Inside Mexico's Most Powerful Drug Cartel | Foreign Correspondent

Tens of thousands are missing, many more murdered. So why are Mexico’s violent drug cartels operating with impunity? We go inside the most powerful cartel to meet the footsoldiers. Corruption, they say, goes right to the top. Produced in collaboration with Ben Zand and Vice TV.

In Mexico’s Sinaloa state, violence has become a way of life.
Home to the country’s most powerful drug syndicate, the Sinaloa cartel, murders and disappearances are rife.

The police, meant to protect the population, are often the targets of violence. Over 500 officers were killed in Mexico last year.

They’re also often complicit, with corruption in the police force and government a major problem.In this shocking portrait of a country caught in the grip of organised crime, reporter Ben Zand takes us where few have gone - inside the Sinaloa cartel in the Sierra Madre mountains where he witnesses the group’s operations up close.

At their hidden base, the group grows poppies and marijuana for export, fends off outsiders with guns and bribes visiting police and security officers with money and women.

“The government is the one in charge” say the local leader. “The cartel is only as big as the government wants us to be.”

Commentator and writer Ioan Grillo believes that the police and military used to have the upper hand with the cartels but says that’s now changed.

“Some of the cartels have become much more powerful,” says Grillo. “[now] the cartel is actually bullying and controlling elements of the security forces.”

It’s the community who’s paying the price for corruption and impunity.
Mirna Quiñones’ son disappeared suddenly 7 years ago. When police refused to help her, she set out to find him herself.

She went on to set up the Trackers of El Fuerte group which helps parents looking for their children. In the last seven years of searching, they’ve uncovered over two hundred bodies.

“There is no justice. We all know that. I have been threatened by the municipal police here. The government and crime are united.”

Interior Minister, Olga Sánchez Cordero, concedes there is corruption. “The trials, and the investigations, are deficient”, she says. “Lawyers are threatened. Judges are threatened. That is just the reality.”

But she maintains the government is doing its best to investigate the cartels and to undermine their support base.

Investigative journalist Anabel Hernández disagrees, saying she has little faith the government of Andrés Manuel López Obrador, elected two and half years ago, will tackle the problem.

“He promised to do something different but….it’s just the same. Nothing changed. In some parts it's worse."

About Foreign Correspondent:
Foreign Correspondent is the prime-time international public affairs program on Australia's national broadcaster, ABC-TV. We produce half-hour duration in-depth reports for broadcast across the ABC's television channels and digital platforms. Since 1992, our teams have journeyed to more than 170 countries to report on war, natural calamity and social and political upheaval - through the eyes of the people at the heart of it all.

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  • ABC News In-depth
    ABC News In-depth2 månader sedan

    You may recognise some footage in this documentary, this program was produced in collaboration with Ben Zand and Vice TV. If you'd like to learn more about the mothers searching for Mexico's disappeared you can read our accompanying article here:

  • Jorge TV

    Jorge TV

    11 dagar sedan

    @Callum Gillman I am Mexican, the only thing I can tell you is that you do not believe everything that is in the media, let alone the US media, I am sorry to say but they have you very deceived, if you only came to Mexico you would realize and have another conception about the country, something that makes me doubtful is that the "narcos" those of the video have let them interview them, it is rare, because to tell the truth that kind of criminals are very cautious, and more so with the Americans, I do not know, it seems strange to me, but well, to tell the truth Mexico as violent as these clowns say, surely you will tell me that I lie, but it is a truth, and I do not say that there is no violence, but we are not Afghanistan either, everywhere there is violence. A pity that they lie so much in their face...

  • JK F1

    JK F1

    13 dagar sedan

    Imagine if the US had a border to keep this out.

  • Valerijus Petrusevas

    Valerijus Petrusevas

    22 dagar sedan

    @Jon Irvine n

  • Christian H

    Christian H

    24 dagar sedan

    Mexico should just because part of the US..then the US cna govern the country and push our cartels ..firstly..legalise marijuana and tax it.

  • Y M

    Y M

    Månad sedan

    Cartels can be stopped if people actually try for the future

  • james jade lasquites
    james jade lasquites24 minuter sedan

    Compare it to what is happening in the Philippines where the Drug Cartels are killed and some in hiding because of the strong willed president Duterte.

  • Stephen Edwards
    Stephen Edwards25 minuter sedan

    Mexico's weed is str8 garbage 🗑️🚮👎🏾

  • Jensen Junior
    Jensen Junior38 minuter sedan

    It's like heaven in hell ,but I wish mexico peace thanks

  • jose correa
    jose correaTimme sedan

    Man that last sentence she spoke really hit home

  • davesr25
    davesr253 timmar sedan

    All fueled by greed, the cult of money cares little for the living cost.

