El chapo capturado: El Chapo’s Son Is Captured by Mexican Authorities for 2nd Time

El Chapo’s Son Is Captured by Mexican Authorities for 2nd Time

Americas|El Chapo’s Son Is Captured by Mexican Authorities for 2nd Time

https://www.nytimes.com/2023/01/05/world/americas/el-chapo-son-ovidio-guzman-mexico.html

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The arrest of Ovidio Guzmán López was a victory for the Mexican government. He had been briefly detained in 2019, but was released after cartel gunmen overpowered law enforcement.

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Armed groups erected blockades and lit vehicles on fire in response to the capture of Ovidio Guzmán López, a son of the Mexican drug lord El Chapo.CreditCredit…Juan Carlos Cruz/EPA, via Shutterstock

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MEXICO CITY — The Mexican authorities announced on Thursday that they had captured a son of the drug lord El Chapo in an early morning operation in Culiacán, a northwestern city that has long been the home base of the Sinaloa cartel.

Security forces arrested Ovidio Guzmán López, a son of Joaquín Guzmán Loera, the infamous crime lord known as El Chapo, and transferred him to a special prosecutor’s office in Mexico City, the Mexican secretary of defense said in a news conference.

The capture of El Chapo’s son, himself a prominent cartel leader, allows the government to claim a victory in its halting efforts to combat violence during one of the deadliest periods in Mexico’s recent history.

“This arrest represents a resounding blow to the leadership of the Pacific cartel,” the secretary of defense, Luis Cresencio Sandoval, said at a news conference, using another name for the Sinaloa cartel.

“Attacks by the criminal group continue,” Mr. Cresencio said, noting that the cartel had responded to the arrest with road blocks and shootouts. The authorities, he said, are still working “to restore and maintain public order.”

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A still image from a video released by the Mexican government showing Ovidio Guzmán Lopez being arrested in 2019. He was released the same day after gunmen attacked the city of Culiacán.Credit…CEPROPIE, via Associated Press

The arrest was an opportunity for the administration of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador to make amends for a similar but botched operation three years ago, when the Mexican authorities briefly detained Mr. Guzmán López but were then forced to set him free after cartel gunmen overpowered law enforcement.

It also provided the government a public relations win days before Mr. López Obrador is set to host President Biden and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada at a North American Leaders Summit in Mexico City.

But experts were skeptical that the capture of Ovidio Guzmán López, long known as the least accomplished of Mr. Guzmán’s sons, would have any meaningful impact on cartel activities.

“It is a message to the United States that Mexico continues the war against drugs,” said Alejandro Hope, a security analyst in Mexico City. “Does it change the structure of the Sinaloa cartel? No. Will it have an impact on drug trafficking? No. Will it reduce violence? No.”

The cartel reacted swiftly and violently to the arrest. Videos shared on social media showed buses and tractor-trailers aflame. Shots were reported near the Culiacán airport, which announced on Twitter that it had shut down operations for security reasons.

Armed groups lit vehicles on fire and blocked all the major roads out of Culiacán, according to a local intelligence officer. Gunmen fought law enforcement in the north of the city, where loud explosions could be heard and armed groups were stealing cars at gunpoint, the official said. Schools and government buildings were closed.

Smoke rising from multiple fires across the city of Culiacán on Thursday. Credit…Juan Carlos Cruz/EPA, via Shutterstock

The intelligence official, who was not authorized to speak publicly, added that there were no public services and that streets were mostly empty.

Aeromexico, the Mexican carrier, said that at least one bullet had hit the fuselage of a commercial plane that was set to take off for Mexico City on Thursday morning. The airline said everyone on board was safe and that the flight had been canceled.

The intelligence officer confirmed that armed groups had fired on a military plane as it was arriving at the Culiacán airport on Thursday morning but that there were no reported injuries.

César Lara, 29, was walking away from the Culiacán airport after arriving on a flight from Mexico City Thursday morning when he saw a military plane landing and then heard gunshots, he said.

Not knowing where the gunfire was coming from, Mr. Lara ran back to the airport, where he and other passengers from his flight remained stranded as of Thursday afternoon. The airport was locked down, he said, and no one was allowed to leave.

“The only thing I want is to be at home, in peace and calm,” Mr. Lara said.

The National Guard patrolled the streets of Culiacán on Thursday. Credit…Leo Espinoza/Revista Espejo, via Reuters

The Guzmán family has a long history of escaping capture by the Mexican authorities. El Chapo broke out of prison twice. Federal prosecutors in the United States say his sons helped orchestrate his infamous escape from a maximum-security detention center in 2015 through a mile-long tunnel dug into the shower of his cell.

