Inside Mexico's Most Powerful Drug Cartel | Foreign Correspondent

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ABC News In-depth

Tens of thousands are missing, many more murdered. So why are Mexico’s violent drug cartels operating with impunity? We go inside the most powerful cartel to meet the footsoldiers. Corruption, they say, goes right to the top. Produced in collaboration with Ben Zand and Vice TV.

In Mexico’s Sinaloa state, violence has become a way of life.
Home to the country’s most powerful drug syndicate, the Sinaloa cartel, murders and disappearances are rife.

The police, meant to protect the population, are often the targets of violence. Over 500 officers were killed in Mexico last year.

They’re also often complicit, with corruption in the police force and government a major problem.In this shocking portrait of a country caught in the grip of organised crime, reporter Ben Zand takes us where few have gone - inside the Sinaloa cartel in the Sierra Madre mountains where he witnesses the group’s operations up close.

At their hidden base, the group grows poppies and marijuana for export, fends off outsiders with guns and bribes visiting police and security officers with money and women.

“The government is the one in charge” say the local leader. “The cartel is only as big as the government wants us to be.”

Commentator and writer Ioan Grillo believes that the police and military used to have the upper hand with the cartels but says that’s now changed.

“Some of the cartels have become much more powerful,” says Grillo. “[now] the cartel is actually bullying and controlling elements of the security forces.”

It’s the community who’s paying the price for corruption and impunity.
Mirna Quiñones’ son disappeared suddenly 7 years ago. When police refused to help her, she set out to find him herself.

She went on to set up the Trackers of El Fuerte group which helps parents looking for their children. In the last seven years of searching, they’ve uncovered over two hundred bodies.

“There is no justice. We all know that. I have been threatened by the municipal police here. The government and crime are united.”

Interior Minister, Olga Sánchez Cordero, concedes there is corruption. “The trials, and the investigations, are deficient”, she says. “Lawyers are threatened. Judges are threatened. That is just the reality.”

But she maintains the government is doing its best to investigate the cartels and to undermine their support base.

Investigative journalist Anabel Hernández disagrees, saying she has little faith the government of Andrés Manuel López Obrador, elected two and half years ago, will tackle the problem.

“He promised to do something different but….it’s just the same. Nothing changed. In some parts it's worse."

About Foreign Correspondent:
Foreign Correspondent is the prime-time international public affairs program on Australia's national broadcaster, ABC-TV. We produce half-hour duration in-depth reports for broadcast across the ABC's television channels and digital platforms. Since 1992, our teams have journeyed to more than 170 countries to report on war, natural calamity and social and political upheaval - through the eyes of the people at the heart of it all.

Contributions may be removed if they violate ABC’s Online Terms of Use (Section 3). This is an official Australian Broadcasting Corporation SEcycle channel

