in profits. El Mayo Zambada, said Cifuentes, tasted the merchandise before him, he said.

Then two shipments in Ecuador were seized, explained the witness, who was arrested in 2012 in Venezuela and extradited to the U.S.

El Chapo, one of the most famous drug lords, has declared himself innocent of accumulating a mulch-million fortune through the traffic of tons of cocaine and other drugs from Mexico to the U.S. If declared guilty, he could face a life-long sentence.


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