  • o XampL
    o XampL4 timmar sedan

    With great power comes great .....

  • Abayomi Dada
    Abayomi Dada6 timmar sedan

    Go and watch NARCOS

  • Chiko Stick
    Chiko Stick7 timmar sedan

    Drugs are winning the war on drugs .. there’s no stopping it . We need to find a way to just figure how to make this more peaceful . Make it legal ..

    LAZZY BUDDY7 timmar sedan

    Damm l guess this earth is the real Hell, if the police are the ones to protect but they are just the cartels in police uniforms

  • Curt Kohen
    Curt Kohen10 timmar sedan

    Gee, but diversity was supposed to be a strength for white people. As long as the cartels contain their mayhem to their own, dont care. You creep that sht ot white people, gonna be problems. REMEMBER General Pershing and what about happened prior to WW1. We would OWN mexico now if that distraction wouldnt have happened. ANd lets be honest...Mexico wouldnt be the shthole it is of Western peoples run that place. Cheers

  • Kanal7 Movies

    Kanal7 Movies

    4 timmar sedan

    The hell u talkin about

  • World Changing Videos
    World Changing Videos12 timmar sedan

    Americans need to stop doing drugs. Cocaine is made with cancer causing gasoline. 🎗️

  • Misael Delgado
    Misael Delgado13 timmar sedan

    Ese vato el comandante de Sinaloa de los policías el trabaja con los hijos de l chapo. Díganle que no se aga pendwjo

  • BeTheDefender
    BeTheDefender13 timmar sedan

    If pablo escobar is alive hes going to feed them in the hippos

  • Lifelore
    Lifelore16 timmar sedan

    6 million guns smuggled across the Mexican border a year, supplied by US illegal gun underground, stocked by corrupt dealers, strawmen, and responsible gun owners. The tools of a perceived freedom, are the tools of real oppression.

  • Prince Obi-Wan
    Prince Obi-Wan16 timmar sedan

    Guns go south 🔄 drugs go north Pockets become fatter for governments and cartels

  • R R
    R R18 timmar sedan

    I know a place

  • R R
    R R18 timmar sedan


    PPPSRS CER118 timmar sedan

    from every level of government, police, military and the people are related to cartels. let this country fight for their drama.

  • Christopher Lopez
    Christopher Lopez19 timmar sedan

    Viva el cartel

  • Christopher Lopez
    Christopher Lopez19 timmar sedan

    Viva Trump he may not be coming back but mark my comments the world is going to come for a change

  • Tigre Carri
    Tigre Carri19 timmar sedan

    I mean why you think they so powerful 🤷🏻‍♂️🤫? Que alguien le explique por favor

  • Christopher Lopez
    Christopher Lopez19 timmar sedan

    Viva El Cartel!!!!!

  • Tigre Carri
    Tigre Carri19 timmar sedan

    Viva 🇲🇽 Mexico cabrones why don’t you make a documentary about all the guns traffic coming from the USA 🇺🇸

  • ting tong
    ting tong19 timmar sedan

    Just Legalize All Drugs like Portugal Did.. And It Worked! Cut Out All The Corruption.. Governments Are The Problem All Over The World.

    USNVA19 timmar sedan

    20:29 - "I wanted to ask the Mexican government what it's doing to fight corruption." Mexican Government: "Why in hell would we want to fight among ourselves?! That would be counterproductive."

  • Yaro Bilo
    Yaro Bilo20 timmar sedan

    The energetic rugby conclusively pedal because end lamentably check under a literate thrill. scandalous, faded dipstick

  • Joshua Moss
    Joshua MossDag sedan

    The cartel has nothing on that group of 5 teens hanging out on a street corner anywhere in the US. Think about it though. How many police turn up when 4 or 5 African Americans are just 'loitering' around. If they weren't dangerous why do they need so many cops. (shouldn't have to say it but obvious sarcasm is obvious)

  • Carlos P
    Carlos PDag sedan

    The null shorts unknowingly compete because knight aditionally chew unto a moaning carp. threatening, adhesive dragon

  • Nino Acce
    Nino AcceDag sedan

    70 percent seem to high come on now

  • Thomas Smith
    Thomas SmithDag sedan

    Yes this is coming to a city near you.Thank the Biden administration!When will the news media stop lying?

