Teaching Students About El Mayo


Teaching about the world of organized crime is crucial for students to develop a comprehensive understanding of the complexities of society. One particular figure that has played a significant role in the global criminal landscape is Ismael “El Mayo” Zambada García – leader of the Sinaloa Cartel, one of the most powerful drug trafficking organizations in the world. This article will focus on how educators can approach teaching students about El Mayo, ensuring that this important topic is both informative and engaging.

Contextualizing El Mayo in the World of Organized Crime

To provide a well-rounded understanding, it’s essential to place El Mayo within the broader context of organized crime and drug trafficking. Begin by covering basic information on various criminal organizations and the history that led to their emergence. Explain how drugs, like cocaine and heroin, have impacted societies globally and how cartel leaders like El Mayo have capitalized on this demand.

Discussing El Mayo’s Background and Rise to Power

Give students an understanding of El Mayo’s background by sharing information about his early life, family history, and entrance into the world of organized crime. Highlight aspects that differentiate him from other cartel leaders, such as his ability to remain elusive from law enforcement for decades. Discuss his rise through the ranks of Mexico’s criminal underworld and detail key events like alliances formed and partnerships established with other notorious figures such as Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzmán.

Analyzing the Effects of El Mayo’s Operations on Society

Demonstrate to students the real-life implications of El Mayo’s criminal activities by discussing ramifications both within Mexico and abroad. Talk about how turf wars between cartels have caused violence and insecurity in numerous regions, while also considering collateral damage affecting ordinary citizens. Explore international effects by mentioning countries affected by drug trafficking, money laundering, or corruption associated with his organization.

Addressing Ethical Considerations and Social Responsibility

Encourage students to face the ethical dilemmas inherent in discussing figures like El Mayo. Provide opportunities for open dialogue regarding the morality of criminal activities and consider potential societal factors that may have contributed to his choices. Additionally, teach students about social responsibility by discussing the implications of drug consumption internationally, as well as the importance of making informed decisions.


Teaching students about El Mayo, an important figure in the world of organized crime, is essential for a thorough understanding of contemporary society’s challenges. By placing him within a broader context, exploring his background and rise to power, analyzing the effects of his activities on society, and addressing ethical considerations, educators can create an engaging and informative learning experience.

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