Unpublished photo of “Mayo” Zambada appeared in documents hacked from the Sedena

Ismael El Mayo Zambada (Illustration: Infobae Mexico)
Ismael El Mayo Zambada (Illustration: Infobae Mexico)

Ismael Zambada Garciabetter known as “The May”He is one of the top leaders of the Sinaloa Cartel (CDS) and the only capo of the “old guard” criminal who has never set foot in jail.

“They can catch me at any time… or never,” he told journalist Julio Scherer in 2010 in the only interview he has given during his long criminal career.

For decades, his whereabouts have been a mystery, and so has his image for a long time. As is often the case with high-profile crime bosses, photos showing his face are rare, but in recent days a apparently unpublished portrait of him.

As part of an investigation into the Sinaloa Cartel, today divided into at least three factions, counter line had access to part of the hacked documents to the Secretary of National Defense (sedena) in which a photograph was included that would show the appearance of “May” in recent years.

The Sedena revealed an image that would be unprecedented on the "May" Zambada.  (Sedena)
The Sedena revealed an image that would be unprecedented about “Mayo” Zambada. (Sedena)

As specified by the aforementioned media, the military reports were made jointly by the Sedena, the Naval Intelligence Unit of the Secretary of the Navy (semar) and the National Intelligence Center (CNI).

In 34 documents, prepared between 2016 and 2022, the corporations unraveled the operation of the CDS, as well as its organization and major conflicts with rival groups.

One of the files, classified as “confidential”, specified that after the arrest of Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán in 2016, the division of the Sinaloa Cartel would have been accentuated in four aspects:

one) the little boys o Los Menores, led by Iván Archivaldo Guzmán Salazar and his brothers.

2) The group of Rafael Caro Quintero.

3) the mayosunder the command of Ismael “El Mayo” Zambada.

4) The Guanosled by Aureliano Guzmán Loera, alias “El Guano”, brother of “Chapo”.

This is the first known photograph of the "May" wearing glasses.  (Sedena)
This is the first known photograph of “Mayo” wearing glasses. (Sedena)

This document, titled Four Fields of Power. sinaloa was prepared in March 2022 (months before Caro Quintero was captured in the municipality of Choix) and showed what would be the first known photo of “Mayo” with glasses.

Although the date or the context in which said portrait was taken is not specified, it offers a noticeably more recent image than those previously published.

It should be remembered that, up to the time of this publication, “El Mayo” is 75 years old (he was born on January 1, 1948, according to data from the US government) and there are many rumors regarding his state of health, since he presumes that it has been strongly affected by conditions such as diabetes.

This disease, added to his age, has sparked various debates about his strength within the Sinaloa Cartel. Military documents identify the Los Mayos cell as the most “discreet” of the cartel, since negotiation is privileged over violence.

Mayo Zambada (Infobae)
Mayo Zambada (Infobae)

“Continue with your negotiation strategy to avoid internal conflictswith the intention of positioning itself as the hegemonic leader”, can be read in one of the files, according to the aforementioned medium.

Considered “the biggest drug trafficker in Mexico for decades” (in the words of Jeffrey Lichtman, “Chapo’s” lawyer), “El Mayo” is currently wanted by the governments of Mexico and the United States.

Authorities working today under the Joe Biden administration offered $5 million for information leading to the arrest of the criminal leader. However, this amount was tripled in September 2021so the current reward is up to 15 million dollars.

“El Mayo” began his career as a drug trafficker between the eighties and the nineties with the Juárez Cartel. After the death of Amado Carrillo Fuentes, alias “El Señor de los Cielos”, Zambada García opted to form his own organization, with which he was gaining ground thanks to the gradual disappearance of the Tijuana Cartel.

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