Feb. 24, 2014 -- intro: The capture of Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, who authorities said was the world's most powerful drug lord, was the latest in the long running war between drug barons and Mexican and American crime fighters.
Each take-down has been hailed as a blow to the cartels, but the cartels have continued to proliferate and become even more violent, with new leaders replacing the old ones.
With Guzman off the street, however, the attention of Mexican and U.S. officials can now turn to other top leaders of the sprawling drug syndicates.
Here's a line-up of the most wanted narco-bosses still at large:
quicklist: 1 title: Ismael Zambada-Garcia aka "El Mayo" text: El Mayo, a 64-year-old native of Sinaloa and a partner of El Chapo, is one of the most wanted criminals in Mexico.
With the two men at the helm, the Sinaloa cartel has dominated the world cocaine market and become a huge player in other narctotics, including methamphetamines, marijuana and heroin.
El Mayo, a former farmer, got his start working with the Juarez Cartel along the U.S. border. He formed his own group in the late 1990s after Amado Carrillo, the leader of the Juarez group, died during botched plastic surgery.
El Mayo is not afraid to make and break alliances, according to InSight Crime, which is one of the reasons why he has become one of the most successful and feared drug lords in the world.
In a 2010 interview with Mexican news magazine Proceso, El Mayo denied rumors that he was planning to assassinate then-Mexican president Felipe Calderón.
Two of El Mayo's sons are currently detained in the U.S. One of them, Serafin Zambada, made headlines when he was captured last year for his extravagant lifestyle he liked to document on social media. One photo on Twitter showed a cheetah in the passenger's seat of an SUV.
El Mayo has funneled his drug money into businesses owned by his relatives, including a large milk company, a bus line and a hotel, according to the U.S. Department of State. A reward of up to $5 million has been offered for information leading to his arrest.
quicklist: 2 title: Juan Jose Esparragoza-Moreno aka "El Azul" text: El Azul, 65, former police detective, who is an associate of El Chapo and El Mayo in the Sinaloa cartel, has built a reputation as the go-to guy for brokering peace agreements between rival cartels, according to InSight Crime.
He's charismatic and persuasive, according to Mexican magazine El Proceso, and has used his people skills to build connections among politicians, military leaders and law enforcement.
Federal authorities believe El Azul - The Blue -- has had plastic surgery to alter his appearance. The change did not alter the fact that he is 65, short and paunchy.
A reward of up to $5 million is being offered by U.S. officials for information leading to his arrest.
quicklist: 3 title: Juan Reyes Mejia-Gonzalez aka "El Quique" text: El Quique, 38, is a member of the Gulf Cartel who allegedly is the leader of a faction called Los Rojos.
The Gulf Cartel, which began in the 1930s to smuggle whiskey into the U.S., now controls most of the cocaine and marijuana trafficking through the Matamoros, Mexico, corridor to the United States, according to federal authorities.
It is alleged he may have been behind the assassination of Samuel Flores Borrego, the leader of the rival Los Metros faction. The bodies of Borrego and a police officer were found in the border city of Tamaulipas in September 2011. According to reports, it appeared the men had been stripped, beaten, tortured and shot dead. The assassination triggered a violent confrontation between the two groups and some observers believe the Metros emerged the winner and El Quique has not been heard from recently. Another cartel, the Zetas, posted a notice that El Quique was dead.
The U.S. isn't taking any chances and has offered a reward of up to $5 million for information leading to the apprehension of Mejia-Gonzalez.
quicklist: 4 title: Vicente Carrillo Fuentes aka "El Viceroy" text: El Viceroy, 51, took over the Juarez Cartel when his brother Amado died during plastic surgery in 1997.
When another one of El Viceroy's brothers was killed outside of a movie theater, allegedly on the orders of El Chapo, he allegedly retaliated by having El Chapo's brother, known as "El Pollo," assassinated in prison.
El Viceroy is wanted on a 46-count indictment covering a slew of drug, money laundering and murder.
Federal authorities said they believe Fuentes has had plastic surgery to disguise his appearance. A reward of up to $5 million is being offered for information leading to his arrest,
quicklist: 5 title: Hector Beltran-Leyva aka "El Ingeniero" text: Hector Beltran-Leyva was once one of "El Chapo" Guzman's top lieutenants, but he split from the Sinaloa cartel in 2008 to help form the Beltran-Leyva cartel with his brothers.
Known as "El Ingeniero," meaning "The Engineer," Beltran-Leyva and his group have procured guns and ammunition from the United States to help them run their drug enterprise. He also goes by the simple "El H."
The group has been severely weakened since the death of Arturo Beltran-Leyva in a 2009 shootout with Mexican authorities. Two brothers have been apprehended, while a multi-million dollar bounty remains on Hector Beltran-Leyva.
At their height, the Beltran-Leyvas were tied to a slew of kidnapping, torture and murder cases against victims including women and children, according to U.S. federal officials. The group has also been connected to numerous assassinations of Mexican police officials.
quicklist: 6 title: The Zetas text: The Zetas are Mexico's most brutal cartel, however many of their leaders have been apprehended over the past two years, unraveling the tight-knit group.
Started by members of the Mexican Special Forces who operated as a paramilitary wing for the Gulf Cartel, the Zetas have instilled fear and carnage with their advanced weapons training.
The Zetas have been tied to a slew of kidnappings and murders. At least 52 civilians were killed when armed men believed to be affiliated with the Zetas opened fire in a casino in Monterrey and then torched the building.
The next year, 49 decapitated bodies were dumped outside of Monterrey in what appeared to be more carnage attributed to the Zetas.