War Is Boring
Jorge Gustavo Arevalo-Kessler’s career flying planes for the Sinaloa Cartel’s private airline ended with an arrest in Mexico City and an admission of guilt before a U.S. federal judge.
German by birth, Arevalo-Kessler became a Mexican citizen and rose to the rank of captain in the Mexican air force, where he worked as an instructor and trained hundreds of pilots. His post-military career was quite different. He received an offer to fly for Emirates Airlines and could have retired with a pension. Instead, he went to work for Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman and flew bundles of cash and cocaine to and from Venezuela, Panama and Mexico.
Arevalo-Kessler was an important pilot in the Sinaloa Cartel’s air operations, which by sheer number of planes rival those of major airlines. Its fleet size is likely larger than Mexico’s largest commercial airliner Aeromexico.
The cartel’s fleet is even comparable to some major international airlines — although most of the cartel’s aircraft are smaller, befitting their role of traveling to and from remote, crude landing strips.