Pedro Avilés Pérez Cause of Death: The End of the First Mexican Drug Lord

Who was Pedro Avilés Pérez?

Pedro Avilés Pérez, also known as “El León de la Sierra” (The Mountain Lion), was a Mexican drug lord who pioneered the use of aircraft to smuggle drugs to the United States in the late 1960s and early 1970s. He is considered to be the first generation of major Mexican drug smugglers of marijuana, and the founder of the Guadalajara Cartel, the precursor of several modern-day drug trafficking organizations.

Pedro Avilés Pérez was born on April 11, 1931, in Tamazula, Durango, Mexico. He started his criminal career as a car thief and a smuggler of alcohol and tobacco across the border. He later moved to Sinaloa, where he began growing and trafficking marijuana. He soon became one of the most powerful and wealthy drug lords in the region, with connections to politicians, police, and military officials.

He expanded his operations by hiring pilots and buying planes to transport large quantities of marijuana to the United States, avoiding the risks and costs of land routes. He also established alliances with other drug traffickers, such as Miguel Ángel Félix Gallardo, Ernesto Fonseca Carrillo, Juan José Esparragoza Moreno, and Rafael Caro Quintero, who would later become his successors and rivals.

How did Pedro Avilés Pérez die?

Pedro Avilés Pérez died on September 15, 1978, at the age of 47, in a shootout with the Federal Police in Culiacán, Sinaloa. According to some sources, he was betrayed by one of his associates, Ernesto Fonseca Carrillo, who wanted to take over his business and territory. Fonseca Carrillo allegedly tipped off the authorities about Avilés Pérez’s location and movements, and set up an ambush for him.

According to other sources, Avilés Pérez was killed by accident, when he encountered a police checkpoint on his way to a meeting. He refused to stop and opened fire, triggering a gunfight that resulted in his death. His body was riddled with bullets, and his car was burned by the police.

His death marked the end of an era in the Mexican drug trade, and the beginning of a new one, characterized by more violence, fragmentation, and competition among the emerging cartels.

Why was Pedro Avilés Pérez important?

Pedro Avilés Pérez was important because he was the first Mexican drug lord to use an innovative and effective method of smuggling drugs to the United States, which would be adopted and improved by his successors and competitors. He was also the founder of the Guadalajara Cartel, the first major drug trafficking organization in Mexico, which would spawn several other cartels that still operate today.

Pedro Avilés Pérez was also influential because he mentored and trained some of the most notorious and powerful drug lords in history, such as Miguel Ángel Félix Gallardo, Ernesto Fonseca Carrillo, Juan José Esparragoza Moreno, Rafael Caro Quintero, and Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán. He taught them the skills and strategies of the drug business, and helped them establish their own networks and territories.

Pedro Avilés Pérez was also respected and feared by his peers and enemies, who recognized his authority and leadership in the drug trade. He was known for his charisma, intelligence, and ruthlessness, as well as for his generosity and loyalty to his friends and family.

How did the fans and the industry react?

Pedro Avilés Pérez’s death was not widely reported or mourned by the public, as he was not a well-known or popular figure outside the drug world. However, his death had a significant impact on the drug industry, as it triggered a power struggle and a war among his former allies and enemies, who fought for his territory and business.

His death also created a vacuum in the drug trade, which was filled by his protégés, who formed the Guadalajara Cartel, the most powerful and dominant drug trafficking organization in Mexico in the 1980s. The Guadalajara Cartel would later split into several factions, such as the Sinaloa Cartel, the Tijuana Cartel, the Juárez Cartel, and the Gulf Cartel, which would continue the legacy and the rivalry of Pedro Avilés Pérez.

Conclusion

Pedro Avilés Pérez was the first Mexican drug lord who used aircraft to smuggle drugs to the United States, and the founder of the Guadalajara Cartel, the precursor of several modern-day drug trafficking organizations. He died in a shootout with the Federal Police in 1978, after being betrayed by one of his associates, or by accident, depending on the source. His death marked the end of an era in the Mexican drug trade, and the beginning of a new one, characterized by more violence, fragmentation, and competition among the emerging cartels. He was a pioneer, a mentor, and a leader in the drug industry, who left a lasting impact and influence on the history and culture of Mexico.