“La Nacha” and “La Chata”, the “founding mothers” who invented everything in the Mexican drug trade


“La Nacha” and “La Chata” made great contributions to the world of Mexican drug trafficking (Photo: file)

One was the first to implement actions and strategies that the large drug cartels continue to use today. The other was the first to infiltrate the intelligence corps in the country to corrupt them.

They are Ignacia Jasso, “La Nacha”, and María Dolores Estévez Zulueta, “La Chata”. Two women who during the first half of the last century dominated the world of drug trafficking in Mexico and established the foundations for a business that captures an important part of the USD 52. 844 million of illicit money that moves each year in Mexico (according to the data of Global Financial Integrity to 2013) and that represents between 2 and 3% of the Internal Product Gross (GDP).

“La Nacha” can presume that she was the “first drug trafficker” in the country to dispute a place, to export drugs on a large scale and to establish within her criminal organization a family structure that important groups continue to maintain today such as the Jalisco Nueva Generación Cartel (CJNG), Los Arellano Félix and Los Beltrán Leyva, among others.

It was also the first drug trafficker, of any gender, to control the transfer of drugs at a border crossing.

“La Chata” also had its feats: pioneered infiltrating intelligence corps in Mexico to bribe and corrupt them, a sample is their seven entries and exits from different prisons in which they only served short sentences.

Until now has been the only criminal declared a public enemy number one by a decree of the President of Mexico. However, there are those who consider that their contribution to the world of drug trafficking is overrated, because while Ignacia Jasso came to control the drug trade in important states, such as Sinaloa and Chihuahua, the domain of Estévez Zulueta was limited to the area of ​​the popular La Merced neighborhood in Mexico City and its operations were limited to drug dealing.

Jasso served his sentence in one of the prisons for dangerous inmates (Photo: file)
Jasso served his sentence in one of the prisons for dangerous inmates (Photo: file)

The importance of “La Nacha”

“Na La Nacha’created the first Mexican transnational cartel. It is she who establishes the first supply routes to the United States, which would be used by the Pacific Cartel, the Juárez Cartel and the Sinaloa Cartel; the latter two continue to operate; the first was broken into many pieces that are the base of the groups that operate in Mexico to this day, including the most powerful: the Jalisco New Generation Cartel, “he said at the time to Infobae Mexico Alejandro Páez Varela, writer of different novels that portray Ciudad Juárez, Jasso’s main area of ​​operation.

Was Pablo González’s wife, “El Pablote”. The two began to control the trafficking of marijuana and morphine in the border area of ​​El Paso, Texas, and Ciudad Juárez, in Chihuahua Mexico, in the twenties of the last century.

The couple achieved control in the states of Chihuahua, Sonora and Sinaloa after contesting the territory to a Chinese-born drug trafficker named Sam Ching, who had arrived in Mexico fleeing the San Francisco earthquake in 1906.

“The pre-eminence of Asians in the distribution and sale of drugs ended when, in the mid-1920s, 11 Chinese immigrants dedicated to said illicit trade were murdered (in Ciudad Juárez. The person responsible for the deaths was an individual nicknamed ‘El Veracruz ‘, apparently a member of the group of’ La Nacha ‘and her husband’ El Pablote ‘. Thus began the long history of executions associated with drug trafficking “, Adriana Linares, a researcher at the Autonomous University of Juárez, pointed out in a text.

From that massacre not only did his fame grow, but the business expanded to heroin and cocaine.

The border crossing between Ciudad Juárez and El Paso, one of the Jasso territories (Photo: file)
The border crossing between Ciudad Juárez and El Paso, one of the Jasso territories (Photo: file)

“El Pablote” was assassinated in 1931, but far from losing the business, his wife consolidated herself at the head of the criminal organization and strengthened alliances in states like Michoacán.

“Sam Ching ran a drug business through coffee shops and laundries where he sold opium. He started doing business buying from a group made up of Gil Caro, Manuel Caro and Rafael Fonseca (grandfather of Ernesto Fonseca Carrillo, one of the founders of the Guadalajara Cartel in the eighties) and they are the first drug traffickers in the region who are related to Rafael Caro Quintero (one of the most wanted drug traffickers in the US, they sold marijuana to ‘La Nacha’ and when they kill Ching she keeps the whole business, “explained Jesús Lemus, author of the book” Tierra Sin Dios “in the one a chapter describes the importance of this woman in the world of the drug trafficker.

Its export business was strengthened in the late 1930s when it became supplier of the United States Army, who needed to buy marijuana to distribute it among his detached troops in Europe.

In Mexico she was also protected by a high command of the Army, but in 1943 her contacts failed, was arrested and sent to the Marías Islands, in the Pacific where the most dangerous criminals in the country were serving their sentences.

Harry J. Anslinger, director of the Federal Narcotics Office in the US asked the Mexican government for his extradition, but with the help of his children He continued to run the business from prison.

Jasso did not die in prison, he served his sentence and upon leaving prison he retired from the business and inherited it from his children and his descendants kept it valid until the eighties.

The trafficker’s daughter

“La Chata” sold drugs to society members in the Mexican capital.

María Dolores Estévez “La Chata” He sold small pork rinds (fried pork skin) in the La Merced neighborhood. Her father was a marijuana and heroin dealer.

At the age of 13 he started in businessShe was detained at least seven different times thereafter, but only served short sentences and took control once she left.

During his adolescence, he moved from the Mexican capital to Ciudad Juárez in Chihuahua, where he met new ways to traffic drugs, and finally returned to La Merced where she became the absolute owner of the business.

Thanks to her marriage to Enrique Jaramillo, a former police officer and successful drug trafficker from a neighboring state he was able to protect himself and infiltrate even the Mexican secret police.

“To her we owe the principle of the infiltration of the narco in the security forces, the foundations of corruption and impunity that we are suffering so far, “said Lemus.

The popular La Merced neighborhood in Mexico (Photo: Cuartoscuro)
The popular La Merced neighborhood in Mexico (Photo: Cuartoscuro)

His fame skyrocketed in 1945 when then-President Manuel Ávila Camacho published a decree to declare her a public enemy number one, as a government measure to stop the infiltration of the narco into its intelligence agencies.

“It became famous for the degree of government corruption and infiltration, it paid the entire intelligence system and therein lies its importancebut some researchers have given it historical importance that it does not have, “added Lemus.

“La Chata” was arrested in 1947 and sentenced to 11 years in prison, by the end of the 1950s her influence had already disappeared, although from her legacy Three generations of women dedicated to the business emerged.

According to Lemus, there is no evidence that “La Nacha” and “La Chata” have ever met.

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