From Sinaloa to Sicily: How electoral drug pacts work around the world

The electoral drug pacts that seem so surprising in Mexico are also practice in other countries where there are powerful criminal organizations. Specifically in Italy.

Among Sinaloa and Sicily there are more than ten thousand kilometers away, but they have several things in common in criminal and political matters.

This article exposes the similarities that have in terms of electoral intervention the hegemonic criminal organizations operating in Sinaloa and Sicily. The unfortunate coincidence in the attitude of the electorate.

The abysmal differences in the reaction of the institutions of Mexico and Italy to the phenomenon of organized crime intervention in the elections.

Electoral drug pacts from Sinaloa to Sicily

These two entities are the headquarters of globally powerful criminal organizations. The Sinaloa cartel and Cosa Nostra, the latter known as the oldest structured criminal clan in the world.

Both organizations operate in a pyramid structure and exercise tight territorial control in the areas where their interests are based.


Both are dedicated to drug trafficking at the international level and collect money from other criminal activities that want to develop in their territory and extortion.

In the case of the Sinaloa Cartel, they are the sons of Joaquin Guzman Loera better known as “The chaps”, who are very given to extortion.

The leaders of both criminal groups seek to obtain government contracts to provide services or carry out public works. This, not only because this legitimizes them, but because they are a good business.

They even set the buying and selling prices of some essential consumer goods in their regions. Y they carry out extortion.

In the case of the Sinaloa Cartel, this is an acute practice of the children of the drug trafficker. Joaquin Guzman Loera El Chapo.

As the only true ideology of these two criminal entities is that of money and power, they make electoral drug pacts with the political forces. The above, specifically that best fit your interests at the time.

“El Mayo” in Italy

Also, Sinaloa and Sicily have something else in common. In both territories operates Ismael Zambada Garcia better known as The May Zambada, leader of the Sinaloa Cartel.

In January 2020, the public force of Catania, Sicily, detected the drug trafficking operations that The May intended to do on the island, using that city’s airport as a new gateway to introduce cocaine to Europe.

This according to file 1337/2020 of which I have a copy of the District Antimafia Directorate.

For the operation, El Mayo directly sent a man of his greatest confidence named Jose Angel Rivera Zazueta.

The transfer of 385 kilos of cocaine It was planned a year in advance. The operation consisted of transport the drug by plane from Bogotá to Madrid, and from there to Rome, with final destination in Catania.

The drug would be distributed by the Sinaloa cartel between different criminal organizations that operate in Italian territory.

The most powerful organization in Sicily is Cosa Nostra, which has control in Catania, Palermo, Agrigento and other major cities on the island through alleged electoral narco-pacts.

Magistrates who have spent years investigating and combating the illegal operations of Cosa Nostra they affirm that in those cities no criminal act occurs not previously authorized by said organization.

Electoral drug pacts

As I have pointed out in other collaborations, the Sinaloa cartel made an electoral narco-pact with the official party National Regeneration Movement (BRUNETTE) in the gubernatorial and mayoral elections held last year in Sinaloa.

The agreement was established with The May Zambada, leader of the most powerful faction of the Sinaloa Cartel, and with the faction of the sons and brothers of the drug trafficker Joaquin Guzmán Loera.

The Cartel, in exchange for protection, promised to promote the vote in favor of the candidate for governor of Morena and some candidates for mayor of the party whose moral leader is the president Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador. The sons and brothers of El Chapo they promised to operate on election day by intimidating opposition parties and candidates and operating to mobilize the vote.

The deal worked. There was violence and intimidation against the opposition, and Morena’s candidates won overwhelmingly in that state and others.

To date, the activities of promoting the vote by the government have not been investigated. Sinaloa Cartel, neither the candidates and now rulers, nor the criminal acts that took place on election day.

“If I am powerful, you are powerful”

Like the Sinaloa Cartel, Cosa Nostra established political agreements with candidates for councilors of the municipality of Palermo – the capital of Sicily – from the Fuerza Italia party in the elections of last June 12.

Force Italy’s founder and leader is former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, convicted of tax evasion and whose political career has been plagued by scandals.

In a scheme similar to what happened in Sinaloa, at least two candidates for councilors had direct meetings with members of Cosa Nostra under absolute secrecy.

secretly, the Palermo Public Prosecutor’s Office learned of the contacts and the public ministry with a court order placed a hidden microphone in the office of the candidate Pietro Polizzi, according to file 7654/2022 of the Court of Palermo of which I have a copy.

In this way they were able to collect the conversations of Pollizi with Agostina Sansone, a powerful member of Cosa Nostra, very close to the capo Salvatore Rinna.

The conversations are not wasted and clearly reflect how these agreements are developed and what is in the minds of both parties: politicians and criminals.

From Sinaloa to Sicily: How electoral drug pacts work around the world

Just like he did Sinaloa cartel with Morena candidates, Sansone directly promised Pollizi to get votes so that he would win the election. Instead Sansone asked for personal favors for him and his criminal organization: protection, business and impunity.

On May 10, Sansone violated the house arrest to which he is sentenced and visited the candidate of Fuerza Italia, along with another exponent of Cosa Nostra called Gaetano Porretto.

In the recording, it was recorded how the three talked about how it was essential to avoid telephone contacts to schedule the next meetings. Everything had to be done in person or through trusted intermediaries.

The phrases of Pollini and Samson synthesize the heart of electoral drug pact.

The difference with Sinaloa

Contrary to what happened in Sinaloa, in Palermo the Prosecutor’s Office and a Court did their job.

Pollizi’s arrest was ordered four days before the elections on the grounds: “The intervention of precautionary measures is urgent to avoid the danger that the right to vote is definitively transfigured into an exchange commodity subject to the conditioning and intimidation of the mafia power.”

And two days before the elections, Francesco Lombardo, candidate for Fratelli d’Italia, Allied party of Fuerza Italia, for an act similar to that of Pollizi.

The arrests were known throughout Italy. It was a scandal. On June 12, there was little voter turnout, with only 41 percent turning out to vote.

But the majority of that minority voted for Fuerza Italia and its allies, thus winning the Mayor of Palermo and most positions to councillors.

The areas where the most votes were obtained Strength Italy and allies were in the poorest and most marginal neighborhoods of Palermo, which are the most vulnerable and unprotected areas. They are the easiest to manipulate by gifts and victims of Cosa Nostra.

the city that had been antimafia emblem in the last 30 years it will now be governed by a party whose candidates privately made electoral narco-pacts. Like in Sinaloa.

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