  • Innocent Hosea
    Innocent HoseaDag sedan

    I love Mexico, love from Kenya

  • Gearz
    GearzDag sedan

    idk why they are still growing weed, honestly USA probably smuggling ganja into Mexico.

  • Kadum mibang
    Kadum mibangDag sedan

    I luv watching this kind of stuff

  • Placoso Realista
    Placoso RealistaDag sedan

    Les gusta el dinero fácil, rateros los policías al servicio de el crimen, no necesito ni he necesitado andar en esa mierda para vivir, no rico pero lo basico.

  • Mysterious Gaming
    Mysterious GamingDag sedan

    Bs Obrador the best president Mexico’s had. Why does no one ever bring up all the shit Peña Nieto and all the other presidents before him did. They all destroyed Mexico.

  • adam kramer
    adam kramerDag sedan

    Take off the stupid mask ,,

  • 607 IRIGAT7
    607 IRIGAT7Dag sedan

    Why are they letting this journalist interview them?

  • 607 IRIGAT7
    607 IRIGAT7Dag sedan

    13 years old I would've joined them too 😁

  • East Blue
    East BlueDag sedan

    If they were Muslim, you wouldn't have seen Mexico City, they would have been massacred by America and its allies

  • John Doe

    John Doe

    Dag sedan

    I don’t ever remember Mexico crashing planes into the twin towers

  • Harrick V Harrick
    Harrick V HarrickDag sedan

    These cartels are despicable, but the corrupt politicians are even more despicable, and the unfair war on drugs that causes all this, and that has been (increasingly) raging like a fever for close to a century now is probably the worst of all.

  • Nigel Kent
    Nigel KentDag sedan

    I hope these mothers find there sons

  • Nigel Kent
    Nigel KentDag sedan

    Shes a good looker for her age I bet she was stunning in her 20s

  • Charlotte Higginbotham
    Charlotte HigginbothamDag sedan

    The Mexican government is corrupt! It's power! Nothing changes! Still the same.

  • Charlotte Higginbotham
    Charlotte HigginbothamDag sedan

    Murders everyday! A very dangerous way to live. The Mexican government is involved with the drug money and the cartels. Citizen's that work in the 🇺🇸 US ! They send money to Mexico! My last job that I worked in the U .S. moved to Mexico. 🇲🇽 Mexico needs to run their own country and take care of their own people.

  • Javier
    JavierDag sedan

    I hope some day the USA can overthrow the current Mexican government. Even if it is for the price of the whole land.

  • Kanal7 Movies

    Kanal7 Movies

    4 timmar sedan

    U don't want that.

  • king leonidasberg the spartan heeb
    king leonidasberg the spartan heebDag sedan

    I'd make a few million, move to a tropical location and get out of the game and live comfortably the rest of my life. These ppl go overboard beyond overboard. How much money can one possibly spend

  • Raymond Reyes
    Raymond Reyes2 dagar sedan

    This is the kind of documentary I want to see. Not the garbage about how big are the house of athletes and movies star. Or how expensive are they’re cars. This reporter has guts. Congratulations keep it up

  • Chris Lahay
    Chris Lahay2 dagar sedan

    Freedom better then nothing

  • Supreme Court Justice Tyrone Biggums
    Supreme Court Justice Tyrone Biggums2 dagar sedan

    Mexico People need to learn to fight back , you are setting ducks for these people. You all have a beautiful country, get rid of the gangs and cartel, corrupt politicians you would have the #1 tourist attraction in the world.

  • Valentina C
    Valentina C2 dagar sedan

    I can't help notice that is a beautiful land!

  • JOHN
    JOHN2 dagar sedan

    the problem is drugs, so we need to stop the flow of drugs in america, it is simple, south america mexico is the largest importer of drugs everyone knows their goverment and police are corrupt and run by the drug cartels the US MILITARY should invade mexico and burn the drug fields and **** the cartel leaders methamphetamines makers need certen chemicials to make the drug we need to force the manufactures of these chemicials to stop makeing them simple put cut the head off the snake

  • Bob W e s t o n
    Bob W e s t o n2 dagar sedan

    Joe Biden supporters this is what your vote is bringing to America I hope you're proud of yourselves all because Donald Trump is a big meanie

  • Edwin Kanani
    Edwin Kanani2 dagar sedan

    Their loyal customer is across the border. The ones that demand the continuous supply of their products. Sad thing is they can't stop it coz of the high casualties on both sides of the border.

  • Jesús Barraza
    Jesús Barraza2 dagar sedan

    As a mexican that lives in culiacan, the part of this that hurts me more is the culture built around the cartels, kids here grow up to desiring to become one of them, it's really hurting to see every time more people envolved in it. Movies, music, tv shows, all of that feeds that culture and makes more people think that they are making good.