ABC News In-depth
ABC News In-depth Månad sedan
You may recognise some footage in this documentary, this program was produced in collaboration with Ben Zand and Vice TV. If you'd like to learn more about the mothers searching for Mexico's disappeared you can read our accompanying article here:
Jorge TV
Jorge TV 2 dagar sedan
@Callum Gillman I am Mexican, the only thing I can tell you is that you do not believe everything that is in the media, let alone the US media, I am sorry to say but they have you very deceived, if you only came to Mexico you would realize and have another conception about the country, something that makes me doubtful is that the "narcos" those of the video have let them interview them, it is rare, because to tell the truth that kind of criminals are very cautious, and more so with the Americans, I do not know, it seems strange to me, but well, to tell the truth Mexico as violent as these clowns say, surely you will tell me that I lie, but it is a truth, and I do not say that there is no violence, but we are not Afghanistan either, everywhere there is violence. A pity that they lie so much in their face...
JK F1 3 dagar sedan
Imagine if the US had a border to keep this out.
Valerijus Petrusevas
Valerijus Petrusevas 12 dagar sedan
@Jon Irvine n
Christian H
Christian H 14 dagar sedan
Mexico should just because part of the US..then the US cna govern the country and push our cartels ..firstly..legalise marijuana and tax it.
Y M 23 dagar sedan
Cartels can be stopped if people actually try for the future
Stone flb Stone crew flb
Stone flb Stone crew flb 15 minuter sedan
Stone Flb 🏴🌚💣😄2021
Nick Philpott
Nick Philpott 49 minuter sedan
I have never understood why our society tolerates this kind of human Refuse. We must rid our society of this kind of trash. Have the National Guard put an end to these losers. Surely there is plenty of room at the local Landfill...
Lola’dore 3 timmar sedan
8mins into the video I can understand but why Mexican civilians don’t trust the police. Both police and cartel security dress the same only difference I see is the label used on their bulletproof vests
SIN ACCION 3 timmar sedan
México con sus líderes y presidente son el cartel mas grande , es todos el país. Bueno existe muchos países narcos solo que no son tan descarados como México
Dark King
Dark King 4 timmar sedan
Our president killing drug lords and dealers here. now ICC want to investigate for human rights? GTFO ICC drug protector
Money 4 timmar sedan
Corruption starts from The top This is Why these countries are full of crimes
Markopolo zoomanitty
Markopolo zoomanitty 4 timmar sedan
As a Mexican citizen I can tell you this.. the last 4 administrations, all neoliberal, right wing and conservative let this get where it's at now. AMLO Mexico's current president is a social Democrat that the U.S. NeoLiberal and conservative class hate because he's not a capitalist. AMLO inherited this violence from his incapable Neoliberal predecessors.
Jok3er271 JKlilmonkey
Jok3er271 JKlilmonkey 6 timmar sedan
They don’t tell you it goes into sitting American senators and congressmen’s as well as the government overall. We created the cartel
alb 77
alb 77 8 timmar sedan
Why they have Military and Police?? National Guard my ass.. I fel sorry for the people of Mexico
Jayc Azarcon
Jayc Azarcon 9 timmar sedan
This is the very reason why we love our Philippine President today, if not for him probably we are also like mexico now.
The Dutch Windmill Doets GrainMill
The Dutch Windmill Doets GrainMill 9 timmar sedan
my biggest dream in my life is to see a maya temple with my own eyes in mexico here in my hometown in the netherlands is a mexican resteraunt with people from mexico they are the most sweet and heart warmed hardworking people here with nice words an the most Lovely smiles
British professor
British professor 9 timmar sedan
Corruption in Mexico, you should come to Ireland. The police, politicians, judges are totally corrupt, Mexican style
Placoso Realista
Placoso Realista 9 timmar sedan
Se tiene que morir toda la generación de basura, porque ya no se reincorporan a la vida social, no se va a componer pronto.
Placoso Realista
Placoso Realista 9 timmar sedan
Esta muy corrompido el sistema, así dejaron los presidentes de el pasado
Placoso Realista
Placoso Realista 10 timmar sedan
Min 12 :20 le gustan mucho los animales, el perico sobre todo
Placoso Realista
Placoso Realista 10 timmar sedan
Agan lo que quieran pero no se metan con la ciudadanía, no sean ojetes.
GREAT LEX 1.3 10 timmar sedan
