Ignacio Coronel Villarreal

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Ignacio Coronel Villarreal
Born(1954-02-01)1 February 1954
Canelas, Durango, Mexico
Died29 July 2010(2010-07-29) (aged 56)
Zapopan, Jalisco, Mexico
Cause of deathGunshot wound to the head
Other names"King of Crystal"
El Nacho,[1]
El Coronel
Ignacio Valdés Urrutia
OccupationDrug lord
EmployerSinaloa Cartel
Known forSinaloa Cartel Drug lord
Partner(s)Joaquín Guzmán, Ismael Zambada García, Juan José Esparragoza Moreno

Ignacio "Nacho" Coronel Villarreal (1 February 1954 – 29 July 2010) was a Mexican suspected drug lord and one of the founders of the Sinaloa Cartel, a criminal group based in Sinaloa. He worked alongside Joaquín "El Chapo" Guzmán, Mexico's most-wanted drug lord. His stronghold was Jalisco.


In the 1980s, Coronel began his criminal career as the leader of the Juarez Cartel in the state of Nayarit. He worked at that time under the shadow of Amado Carrillo Fuentes "the Lord of The Skies" and Eduardo González Quitarte "El Flaco". After the death of Carrillo Fuentes, Coronel, Juan Jose Esparragoza Moreno "El Azul" and Ismael "El Mayo" Zambada broke away from the Juarez cartel and joined the Sinaloa cartel, which regained its status as Mexico’s top cartel in 2001 after El Chapo Guzman’s escape from prison in Puente Grande, Jalisco. At that time Coronel was associated with Luis Valencia Valencia, head of the cartel del Milenio and the Beltran Leyva brothers. Years later, when the Beltran Leyva brothers broke away from Guzman, Coronel stood firmly with the Sinaloa cartel. Coronel was responsible for moving multi-ton quantities of cocaine via fishing vessels from Colombia to Mexico and on to the United States states of Texas and Arizona during the early 2000s.[2][3] His influence and operations penetrated throughout the United States, Mexico, and several other European, Central American, and South American countries.[4] In Mexico, he was known as the "King of Crystal" for his domination of crystal methamphetamine production and trafficking.

Both the governments of the United States and Mexico had an outstanding arrest warrant for Coronel; in addition, the United States Department of State was offering a reward of up to $5 million USD for information leading to his capture.[2][4]

Kingpin Act sanction[edit]

On 1 June 2005, the United States Department of the Treasury sanctioned Coronel under the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act (sometimes referred to simply as the "Kingpin Act"), for his involvement in drug trafficking along with seven other international criminals and one entity.[5] The act prohibited U.S. citizens and companies from doing any kind of business activity with him, and virtually froze all his assets in the U.S.[6]


Coronel was killed on 29 July 2010, in Zapopan, Jalisco, during a shootout with the Mexican Army.[7][8] During the raid, Coronel killed a soldier and wounded another. A statement from the federal Attorney General's Office says soldiers found jewelry, luxury watches, guns, two hand grenades and three vehicles and US$7 million in cash in the house where Coronel was killed.[9]

Personal life[edit]

On 3 April 2010, alleged gunmen of Los Zetas abducted and killed Coronel's son, Alejandro Coronel (aged 16), in Bahía de Banderas, Nayarit. Ignacio sought vengeance and responded three days later by sending over 100 of his henchmen to kidnap and kill 14 people.[10][11]

A few days after Coronel was killed on 29 July 2010, his nephew Mario Carrasco Coronel ("El Gallo") was killed by the special forces of the Mexican Army in Guadalajara, Jalisco. Mario reportedly aided his uncle Ignacio directly in the cartel activities and was his alleged successor.[12]

His niece, Emma Coronel, is married to Joaquín El Chapo Guzmán, Mexico's most-wanted drug lord. Emma is the third or fourth wife of Guzmán Loera, who at one time was a partner of Coronel.[13]

