Blog dedicated to reporting on Mexican drug cartels
on the border line between the US and Mexico

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Mexican Drug Lord 'Nacho' Was Quiet and Ruthless

The slain Sinaloa leader was known for methamphetamine and cocaine trafficking, and not much else. His death is seen as a 'harsh blow' to the cartel.

By Ken Ellingwood,
Los Angeles Times

Until he raised his pistol for the last time, Ignacio Coronel Villarreal was known for keeping his head low and footprints light.

In a world populated by many larger-than-life drug bosses, the slightly built Coronel ruled with a quiet ruthlessness. He was seldom photographed and moved so carefully in the suburb of mansions where he lived in western Mexico that just one bodyguard was with him when the dragnet closed.

Even his age and birthplace are a source of mystery.

This much is known: By the time Mexican troops killed Coronel on Thursday outside the city of Guadalajara, he had reached the top rungs of drug trafficking, lording over a broad stretch of the Pacific coast as part of a years-long alliance with the country's most-wanted crime boss, Joaquin "Chapo" Guzman.

Coronel's share of the Mexican methamphetamine market was considered significant enough that analysts speculated his death might actually disrupt supplies of the synthetic drug, if only briefly.

Mexican and U.S. officials Friday hailed the killing as a major strike against Guzman's Sinaloa-based cartel, the most powerful in Mexico, and a success in their governments' shared battle against drug traffickers. President Felipe Calderon launched his war against drug cartels nearly four years ago.

In Washington, the Drug Enforcement Administration called Coronel's death "a crippling blow" to the Sinaloa group's operations.

"Coronel was a major poly-drug trafficker involved in transporting multi-ton quantities of cocaine and producing tons of methamphetamine," the agency said in a statement.

Others, though, said the Sinaloa-based group is probably well positioned to survive such a blow because its segmented leadership structure is based on control of geographical zones rather than hierarchy.

Coronel, known as "Nacho," controlled a broad coastal swath that includes the states of Jalisco, Nayarit, Colima and part of Michoacan, officials said. He was said to have established direct access to cocaine suppliers in Colombia and a ready supply from Asia of chemical ingredients for making methamphetamine.

"This is a harsh blow … but it doesn't spell a death knell," said George W. Grayson, an expert on Mexico's drug trade at the College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, Va.

Ignacio Coronel Villarreal

Ignacio Coronel Villarreal, a.k.a. Nacho Coronel (February 1, 1954 – July 29, 2010) was a Mexican drug lord who was one of the three leaders of the Sinaloa Cartel, led by Joaquín "El Chapo" Guzmán, Mexico's most-wanted drug lord.

Ignacio Coronel was responsible for moving multi-ton quantities of cocaine via fishing vessels from Colombia to Mexico and on to the U.S. states of Texas and Arizona during the early 2000s. The scope of his influence and operations penetrated throughout the United States, Mexico, and several other European, Central American, and South American countries. In Mexico, he was known as the "King of Crystal" for his domination of crystal methamphetamine production and trafficking.

Both the governments of the United States and Mexico had an outstanding arrest warrant for Coronel; in addition, the United States Department of State was offering a reward of up to $5 million USD for information leading to his capture.

Coronel was killed on July 29, 2010, in Zapopan, Jalisco, during a shootout with the Mexican Army.  During the raid, Coronel killed a soldier and wounded another. A statement from the federal Attorney General's Office says soldiers found jewelry, luxury watches, guns, two hand grenades and three vehicles and USD$7 million in cash in the house where Coronel was killed.

More on "El Nacho" here.


  1. 'a crippling blow' When will the US stop with that grandiose posturing, every arrest of a trafficker, a gunman, a stash house, a ki, is a 'devastating blow' or whatever other ludicrous phrasing they can come up with. It's a set back for Nachos operation, and for Sinaloa, that's it.

  2. In Washington, the Drug Enforcement Administration called Coronel's death "a crippling blow" to the Sinaloa group's operations....... I say really DC?
    OBAMA REMAINS IGNORANT..OR STILL THINKING HIS WORDS MAKE THINGS SO? While Mx & US Gov are busy giving hi fives, the cartels regroup and keep on truckin in 40 countries arrogant, so dangerous so stupid

  3. This guy calls himself a "trafficing expert" lol, i can go to my little town in Mexico and find a 15 year old that knows more than him... without a DEGREE..

  4. It's sad that a 15-year-old in any little town in Mexico would probably know more about organized crime than he would know about getting a degree. Sad, indeed, very sad.

  5. JAJAJAJA....history has been made in the BLOG...the BB Bloger-gang are in total agreement on this one. How in the hell can we educate a world that wishes to remain ignorant?

