A former police detective, Juan José Esparragoza Moreno, alias ‘El Azul,’ has become the go-to facilitator for all alliances and peace pacts between rival cartels in Mexico. Among his colleagues in the Sinaloa Cartel, Esparragoza maintains the lowest profile.
Juan José Esparragoza Moreno is a former police detective turned drug trafficker who serves as the ad hoc negotiator and conciliator amongst the drug trafficking clans. Although not as well known as his partners Ismael Zambada García, alias ‘El Mayo,’ or Joaquín Guzmán Loera, alias ‘El Chapo,’ his history is just as long. He began with the Guadalajara Cartel and may have played a role in the death of the Drug Enforcement Administration agent Enrique Camarena in 1985. He was jailed but released in 1992. He later joined forces with the Juárez Cartel and worked under Amado Carrillo Fuentes until Carrillo’s death in 1997. While Guzmán was in jail, Esparragoza helped him maintain his business. And after Guzmán escaped jail in 2001, Esparragoza became part of “the board of directors” of the Sinaloa Cartel, which includes Zambada. He is still at the center of all family ties and is often the appointed mediator between the groups. Esparragoza married Guzmán’s sister-in-law. He is the godfather of Amado Carrillo Fuentes’ son and one of Ismael Zambada’s sons. And one of his sons married one of the Beltrán Leyva’s daughters.