In January 2010, several members of the Coronel clan were arrested: Ernesto Coronel Peña, Juan Jaime Coronel, Juan Ernesto Coronel Herrera, and Gael Carbel Aldana.[11] His cousin José Ángel Coronel Carrasco ("El Changel") was arrested by Mexican soldiers in Culiacán on 20 January 2013. He was the successor of Coronel Villarreal and top leader of La Corona Cartel, a Sinaloa Cartel-affiliated gang founded between late 2012 and early 2013.[14][15][16]

His nephew and regional cartel leader in Durango, Humberto Rodríguez Coronel ("El Canelo"), was arrested by the Navy on 24 March 2013.[17] His nephew Martín Beltrán Coronel (alias "El Águila") was released from prison on 24 September 2014.[18]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Muere abatido 'Nacho' Coronel: El líder del cártel de Sinaloa murió en medio de un enfrentamiento con elementos del Ejército tras un operativo en un fraccionamiento residencial de Zapopan. El Universal. Mexico City, Mexico. 29 July 2010. El Universal.
  2. ^ a b "Narcotics Rewards Program". United States Department of State. 2008. Retrieved 23 October 2008.
  3. ^ González, María de la Luz (23 October 2008). "PGR destrona al "El Rey"". El Universal (in Spanish). Retrieved 23 October 2008.
  4. ^ a b FBI – Reward for Coronel Archived 31 August 2010 at the Wayback Machine.
  5. ^ "DESIGNATIONS PURSUANT TO THE FOREIGN NARCOTICS KINGPIN DESIGNATION ACT" (PDF). United States Department of the Treasury. 15 May 2014. p. 1. Archived from the original (PDF) on 14 May 2013. Retrieved 28 May 2014.
  6. ^ "An overview of the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act" (PDF). United States Department of the Treasury. 2009. p. 1. Archived from the original (PDF) on 28 May 2014. Retrieved 28 May 2014.
  7. ^ "Mexican drug lord killed in raid, officials say". CNN. 29 July 2010. Retrieved 29 July 2010.
  8. ^ "Top drug lord Ignacio Coronel killed in shootout with Mexican army". BNO News. 29 July 2010. Archived from the original on 21 June 2011. Retrieved 29 July 2010.
  9. ^ "$7 Mln in cash seized in slain drug lord's house". Associated Press. 31 July 2010. Retrieved 1 August 2010.
  10. ^ "La cacería: "Nacho" Coronel". Noroeste (in Spanish). 1 August 2010. Archived from the original on 29 January 2013. Retrieved 29 January 2013.
  11. ^ a b "Se acaba la dinastía de Canelas". Ríodoce (in Spanish). 28 January 2013. Archived from the original on 29 January 2013. Retrieved 29 January 2013.
  12. ^ Otero, Silvia (31 July 2010). "Ejército asesta otro golpe: mata a sucesor de Coronel". El Universal (Mexico City) (in Spanish). Archived from the original on 29 January 2013. Retrieved 29 January 2013.
  13. ^ Wilkinson, Tracy (27 September 2011). "Wife of fugitive Mexican drug lord gives birth in L.A. County". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on 30 January 2013. Retrieved 16 June 2012.
  14. ^ Valdez, Cynthia (20 January 2013). "Sinaloa: cae primo de 'Nacho' Coronel". Milenio (in Spanish). Archived from the original on 20 January 2013.
  15. ^ "Cae 'El Changel', supuesto sucesor de 'Nacho' Coronel". Proceso (in Spanish). 30 January 2013. Archived from the original on 31 January 2013. Retrieved 31 January 2013.
  16. ^ "Arrestan a El Changel, sucesor de Nacho Coronel". Univision (in Spanish). 30 January 2013. Archived from the original on 31 January 2013. Retrieved 31 January 2013.
  17. ^ Lozano, Luis (24 March 2013). "Cae en Durango 'El Canelo', sobrino de 'Nacho' Coronel". Proceso (in Spanish). Archived from the original on 9 March 2016. Retrieved 25 October 2016.
  18. ^ Mosso, Rubén (24 September 2014). "Ordena juez liberar a sobrino de Nacho Coronel" (in Spanish). Mexico City: Milenio. Archived from the original on 25 September 2014. Retrieved 10 June 2017.

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