  • Fernando López
    Fernando López2 dagar sedan

    Mujeres fuertes en busca de sus tesoros🙏😔

  • Charlotte Higginbotham
    Charlotte Higginbotham2 dagar sedan

    Violence in 🇲🇽 Mexico is because, the cartels make the Mexican government lots of money. Controlling the security forces and holding the country back. Cartel country controls the

  • Blue Oak
    Blue Oak2 dagar sedan

    Poverty keeps the cartels staffed Addiction keeps them funded Corrupt politicians keep them in place Pro Gun Republicans keep them armed

  • hidosogood
    hidosogood2 dagar sedan

    "termina ...perdiendo" -->pero,San Juan 3:16 " Porque de tal manera amó Dios al mundo, que ha dado a su Hijo unigénito, para que todo aquel que en él cree, no se pierda, mas tenga vida eterna." Reciba y Creele JesusCristo en su-->❤

  • Alfredo Zarate
    Alfredo Zarate2 dagar sedan

    super fake this video

  • jimin bts

    jimin bts

    Dag sedan

    The truth hurts right?

  • Teddy's Friends
    Teddy's Friends3 dagar sedan

    it feels like in ghost recon wildllands

  • cris fregger
    cris fregger3 dagar sedan

    this is sad this world is going to hell

  • Martin Foden
    Martin Foden3 dagar sedan

    11.00 in the camera guy must bee like hay man you need to be nice man.

  • Marek Tulejko
    Marek Tulejko3 dagar sedan

    I never buy drugs or go to burdel 'cos it gives money for criminals!

  • Michael C
    Michael C3 dagar sedan

    "Because most of the profits go to the highest level of government." Sounds like the story everywhere.

  • Michael C

    Michael C

    5 timmar sedan

    ​@TheHedge The Iguala Kidnapping and murder of 42 students happened in 2014. The government used its influence and wealth to avoid all responsibility that would lead to change. Sure seems like they took a play out of the Cartel handbook! We may never know which side (police or cartel) payed the other for these murders because they are now allies in the same game.

  • TheHedge


    19 timmar sedan

    That's what initially started the run of the cartels in Mexico and in other countries. I'm surprised that they are still giving money to government officials.

  • Pepper Sprout
    Pepper Sprout3 dagar sedan

    you know what we should do? invite them all to the US.

  • Ashir Ali
    Ashir Ali3 dagar sedan

    Mexico now going to big change in 2years is improved the business opportunities..and sports..i will agreed is coming new Mexico

  • Buddkilla 82
    Buddkilla 823 dagar sedan

    12:58 Get one thing straight!!! This cartel is the only cartel that has morals against killing babies kids families elderlies. While still being a strong group of people!! " Strong like the USA Brutal like the Japanese "

  • Buddkilla 82
    Buddkilla 823 dagar sedan

    In a way, black people can both see the nature of having opposition wanting them to be killed and could strike at any moment, they can relate! The poverty, discrimination against their race, and violence! But as much as bad as it is in the ghetto of America, Mexicans living where they do or in the hot zones , no laws, no calling the police for help, You couldn't call anyone if you saw an entire family get lifted up, Us Americans have it way better , at least we have some sort of help (messed up and corrupt as hell, but we can call 911) and have more freedom as in Mexico. But all in all people all over the world suffer. Be grateful if you live in a good place and good home!

  • Contact jameshacker25 On telegram
    Contact jameshacker25 On telegram3 dagar sedan

    He did a great job 👆👆 my delivery was so quick you're the best bro

  • Rewster Fewd
    Rewster Fewd3 dagar sedan

    I like how they just ask whos really in charge and the cartel are just like “oh it’s the government”

  • Shawn Elliott
    Shawn Elliott3 dagar sedan

    It annoys me that nobody ever mentions how the cartels are _actually_ paramilitary organizations (i.e. mercenaries) which are self-funded (hence the drug-dealing businesses). They operate with the Federal government's approval and effectively govern Northern Mexico, which has always been resistant to direct governance by Mexico City since the country was founded. (you'll notice the police fighting the cartels are almost always state police, not Federal police.) The Federal government makes a show of trying and failing to control the cartels, but in reality the cartels are doing the Federal government's dirty work for them. Most of the people murdered by the cartels are competing cartel members, uncooperative state government officials, and secessionist civilians. That doesn't make the murders okay, but it does go a long way towards explaining the situation.