14:13 🐍snake just chilling there
GREAT LEX 1.3 10 timmar sedan
10:40 this guy shot the sun down👀
lenny koss
lenny koss 10 timmar sedan
CIA drone attack on the corrupt police and other officials taking bribes? Provide video evidence and financial records as evidence? Radio calls and text messages to the cartel letting them know there's no need to bribe corrupted governmental types? Making moves to 'expand territory' is akin to terrorism in this modern era? Work with and credit the National Guard that was built using the money seized from accounts of long dead cartel members that used violence instead of honest negotiations? No violence. No extortion. No kidnapping. No forced labor... slavery. No tainting product with pesticides. No fake pills. 100% high quality controls. High quality doesn't mean high potency. High quality means no negative impact on society. Make drug making and selling safe and boring. Less need for so much security. Let the kids go be veterinarians, teachers, or nurses or something. Please stop creating veterans of wars and violence. The ones who taint society always seem to have a much shorter life span when studying history. Hugs and good vibes y'all 💗🌈💗🌈💗🌈💗🌈💗
SwearToMeee!!! 11 timmar sedan
11:25 that 5sec pause and eye movement gives me a totally different answer
John Shields
John Shields 12 timmar sedan
Supply and demand. America tried to outlaw alcohol , how'd that workout.
R Chakraborty
R Chakraborty 12 timmar sedan
I wish to learn Spanish.
Fernand Lust
Fernand Lust 13 timmar sedan
What do you think how people feel when they see their president visit and embrace the mother of El Chapo Guzman? How do the cartel members think about that?
bee kang
bee kang 13 timmar sedan
If those people have other means to make living, those drug business will become less. Those situations we have to blame.the current ways of dealing these matters will not help reduce these crimes
David Greene
David Greene 14 timmar sedan
Mex drug cartel??? You mean American government officials right
Jim Applen
Jim Applen 14 timmar sedan
If you take illegal drugs, you are responsible for the anguish these families in Mexico are going through. It’s not the Cartels, it’s you.
Medicine Plus
Medicine Plus 15 timmar sedan
Why don't these women create another militia to kill all the corrupt police, government officials as well as Cartel members of Mexico,and take back the country out of disaster...if these 90 thousands missing family members don't take up arms against government and cartels and corrupt police officers,that clearly indicates these missing persons in one way or other could have been involved in drug trafficking as no one dies of ignorance ...
Waqar Ali
Waqar Ali 15 timmar sedan
That’s why I support TRUMP
Marcus K
Marcus K 19 timmar sedan
Crazy that no matter what party wins the presidency of mexico nothing changes, they are all working the same business for the same people and it's not for the good of the people. America has the same problem and so do most countries of the world.
flyingspaghetti 20 timmar sedan
THe only thing cartels gave to the internet worth of watching are the dismemberments of the captured rival cartel members. I mean, when you see a woman getting her arms chopped off because she was the mule for a rival cartel, you've seen everything.
Christopher Bergs
Christopher Bergs 20 timmar sedan
You pose tough questions to dangerous men. I commend you for you works. God Bless
1 & ONLY AXO 20 timmar sedan
Coming from a Mexican we need to stop the drugs.
J L 22 timmar sedan
The relieved wilderness spectroscopically time because justice holly reduce against a vacuous friend. innate, loud spring
Janice Funes
Janice Funes 22 timmar sedan
Multi billion dollar industry?? Who buys the drugs? Who sells them the weapons? 🙏 then of course here in the US we complain of the violence and illegal immigration? We have a huge responsibility in this!!!!
R6꿀떡 23 timmar sedan
It’s a big irony that the people from the poorer side of the country like the drug cartels but I understand why, the cartel provided them the work and money that the government couldn’t and didn’t.
Oscar Libertini
Oscar Libertini 23 timmar sedan
Soon these cartels will be here if not some of them are already here under Joe Biden policy God be with us all God protect us all God bless America
The50PointCalvinist Dag sedan
The US offered to help eradicate the cartels, the Mexican government declined the offer, so the hell with them.
Cory Hamric
Cory Hamric 18 timmar sedan
