The way I understand it is that most cartels are organized as loose alliances between the capos of the most powerful drug organizations in a given area, but my question is if the ones that are recognized as the top capos work together to run the entire organization. So if the following is accurate:
Are those guys so powerful/influential that they are the official/unofficial bosses of a cartel, or are they just the most well-known of dozens of capos in a cartel? For instance, were Chapo, Mazo, Azul ever recognized as the three official bosses of Sinaloa that other capos within Sinaloa would take orders from, or were they always just the most well-known leaders of their own organizations within the cartel?
Also, was Los Zetas under Lazcano a strict vertical hierarchy with Lazcano as the final authority? What about Michoacan/Templars with Nazario, and Jalisco with Mencho?
What about when cartels go to war? For instance, when the Medellin/Cali war happened was it the entire Medellin cartel vs the entire Cali cartel? Or was it Escobar vs Rodriguez-Orejuela & Pacho Herrera? Or when Sinaloa went to war against Tijuana and Juarez; was it the entire Sinaloa cartel vs the entire Tijuana cartel and the entire Juarez cartel? Or was it Chapo & Mayo vs the Arellano-Felix brothers, and Chapo vs Viceroy?
How do they actually operate in the United States, by the way? Is it plaza bosses who deal with distribution and money laundering? I guess these plaza heads have strong connections with local gangs, etc. Anyone who can give me some luz about it?