Below is the basic structure of the drug cartels in Mexico:
Falcons (Halcones): Considered the "eyes and ears" of the streets, the 'falcons' are the lowest rank in any drug cartel. They are responsible for supervising and reporting the activities of the military and their rival groups.
Hitmen (Sicarios): The armed group within the drug cartel that are responsible for carrying out assassinations, kidnappings, thefts, extortions, operating protection rackets, and defending their 'plaza' from rival groups and the military.
Lieutenants (Lugartenientes): The second highest position in the drug cartel organization that are responsible for supervising the hitmen and falcons within their own territory. They are allowed to carry out low-profile executions without permission from their bosses.
Drug lords (Capos): The highest position in any drug cartel that are responsible for supervising the entire drug industry, appointing territorial leaders, making alliances, and planning high-profile executions.
It is worth noting that there are other operating groups within the drug cartels. For example, the drug producers and suppliers, although not considered in the basic structure, are critical operators of any drug cartel, along with the financers and money launderers. In addition, the arms suppliers operate in a completely different circle, and are technically not considered part of the cartel’s logistics.
Map of violent crime per 100,000 people in the USA by state in 2004.
The United States of America is the world's largest consumer of illegal drugs. This is a list of American criminal organizations involved in illegal drug traffic, drug trade and other related crimes in the United States:
Criminal groups that have been documented importing and exporting drugs to countries.
Other American organizations involved (or that have been involved) in drug trade or traffic. It is worth mentioning, however, that this does not necessarily imply for the whole institutions mentioned below, just a selected few within it:
Mexican cartels (also known in Mexico as: La Mafia (the mafia or the mob), La Maña (the bad manners),Narcotraficantes (Narco-Traffickers), or simply as Narcos) is a generic term that usually refers to several, usually rival, criminal organizations involved in the Mexican Drug War:
Other organizations involved (or have been involved) in the drug trade in Mexico. It is worth mentioning, however, that this does not necessarily imply for the whole institutions mentioned below, just a selected few within it:
Colombia, with a strong anti-narcotic strategy, has fought against groups responsible for the production of cocaine, achieving a great decrease in cocaine production. Thanks to this, White House drug czar R. Gil Kerlikowske announced that Colombia is no longer the world's biggest producer of cocaine. The production of cocaine continues to decline in this country.