The US government announced Wednesday that it is tripling the reward it is offering to locate Ismael “El Mayo” Zambada, the current leader of the Sinaloa Cartel, to $15 million, the State Department said in a statement.
This is the second highest reward offered so far for finding a Mexican drug trafficker, after the 20 million dollars that would be distributed if Rafael Caro Quintero, the most wanted drug trafficker by the US justice system.
The reward for the capture of El Mayo is also the same amount as that offered by the government for the capture of the Venezuelan tyrant, Nicolás Maduro.
The Sinaloa Cartel was founded in 1988 by Joaquín “el Chapo” Guzmán, currently imprisoned in the United States, Héctor “el Guero” Palma, also in prison, and Ismael “el Mayo” Zambada, who is said to command the organization today.
The State Department, through its anti-drug trafficking reward program, is offering the aforementioned amount in exchange for information leading to Zambada’s arrest.
In the statement, it recalls that Zambada has been a longtime associate of El Chapo and, like his predecessor, has been charged with numerous crimes.
The increase in the reward is due to the new leadership status in the organization that El Mayo has acquired, according to the release.
The reward complements measures announced by the Treasury Department, which has approved sanctions for another cartel member, Sergio Valenzuela Valenzuela, accused of providing financial and technological assistance to the cartel and Zambada.
More than 75 criminals and drug traffickers from other countries have been brought to justice under the reward system, which has paid out $135 million in rewards since it was launched in 1986.