Jesús Reynaldo Zambada García “El Rey” was one of the most important men in the structure of the Sinaloa Cartel.
Besides being the brother of Ishmael “El Mayo” Zambada, the true leader of the criminal organization that came to dominate drug trafficking worldwide, “El Rey” was responsible for criminal activity in the Valley of Mexico and the importation of cocaine and precursors to produce methamphetamines from South America through the Mexico City International Airport (AICM).
He was arrested on October 20, 2008, during a clash with federal forces in Mexico City along with 15 other people, among which was his son Jesús Zambada Reyes.
He was held in the maximum security prison of Matamoros, Tamaulipas until April 4, 2012 when he was extradited to the United States. His cases were filed in courts in Chicago and New York.
The US government accused him of controlling a narcotics traffic route through Mexico City Airport, which could introduce drugs for $ 5.8 billion, with the help of Boeing 747 aircraft, submarines, container ships, ultra fast boats, fishing vessels, buses, freight trains, trailers and cars.
Once in the American Union, “The King” became a “snitch” in exchange for his sentence being reduced. He was a key witness in the trial against Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán.
In November 2018, “El Rey” Zambada testified under oath that in the early 2000s – during the Government of Vicente Fox – He personally spent $ 300,000 (USD) per month bribing the Mexican military and officials.
“The King” Zambada He said the money went to state and federal officials, as well as to the international police, Interpol, to provide protection and pass drug shipments by “El Chapo” Guzmán and “El Mayo” Zambada
Further, He revealed that he met with former Secretary of Public Security Genaro García Luna in a restaurant between 2005 and 2006. He said he gave him a suitcase with three million dollars in the place. At that time García Luna was in charge of the Federal Research Agency of Mexico.
At a second meeting in 2007, when García Luna was already Secretary of Public Security, Zambada said he gave him another suitcase with between three and five million dollars.
Zambada’s testimony served the Department of Justice not only to persuade the jury to condemn Guzmán Loera, but from his statements the investigation by which Genaro García Luna was arrested was detached, former Secretary of Public Security, who is currently in prison at the Brooklyn Metropolitan Detention Center, accused of receiving millions of dollars as bribes from the Sinaloa Cartel.
Where is “The King”?
This weekend, the American newspaper reporter The New York Times, Alan Feuer (one of the few journalists who covered the trial of Chapo Guzmán in situ) wrote on his Twitter account that Lucero Guadalupe Sánchez López known as “la chapodiputada”, Jesus “El Rey” Zambada and the Colombian Jorge Milton Cifuentes Villa; They were no longer in the custody and responsibility of the Federal Bureau of Prison (FBP).
It was then that a cascade of confusion occurred, where it was deduced that the three had been released after declaring against Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán, who purges a life sentence in a maximum security prison.
However, a US Department of Justice official assured Jesus Esquivel, a reporter for Process, which were not released.
“To be free, the order would have to come from a federal judge and no one else,” he explained. He even said that “all three are in the custody of the US Marshalls (federal sheriffs) or in the protected witness program.”
After the confusion, he himself Feuer issued another tweet where he wrote: “Let me be clear about this. In yesterday’s tweets, I never said that the defendants were completely released from US custody. I said that according to the Bureau of Prisons they are not in custody. We don’t know precisely where these defendants are because their cases are sealed. ”
Right now, the whereabouts of the “King” Zambada are unknown, nor of the other two witnesses in the case of El Chapo (Lucero Guadalupe Sánchez López and Jorge Milton Cifuentes Villa).