Ignacio Coronel Villarreal (Ignacio "Nacho" Coronel Villarreal)

Ignacio Coronel Villarreal

Ignacio Coronel was responsible for moving multi-ton quantities of cocaine via fishing vessels from Colombia to Mexico and on to the United States state of Texas and Arizona during the early 2000s. His influence and operations penetrated throughout the United States, Mexico, and several other European, Central American, and South American countries. 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.  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. The act prohibited U.S. citizens and companies from doing any king of business activity with him, and virtually froze all his assets in the U.S.  Coronel was killed on 29 July 2010, in Zapopan, Jalisco, during a shootout with the Mexican Army. 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.

On 3 April 2010, alleged gunmen of Los Zetas abducted and killed Coronel Villarreal’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.  A few days after Coronel Villarreal was killed on 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.  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 Ignacio Coronel before his death in 2010 during a shootout with the Mexican army.  On January 2010, several members of the Coronel clan were arrested: Ernesto Coronel Peña, Juan Jaime Coronel, Juan Ernesto Coronel Herrera, and Gael Carbel Aldana. 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.  His nephew and regional cartel leader in Durango, Humberto Rodríguez Coronel (“El Canelo”), was arrested by the Navy on 24 March 2013. His nephew Martín Beltrán Coronel (alias “El Águila”) was released from prison on 24 September 2014.


  • February, 01, 1954
  • Mexico
  • Canelas, Durango


  • July, 29, 2010
  • Mexico
  • Zapopan, Jalisco

Cause of Death

  • gunshot wound

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