  6. To 'I say really DC??' at 10:23 AM:

    And you've generated your assumption, because you've asked every single person poverty stricken person in Mexico whether they want to remain ignorant or not?

    I don't know about you, but perhaps you should be asking yourself that same question. I doubt you would be able to find any humor after questioning your ignorance.

  7. The DEA has been dealing "crippling blows" to drug cartels since its inception and yet there has never been so much as a pause in the transaction of illicit substances.

  8. Valentina... you make no sense. the humor was irrelevant to the subject. You are so stupid and ignorant both to assume that every Mx person in poverty is ignorant. That it of its self is ignorant and prejucdice. FYI I build schools and therapy centers in Mx now for 6 yrs. I work within the public arena so that the training I provide for the educators/prf are accessible to all students. We are a family org a 501C3, no profit. We build kitchens also ea providing 8 to 900 meals for poor students per day. FYI the educators are dedicated and superior to our math and science, I take Prf from USC-UT & others to tour and train they are amazed the level of math and science taught, superior to ours. So take your bigoted ass on the road and make the difference I and others have already work on and quit being critical of others. What I was referring to is we all agree that DC does not get the fact that this was a set back but not crippling blow.

  9. Point taken, I suppose I misread your comment, after you clearly stated: “How in the hell can we educate a world that wishes to remain ignorant?” It was your statement, not mine. I wasn't aware that I should have interpreted your sentiments differently.

    You're assuming that I'm assuming that everyone in Mexico is ignorant, when I’m simply making a reference to previous observations about the lack of education and resources.

    I'm sure most educators are dedicated, but I wouldn't debate or discuss superiority if I were you. Especially since there's a lot more violence going on than anything else.

  10. Superior educational levels really? WOW, I am not meaning to disparage all Mexican citizens. Most Mexican nationals illustrate very poor knowledge of the concepts which are math and science. Studies show that an educated society tend to resist the lure of violence and corruption which is sadly devouring the once beautiful mexican culture.

  11. "The DEA has been dealing "crippling blows" to drug cartels since its inception and yet there has never been so much as a pause in the transaction of illicit substances."

    Untrue. Avaibility of drugs have been disrupted before, and cocaine avaibility has been decreased for the past three years. While drug trafficking continues, to say the level of supply has remained the same for the past several decades is factually wrong.

  12. I believe it will just create more mayhem and death since it weakens one cartels link and opens it up for another cartel to try to take over that weak link.
    We need to stop the demand for these illicit drugs. Then we will win the battle.

  13. For Valentina...I am still confused becasue I thought we were all speaking of the same comment from DC re: crippling blow. I agree that education is the only proven ticket out of poverty, however, that applies in an environment that is stable, Mx is not. I find the schools are fine educational institutions with dedicated, trained professionals however woefully lacking resources and specialty training. That's what we provide in 3 states. To focus on education in the present conditions in Mx does nothing, because it is all about the cartel violence and rampant corruption. So aside for reading studies, what are you doing to help in MX? SOrry Richard...are you Valentia's father? I know where I speak. When I arrived in Mx I assumed US ed had to be superior and was shocked to discover otherwise. I took professors from Cal and Tx who sat in classes and conducted testing, all areas of math and science in the lower level grades and they were above the us. We suck in both in case you have not noticed. In Mx the problem is in the upper grade (HS)saying they are superior to simply is not saying much at this time in our country.this is a well rcognized issues. Richard, what part of mexico do you teach in? not all states are equal. Coahuila and Nuevo Leon are two states with a strong math/science curriculum. Do not pick apart my words...dang you must be her father, I was stressing because one is in poverty does not equate with ignorance. My educated opinion stands, but totally off the subject...

  14. It was a "decent' blow considering within 24 hours Nacho and his said to be 'replacement', his nephew El Gallo, were both taken out of the picture in two seperate incidents. However, it should not be considered, eben close to a çrushing blow.

    Although Nacho was the 'meth king'ran the operations of the Sinaloa Cartel 'trinity' in Western Mexico, and moved the coke from Colombia up the Pacific Coast to the U.S., he was still the most expendable of the 3 kingpins..

    Somebody big needed to be taken down from the Sinaloa Federation and it wasn't going to be El Mayo or El Chapo.

  15. Anonymous (August 3, 2010 7:50 PM:

    I'm not going to entertain your comment. You're entitled to your own opinion, based on your personal experiences. But yeah, entertaining your comment, which already seems extremely defensive, would be a waste of my time and highly unproductive.


    I agree.

  16. im from tamaulipas and i think they should stop these mess i realy want to go back and visit my family but i cnt because of these kind of people

  17. puro paisa AAAAAAAnimo


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