by Ildefonso Ortiz and Brandon Darby
The son of one of the top leaders of the Sinaloa Cartel testified that former Mexican President Vicente Fox’s chief bodyguard worked for them. The bodyguard was one of several top military figures that received large cash bribes in exchange for favors and information.
The bombshell revelation comes during the testimony of Vicente Zambada Niebla as part of the ongoing drug trafficking trial against Sinaloa Cartel’s boss Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman. As Breitbart News has reported, the ongoing trial has not only provided a glimpse into the inner workings of Mexico’s largest drug cartel, it has also outed several public officials at the highest levels as having worked for the cartel while claiming to be fighting it.
Jesús Vicente Zambada Niebla, also known as El Vicentillo, is a drug trafficker of the Mexican Sinaloa Cartel. He was arrested in Mexico City on 19 March 2009 and extradited to the United States in February 2010 to stand trial on narco-trafficking-related charges
Zambada was charged with trafficking more than a billion dollars’ worth of cocaine and heroin. However, Zambada claims that he is covered by an immunity deal between Mexico and the U.S., and that, because Sinaloa Cartel leaders provided federal agents with information about rival drug gangs, he should go free. As revealed in a 2013 plea bargain deal which was made public by a U.S. District Court in 2014, Zambada admitted coordinating smuggling tons of cocaine and heroin with “El Chapo,” Joaquín Guzmán Loera, and agreed to forfeit assets of $1.37 billion to the US government. The plea bargain resulted in a fine of $4 million and 10 years in prison. He is considered a top potential witness against “El Chapo.”
On 8 November 2018, a plea agreement was filed in the United States District Court for the District of Illinois in which Zambada plead guilty to working with El Chapo and others to illegally import into the United States thousands of kilos of cocaine. Zambada and others used private planes, submarines, and speedboats to smuggle the drugs from Colombia to Mexico, and then into the United States.
In return for Zambada’s cooperation the government recommended more lenient sentencing guidelines and that measures be taken to ensure his family’s safety. These included having Zambada and his family be allowed to remain permanently in the United States.
Vicente, the son of Sinaloa Cartel co-leader Ismael El Mayo Zambada, told jurors that his father paid off several Mexican Army generals in order to get them to provide information as well as to get them to fight rival cartels. The cartel heir’s testimony comes as part of a plea agreement with prosecutors in exchange for a lighter sentence.
One of the high-ranking military officials outed by Zambada was the chief bodyguard for Mexican President Vicente Fox, Mexico’s Revista Proceso reported. The cartel heir described Colonel Marco Antonio de Leon Adams as a friend of his father. He said that they would call him Chicles or Gum in reference to a popular brand of chewing gum in Mexico.
One of the bombshell incidents took place in 1997 when Vicente Zambada said he walked into the offices of Mexico’s Estado Mayor Presidential (the military branch tasked with protecting the president) and met with the general in charge to complain about investigations into his family. According to testimony reported by Revista Proceso, the cartel heir met with General Roberto Miranda over a series of raids at the business of El Mayo’s wife who the family claimed was not tied to drug trafficking.
During his testimony, Zambada spoke about another corrupt military official who worked for them — retired Army General Humberto Eduardo Antimo Miranda. The general met with Zambada and his father in 2007 and provided information about other generals taking money from Los Zetas and the Beltran Leyva cartels to move against Sinaloa. The cartel heir said the general began working for them in exchange for a $50,000 monthly bribe. Zambada says his father’s monthly payouts to both authorities in Mexico and the United States totaled about $1 million.
Ismael El Mayo Zambada a former farmer with extensive agricultural and botanical knowledge, Zambada began his criminal career by smuggling a few kilograms of drugs at the time, then increased his gang’s production of heroin and marijuana while consolidating his position as a trafficker of Colombian cocaine. When drug lord Miguel Ángel Félix Gallardo was arrested in 1989, his old organization broke up into two factions: the Tijuana Cartel led by his nephews, the Arellano Félix brothers, and the Sinaloa Cartel, run by former lieutenants Héctor Luis Palma Salazar, Adrián Gómez González, Ismael Zambada García, Ignacio Coronel Villarreal, and Joaquín Guzmán Loera (El Chapo). The Sinaloa Cartel drug lords were active in the states of Sinaloa, Durango, Chihuahua, Sonora, Nuevo León, and Michoacán