@AOh yeah Man? What position on drugs do you think would be good for a country?
A Dag sedan
imagine thinking that erradicating the cartels everything will be good... nah, man... what the us government needs to do is to change their position about drugs.
constant sus
constant sus Dag sedan
Yup, Trump offered military assistance to Mexico to destroy the cartels, but Mexico refused rather stating that they’d deal with them themselves...well that’s clearly going well with what we can in these videos smh
The50PointCalvinist Dag sedan
Stay the hell out of Mexico, I've seen and experienced the police corruption first hand.
TJ Dag sedan
They flood the streets with Heroin/Cocaine/Meth. Look at Seattle / Tacoma Wa. Streets are flooded with addicts.
peter zwegert Schuldenberater
peter zwegert Schuldenberater Dag sedan
Der grösste Trick war es Schlusendlich das eigene Volk auf die Seite schwer krimineller zu ziehen. Wie lächerlich es ist so jemanden als heiligen zu empfinden das sagt schon einiges über die allgemeinintelligenz in mexico aus aber auch über armut. Das wird niemals enden und noch hunderttausende Menschen über Jahre das Leben kosten. Besser nicht in mexico wohnen haha
Kane Dag sedan
that is one dumb journalist. he's lucky he did not get executed for asking the wrong questions. journalists think they have the morality-card. they don't: this journalist 'thinks' he knows what justice is. it certainly is not equality... if you are a murderous thug, then you die. that, is justice. if, you're a brave, hard-working soul, who does not steal or cheat others, that is moral. if you do the latter two, and put yourself on the line defending truth, justice and freedom, then you are a hero.
a a
a a Dag sedan
The melodramatic leading questions clash so hard with the reality of life for these people.
H Dag sedan
The Mafia was created by prohibition. We still have not learned.
goodday kriibve
goodday kriibve Dag sedan
Hard fact
Khoron. 0.m
Khoron. 0.m Dag sedan
it is all problem from the pigs that take bribes? make legalize? no? make cartel into agrocartel? lol
Jack Chesnut
Jack Chesnut Dag sedan
Legalize drugs in the US and this, as well as gangs here lose their power...
Cory Hamric
Cory Hamric 18 timmar sedan
All that would do is replace one problem with another... So less gangs and cartel only to have a nation plagued by addiction... I'm just saying, I don't think making it ok to do drugs is going to fix the drug addiction problem... And addiction is a big problem... Destroys lives
Khoron. 0.m
Khoron. 0.m Dag sedan
lol! corrruption!!!! wooow!
Francisco Javier Ortiz
Francisco Javier Ortiz Dag sedan
The USA is the biggest buyer of drugs, if you stop buying, that will remove the money side that fuels this "cartels"
The Elephant In The Room
The Elephant In The Room Dag sedan
America needs to legalize weed! In Canada the black market for weed as all but disappeared! The police could put all their focus on drugs like fentinal.
Francisco Javier Ortiz
Francisco Javier Ortiz Dag sedan
It will help if the USA STOPS consuming, and the USA government do something to stop the flow, you can stop the refuges and you can't stop the planes, trucks, and ships that bring the drugs?? where is the corruption? is in the USA
FutbolRey1 Dag sedan
Such a beautiful state It’s unfortunate ☹️☹️🇲🇽
bubu mic
bubu mic Dag sedan
What a losing battle against the corruption ....
Manny Bee
Manny Bee Dag sedan
movie yellow 411 taxi call uber creation
Manny Bee
Manny Bee Dag sedan
cyber money baffle noters
Manny Bee
Manny Bee Dag sedan
marijuano nieto cop trap
Common Sense
Common Sense Dag sedan
As Weed becomes more legal in all states weed will stop in Mexico but other drugs will come in its place.
DeSantis 2024
DeSantis 2024 Dag sedan
Mexico: If only there was a country near us that we could copy that would help solve our crime and corruption problems! USA: ............
ALD Dag sedan
En México estamos envueltos en Corrupción, hay impunidad para todos los delincuentes, en especial los carteles, hay políticos que quieren cambiar como nos manejamos en México, pero no sirve de nada, a los días aparecen muertos o amenazados, es un grabe problema la corrupción los tres niveles de gobierno tienen el poder de acabar con todo, sin embargo sería como una guerra donde miles y millones de inocentes mueren, por los anteriores funcionarios expresidentes estamos así, es muy lamentable la situación la policía y las instituciones gubernamentales no hacen nada a el respecto, ahí se ve en realidad quien manda en este país
DeSantis 2024
