Narco-Terrorism Unveiled: Inside Mexico's Cartel Chronicles with Ralph Villarruel

    Oct 6, 2023

    In this episode we dive deep into the heart of Mexico, exploring its complex relationship with the drug cartels.  With over 25 years of experience in the field, we have retired U.S. DEA agent Ralph Villarruel on the show, giving us the ground truth...of the cartel reality.  Ralph was one of the lead investigators in the cartel murder case of DEA Special Agent Kiki Camerena in 1985. and has seen things that most cannot fathom.  In this riveting conversation, we take a closer look at the chilling transformation of Mexican cartels, including their evolution of tactics and trends in violence and brutality.  We also delve into the dark world of money laundering, migrant exploitation, and the unintended consequences of border policies.

    In this episode, we will discuss: 

    • The dramatic evolution of Mexican cartels, from the 1980's to today, including their shift from cocaine to synthetic drugs, like fentanyl
    • The inner workings of Mexican cartels, including their recruitment strategies, use of foreign experts, and international connections, especially with Chinese criminal organizations
    • The interconnected issues of cartels, migrants, and the fentanyl crisis
    • The role of U.S. policy in Mexican drug cartel organization



    Views expressed in this material are opinions of the host and the guest, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Rigaku Analytical Devices.

    Listen and subscribe on your favorite podcast player:


    Apple Podcasts

    To make sure you never miss an episode of The Opioid Matrix, subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, the website, or your favorite podcast player here:  

    Michael W. Brown is the global director of counter-narcotics technology at Rigaku Analytical Devices. He has a distinguished career spanning more than 32 years as a Special Agent for the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). Most recently he was the DEA Headquarters staff coordinator for the Office of Foreign Operations for the Middle East-Europe-Afghanistan-India. Prior to that he served as the country attaché in India and Myanmar providing foreign advisory support for counter narcotic enforcement. He also spent 10 years in Pakistan as a special advisor to the US Embassy on various law enforcement issues. Michael is a graduate of the United States Ranger Training Battalion and has a master’s degree in Interdisciplinary Technology and Management from the University of Eastern Michigan.

    Contact Us

    Whether you're interested in getting a quote, want a demo, need technical support, or simply have a question, we're here to help.