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Life after 'Chapo': 'El Mayo' heads Sinaloa cartel

Published on Apr 17, 2014 6:19 AM
Mexican drug trafficker Joaquin Guzman Loera after his capture by by Mexican Marines on Feb 22, 2014 in Mexico City. -- FILE PHOTO: AFP

MEXICO CITY (AFP) - A veteran drug baron has taken over Mexico's powerful Sinaloa cartel, apparently averting a war of succession after the capture of kingpin Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, US security officials told AFP.

Ismael "El Mayo" Zambada filled the void after Mexican marines backed by US intelligence arrested his longtime associate in February, the two officials said.

Zambada inherited the crown even though Guzman has sons in the business, but they lack enough experience and respect within the cartel to take charge, the sources said.

Guzman's arrest was a major blow to the cartel, and it will not be the same without him, but it seems to have avoided the sort of internal feuds that can plague gangs after a capo's downfall, they said.

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