The 10 Best Documentaries About Cartels

Jul 31, 2023 | Best Of, Crime, Drugs

The illicit activities of drug cartels have been a major concern for society. From traditional organized groups and street gangs to affiliated individual dealers, cartel members are often entangled in criminal activities that go beyond drug trafficking. This includes charges such as murder, assault, fraud, money laundering, gambling and bribery. If you’re interested in understanding more about the world of cartels then these documentaries will help you do just that. Here is our list of best cartel documentaries which contain content suited only for a mature audience.


1. Los Zetas: Most Ruthless and Dangerous Cartel In Mexico

The Los Zetas cartel is one of the most violent and ruthless gangs in Mexico. This documentary takes a deep dive into their history, operations, and tactics. It looks at how they have gone from traditional drug trafficking to gun-running and sex trafficking rackets, as well as their use of brutal strategies that involve indiscriminate slaughter, torture, and beheading to terrorize rival groups. Get an inside look at this dangerous criminal enterprise with this informative documentary!


2. Inside Mexico’s Most Powerful Drug Cartel

Welcome to Sinaloa, Mexico – a place where violence has become an everyday reality. In this documentary, we follow reporter Ben Zand as he takes us inside the most powerful drug cartel in Mexico and meets its footsoldiers. We witness firsthand how the police force is often targeted by the syndicate and get a close look at their operations in Sierra Madre mountains. Get ready for an up-close exploration of one of the most interesting drug cartels documentaries out there!


3. On the Front Line With Mexico’s Warring Cartels

This documentary takes you to the front lines of Mexico’s warring cartels. Follow Vice News producer Miguel Fernandez Flores and reporter Keegan Hamilton as they meet cartel members on both sides of this conflict in Michoacan. Delve into an exploration of if anything can or will change for the better, and learn about the United Cartels alliance of groups and their leader El Mencho from Jalisco New Generation Cartel. Get a unique look at one of the world’s most dangerous conflicts with this eye-opening documentary!


4. Mexico: The Cartels Switch to Fentanyl

A deadly new health crisis has been triggered in the United States due to the illicit trade of fentanyl. This synthetic opioid is fifty times stronger than heroin and just a single pill can be lethal, making it an easy target for drug cartels in Mexico. In this video we explore how these cartels have managed to switch from cultivating poppies and relying on rural communities for opium production, to producing and transporting fentanyl instead. We examine the devastating effects that this substance is having on the American continent.


5. The Most Brutal Mexican Cartels In Power

This video will take you on a journey to discover the most dangerous and powerful Mexican cartels in existence today. Hear personal stories of survivors who have experienced the violence first-hand, as well as an exploration of how these cartels came into power. You’ll also get insight into what life is like for those living under their control – from not knowing when the next explosion or blackout might occur to losing loved ones in the chaos. Take a look at this eye-opening documentary and gain a better understanding of one of Mexico’s most oppressive realities.


6. Mexican Army: War Against Powerful Drug Cartels

Join Reggie as he takes a journey to Acapulco, once a tourist paradise but now the 4th most dangerous city in the world. He will be joining up with Unit 27 of the 56th Infantry Battalion and living life on the front line of Mexico’s brutal war against powerful drug cartels. Find out what it is like for these young soldiers risking their lives every day, not knowing who their enemy is or who they can trust. Experience this intense fight against crime firsthand with our documentary!


7. The Cartel Members Who Killed People With Chainsaws

This documentary takes you inside the terrifying world of cartel violence, where members use chainsaws to brutally murder their enemies. We’ll take a close look at some of the most notorious cartels and tell the stories of those who have been directly affected by their actions. Join us as we explore this dark side of Mexico’s drug war and uncover how these ruthless criminals operate.


8. The Drug Cartels Of Mexico

Mexico is a country that has been struggling with the power and influence of drug cartels for many years. This documentary takes an in-depth look at how these organizations have infiltrated Mexican culture, resulting in violence and corruption. The film examines the lives of those caught up in this dark world, showing both sides of the story while offering insight into what needs to change if Mexico is ever to break free from this cycle of destruction. To understand the true nature of this issue, watch as we explore The Drug Cartels Of Mexico – Full Documentary.


9. Becoming a Hitman for the Cartel

Are you ready to go on a journey to the heart of Mexico’s infamous Sinaloa Cartel? In this episode of Rites of Passage, we’ll follow two eager members as they attempt to make their mark in the cartel. From drug runs and tailing military trucks in Culiacán, to attending an underground training camp in Badiraguato, these men will find out if they have what it takes to become sicarios (hitmen) for one of the most powerful cartels in the world. Join us as we take a deep dive into this dangerous underworld!


10. Inside the cartels controlling Australia’s cocaine trade

Australia’s cocaine trade is controlled by powerful cartels. In this documentary, we uncover the inner workings of these cartels and investigate how they are able to remain in control. We’ll look at the tactics used to keep drugs flowing into Australia and explore the devastating effects that come with it. Join us as we take a closer look at one of Australia’s most lucrative yet destructive drug trades!

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David B