"We have an invisible empire. From Chile, to Alaska."
― Franz Sanchez.[src]

The Sanchez Cartel is a fictional Latin-American drug cartel led by ruthless cocaine baron Franz Sanchez. The organization appears in the 1989 James Bond film Licence to Kill and its accompanying novelization by author John Gardner. The cartel would later be re-imagined for Activision's 2012 James Bond video game 007 Legends.


The Sanchez Cartel is a Central American drug empire based in the Republic of Isthmus. Leader Franz Sanchez rules over it from a luxury estate in the city, protected by an army of henchmen and controller of the banana republic's President, Hector Lopez, whom he installed purely as a personal puppet. The cartel bribed, intimidated or killed most of the city’s officials and expanded throughout the Americas.

Primarily pushing cocaine, Sanchez flies his drugs out into international waters to a rendevous with the ship Wavekrest, where the narcotics are excanged for cash. They are then smuggled into Florida by Milton Krest under the guise of a mock marine research foundation expedition. Once inside the United States the drugs are then sold for huge profits.

The Cartel has many capital assets such as the Isthmus Casino, Banco de Isthmus and the Olympatec Institute. The latter, being a cover run by Professor Joe Butcher as a mental healing and meditation centre, though secretly holds the drug manufacturing and distribution labs.

Alternate continuity

For 007 Legends, the Sanchez Cartel was re-imagined as a Mexico-based organization with connections that stretch from North America down into Chile and Argentina. In addition, Sanchez also cultivated successful business partnerships with gangs from the far east, Russia and central Eurasia. It is estimated that Sanchez had over 200 full time bodyguards and security staff on his payroll, primarily recruited from the Mexican towns of El Tela and Reyes Hidalgo, with a further 300 that could be called on from a number of smaller cartels aligned with his business empire.[1] Sanchez's cartel had a minimal presence in the United States, with the only confirmed links being to a small law firm based in Key West. From this office, larger firms were contracted on a case by case basis to represent Sanchez and his business holdings in a number of on-going criminal and federal law suits.[2] In addition to owning a bank in his native Colombia and a casino in the Mexican city of Chihuahua, Sanchez had connections with a number of banks working out of Nassau. From there the money trail dried up in a maze of highly complex off-shore accounts, trusts and business interests.[3] The largest drugs cartel in all of Central and South America, conservative estimates put the cartel's asset value at just over three billion dollars.[3]

Primarily involved in narcotics, the cartel utilized the work of rogue Russian scientist Yuri Gluchenko in their drug smuggling.[4] As with the 1989 film, Gluchenko perfected a formula which allowed Sanchez to suspend unrefined cocaine in gasoline; a mixture which was virtually undetectable without sophisticated and time consuming testing.[4] In addition to cocaine, the cartel was rumored to have links with an arms dealer named Khalif Khalid, based in the Lebanese city of Beirut. Khalid was alleged to have a substantial cache of weapons stolen from the US Military during their 2003-2011 campaign in Iraq and had used Sanchez's smuggling network to sell them into criminal gangs across North, South and Central America.[5] Notably, the cartel was also in league with a shadowy faction of terrorists based out of the middle east, financed in part by the poppy trade in Afghanistan.[6]

Known members and associates

Licence to Kill

007 Legends

  • Franz Sanchez (Founder/leader)
  • Dario (Enforcer)
  • Yuri Gluchenko (Chief Chemist)
  • Khalif Khalid (Arms Dealer)

See also


  1. Mexico intel. 007 Legends: Activision (2012).
  2. Key West, United States intel. 007 Legends: Activision (2012).
  3. 3.0 3.1 Nassau intel. 007 Legends: Activision (2012).
  4. 4.0 4.1 Russia intel. 007 Legends: Activision (2012).
  5. Lebanon intel. 007 Legends: Activision (2012).
  6. Franz Sanchez biography. 007 Legends: Activision (2012).

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