  • K3n Kiko
    K3n Kiko3 dagar sedan

    Que no tengo familia mi hermano

  • K3n Kiko
    K3n Kiko3 dagar sedan

    Its a great busines of narcotrafic that made a big damage in the country and dont talk to the world

  • judyfaith ballogan
    judyfaith ballogan3 dagar sedan

    We can just see how people around that kid changes his perspective in living. Sad to see his dream of becoming a vet turns out to be guarding the cartel🙁

  • Ismael Velazquez
    Ismael Velazquez3 dagar sedan

    Lose respect for the reporter wearing a mask

  • Julian Papin
    Julian Papin3 dagar sedan

    Drug cartel ppl are lovely ppl 🤥

  • Dusty
    Dusty3 dagar sedan

    God Bless those mothers but how can they recognize their children if they've been dead and buried for years? Wouldn't they be decayed beyond recognition?

  • Juvenal Mendoza
    Juvenal Mendoza3 dagar sedan

    Anabel trabaja para el cartel de Sinaloa, pregunto ? Será cierto?

  • Juvenal Mendoza
    Juvenal Mendoza3 dagar sedan

    Esto se agrando con el mas Corrupto Expresidente Felipe Calderón (((( El BOROLAS)))))) y luego el Guapo el Expresidente sin cerebro Peña y sus miles de políticos Rateros

  • Lejit The Wasteland Prince
    Lejit The Wasteland Prince4 dagar sedan

    This is REAL journalism... doesn't get any realer than this.

  • John Williams
    John Williams4 dagar sedan

    The war on drugs makes prohibition look genius

  • nick luebke
    nick luebke4 dagar sedan

    Thug religion Is false religion

  • Guerline Saint Louis
    Guerline Saint Louis4 dagar sedan

    82%, oh wow

  • Mazz man
    Mazz man4 dagar sedan

    Great video

  • Eduardo Ramirez
    Eduardo Ramirez4 dagar sedan

    Stop sending weapons from the States

  • urban seagull

    urban seagull

    3 dagar sedan

    And stop drugs too

  • 1 hit
    1 hit4 dagar sedan

    i want to meet the kid someday

  • R2-D2
    R2-D24 dagar sedan

    these cartels are responsible for thousands and thousands perhaps millions over the years addicting american youth to fake heroin and cocaine that they are putting fentanyl in killing them. Sanction mexico

  • peruano feo indio color barro sin arica y come cuy

    peruano feo indio color barro sin arica y come cuy

    3 dagar sedan

    Yall are the ones talking it not us

  • Kat Hood
    Kat Hood4 dagar sedan

    I need some chiva

  • True Fitness
    True Fitness4 dagar sedan

    If drugs has always been the root problem in mexico and the government have made no improvements clamping it down, why not just make it Legal. I'm sure doing that will lead to fewer deaths

  • Joshu Hinojosa
    Joshu Hinojosa5 dagar sedan

    The questionable cucumber reassuringly spill because flood perioperatively correct amid a stimulating badger. tranquil, previous malaysia

  • Alberto Figueroa
    Alberto Figueroa5 dagar sedan

    Kinda crazy to see a video about where im from and the police is definitely infiltrated by the cartel anytime u get stopped u can literally pay them off they ask you themselves if you have anything I’ve experienced it first hand.

  • Stupid B a d ITCH
    Stupid B a d ITCH5 dagar sedan

    I mean.. this is mexico own doing. USA already helped by taking in elchapo. Gotta let them do this by themselves and quit hopping borders trying to escape, cause theirs no such thing as Mexican American.

  • salvador macias Pulido
    salvador macias Pulido5 dagar sedan

    There are too many links on this chain that need to be broken in order to brake the cycle that is feeding this chriminal alliances.

  • P Cozzy
    P Cozzy5 dagar sedan

    The limping recess aboaly ruin because port seemingly wave to a languid separated. holistic, taboo puma

  • Marvell D. Anne
    Marvell D. Anne5 dagar sedan


  • salvador macias Pulido
    salvador macias Pulido5 dagar sedan

    everybody can promise, how to do it is the problem.

  • salvador macias Pulido
    salvador macias Pulido5 dagar sedan

    if you own the federal goverment money; the will find you no matter where you hide. How ironic.

  • Oliver Rowen
    Oliver Rowen5 dagar sedan

    You see until they decide to clean up govt all these documentaries are a waste of time. If they really want to knock this out they know where to drop the bombs. Just drop bombs regularly on the fields and randomly.

  • NJR Official
    NJR Official5 dagar sedan

    9:58 Look at his Finger this guys are always ready to fire.