Cartel Chronicles

How One of Mexico's Biggest Cartels Is Trying to Dominate the Country's Wildest West

In a shift in the drug war, Cartel Jalisco Nueva Generation is confronting rivals in southwestern Mexico, and fighting the government.
Deborah Bonello
Cartel Chronicles

In El Chapo's Mexico, Fentanyl is the New Boom Drug

Despite the drug lord's take down, the narco-trade in Sinaloa is thriving as producers shift from heroin to deadly opioids.
Deborah Bonello

This Casting Director Puts Real Cartel Members in Movies

Eduardo Giralt Brun is offering at-risk youths from Sinaloa a potential way out of an early grave by playing themselves on screen.
Deborah Bonello

A Drug Kingpin Ran His Empire from a Laptop, Then Snitched on His Own Assassins

Pain pills in the US. Meth from North Korea. Shipments of gold. Yachts full of cocaine. Contract killings. They all added up to a witness for the feds.
Seth Ferranti

El Chapo Smuggled Coke Inside Fake Pickled Jalapeño Cans, Witness Testifies

The cartel transported an estimated $500 million worth of cocaine into the US in cans labeled La Comadre Pickled Jalapeño Peppers.
Jelisa Castrodale
true crime

How a Brooklyn Gang May Have Gotten Crazy Rich Dealing for El Chapo

Experts suspect the Sinaloa Cartel of supplying heroin to Bushwick Crew, a flashy street gang cops say lived hard, fast and deadly.
Francisco Alvarado
true crime

How a Stud Racehorse Helped Sink a Brutal Cartel Boss

A top Los Zetas figure had his brother set up a horse-breeding operation in America to launder cash. Then they started winning big prizes – and the feds got involved.
Seth Ferranti

Drug Smugglers Love This Janky Boat

The cheap, fast and unremarkable panga boat has been a fixture off the California coast for years. Even after El Chapo's capture, it may be a cartel standard.
Dave Minsky

Inside a Drug Tourism Economy

We talked to a Costa Rican drug dealer about selling to North American scum.
Allison Tierney

How Drugs Will Get Under, Over, and Around Trump's Wall

A wall may be a powerful symbol, but it won't be a useful tool in the war on drugs.
Mike Pearl
festivals 2016

Brian Wilson and Berlin Techno on the Beaches of Mexico’s Most Dangerous City

Wilson and Seun Kuti reigned, but it was homegrown talent that impressed the most at Acapulco's Trópico, a rising boutique festival founded to resist cartels and prove that Mexican youth can live freely under the looming specter of violence.
Jemayel Khawaja

How Two American Teens Became Assassins for a Mexican Cartel

A new non-fiction book details the bloody rise and fall of two Texas teenagers who became contract killers for the Zetas, killing dozens of people.
Seth Ferranti