DeSantis 2024 Dag sedan
Drug cartels... proudly sponsored by drug buying democrats in the USA.
Abnel Carrero
Abnel Carrero Dag sedan
I can safe the world for a million dollars
Hannu Rissanen
Hannu Rissanen Dag sedan
The big money in side USA is creating the problem. USA should stop buying drugs.
Alexander Jim
Alexander Jim Dag sedan
Whenever people in the US complain about police, I always point to Mexico as the example of it being worse.
Rafael Hernandez
Rafael Hernandez Dag sedan
I’m a Mexican/American born in San Antonio, Texas and you couldn’t pay me enough to go to The Sinaloa mountains and do a documentary on the Mexican cartels. What’s up with these British news anchors? Are they suicidal?
constant sus
constant sus Dag sedan
I think it’s a combination of them needing their paycheck, bravery and being suicidal
Rafael Hernandez
Rafael Hernandez Dag sedan
It seems to me that the British are very interested and intrigued with the Mexican Cartels. 99% of the news anchors that do cartel documentaries are British. They either have big balls or are suicidal
Tech no
Tech no Dag sedan
Is there an uncensored edition available?
Tech no
Tech no Dag sedan
legalising and regulating drugs is the solution. The criminal market will lose its value and drugs can be taken more safely, which is important because in the end humans will. always. take. drugs!!!
Cory Hamric
Cory Hamric 18 timmar sedan The real solution would be to stop the supply of drugs... If there are no drugs to do then how would people do drugs? Smh... Your not fixing a problem by enabling drug use... Drugs Destroy Lives
P k
P k Dag sedan
God dont like mexico
Sam Ham
Sam Ham Dag sedan
Agent orange will knock that down for awhile...
OdettaBOOOM Dag sedan
21:00 what a conceited, know-it-all attitude from this guy.. thinking he's got it all figured out just because he played pals with terrorists in Sinaloa for a couple of days. The way he looks at her is like.. he's sticking to his narrative NO MATTER what she says. We can talk all we want about the 'corruption', the government (by the way, how convenient to put AMLO there (18:20) when she's clearly talking about the two previous administrations), the police, yadda yadda, but, as someone who's lived through the worst of the so-called 'war on cartels', who lives on the border, I can tell you what pretty much any person on the border will say: the problem is the rotten society with zero sense of morality in Sinaloa. Even the kids there are shady af. Vulgar to the core, illiterate, all they want to do in life is played some ugly a*s folk music, never work hard and own guns. It's like the Florida of Mexico, they're the whole reason the country is in the state it is. Literally NO OTHER state has polluted Mexico the way Sinaloa has, it's engrained in their psyche to be savages. In the best case scenario, the government should carry out an aggressive campaign there to foment education and job opportunities (like, real jobs, not the things they call 'jobs'), that way they wouldn't resort to migrating to other states or the US, bringing crime everywhere they go. In the worst case scenario though, they should sell the state to another country lol, end of our problems.
Mark Co
Mark Co 2 dagar sedan
My dream is to be a special forces
Sopheap Horm
Sopheap Horm 2 dagar sedan
The Wonder Dog Matty
The Wonder Dog Matty 2 dagar sedan
Funny country. The government is the main source of the corruption there. That drug cartel is easy to eliminate, but because of corruption the drug cartels are easy to overpowered mexico.
LoStorico 2 dagar sedan
marco velazquez
marco velazquez 2 dagar sedan
some times is the police that does the dirty work.
Hello Kong
Hello Kong 2 dagar sedan
I see how my the future of my country will going to be. And yes my country is Thailand and now is look kind of this exactly.
Joy Joy Jams
Joy Joy Jams 2 dagar sedan
What is the point of a useless govt.
Liberty Prime
Liberty Prime 2 dagar sedan
the world is a cruel place. no matter what part of the world your in. nice or not.
llllllllllllllll 2 dagar sedan
No good deeds goes unpunished
Liberty Prime
Liberty Prime 2 dagar sedan
it must suck as a mexican police officer or even military member to have to know that the only reason youre fighting the cartels in the first place is the govt needs to make it LOOK like theyre trying to stop the cartels
constant sus
constant sus 2 dagar sedan
Becoming a police officer in Mexico is practically suicide, with all the violence and corruption, you probably couldn't even trust your own damn colleagues because they might be in with the cartels themselves
