Honors Theses

Date of Award


Document Type

Undergraduate Thesis



First Advisor

Douglass Sullivan-Gonzalez

Second Advisor

Carl Jenson

Third Advisor

John Winkle

Relational Format



The Sinaloa drug cartel of Mexico poses perhaps the greatest threat to the citizens of the United States of America. The history of this organization, an analysis of its leaders and its current methods of operating, offer a clearer picture of its decision-making power structure. The two-branched structure that the Sinaloa cartel utilizes includes compartmentalization and extensive corruption within and outside of Mexico. This thesis is meant to propose a framework to understand the Sinaloa cartel and point out areas in which the cartel both excels and fails. This thesis is also intended to assist law enforcement with background information on the cartel and how the Sinaloa’s past might support counter-operations against the cartel in the present day.

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