Marco 2 dagar sedan
No tendrían tanto poder si los estadounidenses dejaran de consumir tanta droga y exportar armas a cantidades enormes.
phorz85 2 dagar sedan
- bullying the authorities, corrupting the police ? Why not stop blurring here? That's stuff that describes what upper organised crime allways does. Isn't the sinaloa cartel that one, rooted in a special force unit gone rogue? Also u should describe hiring teens in school to even become cops, before later being sicarios 4 example, a lil' more detailed right away than by, corrupted police. It's taking a whole other level than tipping of a cop here n there, 4 a situation like in mexico, where specially in less urban areas,whole police forces of a place are controlled by cartells like a narco army. Remember these 40forein students, they only found the shoes belonging? These were kidnapped for a cartell ... by cops . Bet ur ass u never ever would've this case in any news, if that would've been locals, exept that impact of such news would've been the purpose. U don't pull stuff like that with "usua" levels of corruption. That needs a system rotten to the core.
SYEZ DA MARTINI 2 dagar sedan
Żyd Abraham
Żyd Abraham 2 dagar sedan
Who is the recipient of what is produced in Mexico?Bident? There is a demand because you have a nation stoned. Look for your recipients for the problem !! I feel sorry for you
kankasin 2 dagar sedan
Bring 10.000 elite forces from any country that know how to fight. Us, Russia,Britain, Israel, Turkey or even Iran. Let them bring their air support and heavy artillery with them. Be willing to accept some civilian casualties, and then lets see if cartel can hold. Bomb the weed and poppy fields, force people to empty the villages that help them. There will be some human right cries but you will end up with much much small cartel, it would not be over but it would be insignificant in normal life.
Andrew J
Andrew J 2 dagar sedan
What the American Mafia failed to do in America is what the Mexican Cartels have succeeded at doing in their country, they own the country through corruption based on their financial abilities.
Momotaro .oOMegidoraReincarnatedOo.
Momotaro .oOMegidoraReincarnatedOo. 2 dagar sedan
Please take notice of the "FAKE DRUG WAR" in the Philipppines. Expose all the dirty secrets of our forsaken country. We are being sold to China!!!
iceman 2 dagar sedan
and world gonna do?NOTHING bec all stars and rich people use that shit simple...
kankasin 2 dagar sedan
More religious countries get, more corrupt they become.
Cory Hamric
Cory Hamric 18 timmar sedan
Huh? I've never seen any religion encourage drug use or seen a religious cartel member? Please do share?
Aggy 2 dagar sedan
And here I thought that the U.S. Drug Czars and war on drugs had eradicated the gangs.
Brian D
Brian D 2 dagar sedan
Its like Denzel Washington said in American Gangster there going to steal for it, die for it, and kill for it putting me in jail is not going to do anything. The only way is too stop the demand for drugs in america and that's not going to happen so round and round we go
Brian H
Brian H 2 dagar sedan
And ABC says we don’t need a border wall.
Rafal Cieloch
Rafal Cieloch 2 dagar sedan
ok theres a lot of missing people but I wonder what were the reasons to kidnap or kill them? Just for fun? I would like to know hat was the reason behind
Foxtrot Nine
Foxtrot Nine Dag sedan
Maybe complicit people who failed to pay up on a debt?
Kevin Culross
Kevin Culross 2 dagar sedan
The aboard security extremely trick because bass intrinsically join down a capricious friction. bent, plucky morning
SuicideMuffin 2 dagar sedan
You forgot to mention that the US provides all the weapons Mexican Cartels use
George Wilson
George Wilson 2 dagar sedan
Now, thanks to Biden supporters they controll America drug trade
Reynaldo Canta
Reynaldo Canta 2 dagar sedan
Two solution available for the problem of mexico. Number #1 invite ICC to solve the problem. Numbet # 2 borrow my dear president PRRD to solve the problem.
Momotaro .oOMegidoraReincarnatedOo.
Momotaro .oOMegidoraReincarnatedOo. 2 dagar sedan
Tangina! DDSHTroll? Or what?
nicanor jr. pasaol
nicanor jr. pasaol 2 dagar sedan
el goberno s way of d d game...after mexico...
GJ03SAC 2 dagar sedan
This are all bulshit.. I was true you wasn't alive now. No cartel let you alive knowing dat you can tell next were have you been.😅😅😅😅😅😅😅😅😅😅😅😅
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