Mr. Guzmán López’s American lawyer, Jeffrey Lichtman, who also represented the father, declined to comment on Thursday’s arrest. Officials with the United States Justice Department, which filed charges against Mr. Guzmán López and one of his brothers in 2019, refused to comment on whether prosecutors have requested extradition.

In October 2019, the security forces stormed Culiacán, detained Mr. Guzmán López and then released him after cartel gunmen unleashed a wave of automatic gunfire on the city, burned cars and took members of the security forces hostage.

At the time, Mr. López Obrador defended the release, saying that the authorities had to balance detaining Mr. Guzmán López against ensuring the public’s safety.

“The situation turned very bad and lots of citizens were at risk, lots of people, and it was decided to protect the life of the people,” Mr. López Obrador told reporters. “You cannot value the life of a delinquent more than the lives of the people.”

A Mexican military patrol was deployed in Culiacán after the first attempt to capture Mr. Guzman failed in 2019. Credit…Reuters

But the episode became a national humiliation for the López Obrador administration and cast doubt on the government’s ability to take on cartels in the areas of the country where they have the most power.

Mr. Guzmán López and his brother, Joaquín Guzmán López, were charged in February 2019 by federal prosecutors for “knowingly, intentionally, and willfully” distributing cocaine, methamphetamine and marijuana for import into the United States.

Those charges were made public just one day after the elder Mr. Guzmán was convicted after a three-month trial in Brooklyn that revealed the inner workings of the Sinaloa cartel and how it sent tons of drugs into the United States.

The same team of prosecutors also brought federal drug charges against the elder Mr. Guzmán’s most recent wife, Emma Coronel Aispuro. Ms. Coronel later pleaded guilty and was sentenced to three years in prison.

Alan Feuer contributed reporting from New York.

Natalie Kitroeff is The Times’s bureau chief for Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean. @Nataliekitro

A version of this article appears in print on  , Section A, Page 5 of the New York edition with the headline: El Chapo’s Son Caught; Cartel Reacts Violently. Order Reprints | Today’s Paper | Subscribe

Joaquín El Chapo Guzmán fue capturado | Noticias Univision

Una operación ‘impecable’

El narco mexicano más buscado de todos los tiempos, tras las rejas. El Chapo Guzmán, fundador del cártel de Sinaloa, fue capturado en una operación conjunta de EEUU y México en territorio mexicano.

En tres mensajes a través de su cuenta de Twitter, el presidente Enrique Peña Nieto terminó con la larga espera y confirmó la captura, antes de que se realizara la conferencia de prensa con la confirmación oficial:

“Reconozco la labor de las instituciones de seguridad del Estado mexicano, para lograr la aprehensión de Joaquín Guzmán Loera en Mazatlán.

“La coordinación de la @SEGOB_mx, @SEDENAmx, @SEMAR_mx, @PGR_mx, @PoliciaFedMx y el CISEN, fue determinante. Felicidades a todos.”

“El @GobRep trabaja para garantizar la seguridad y el Estado de Derecho en el territorio y lograr un #MéxicoEnPaz.”

La confirmación oficial

En la esperada rueda de prensa, pospuesta en más de una ocasión, el fiscal general Jesús Murillo Karam afirmó que a las 6:40 de la mañana, tiempo local, la Secretaría de Marina detuvo a Joaquín Guzmán Loera en Mazatlán con un colaborador. La espera, afirmó el funcionario fue para poder corroborar la identidad del hombre, que pudo ser “identificado plenamente”.

Murillo Karam detalló que Guzmán será trasladado al penal correspondiente, sin detallar cuál.

Esta operación “impecable” es resultado de varios meses de cooperación entre todas las instancias de seguridad del gobierno federal. “En el último mes, hubo momentos definitivos para lograr la captura. Entre el 13 y el 17 de febrero se localizaron los domicilios donde El Chapo solía estar. Algunos de ellos se encontraron conectados con túneles, fueron siete casas, que también estaban conectadas con el drenaje de la ciudad”.

El funcionario añadió que las puertas de estos domicilios estaban reforzadas con metal, por lo que el tiempo que tomaba abrirlas era el que El Chapo utilizaba para escapar.

“Hubo varios momentos en que pudo ser aprehendido “señaló Murillo Karam–. La prudencia y el sentido común hicieron que no pusiéramos en riesgo la ciudadanía y lo hicimos en el momento más adecuado, sin un solo disparo. No hubo ni un solo daño y ni un solo perjudicado”.

Agradeciendo también la entrega de información por parte de fuerzas de seguridad estadounidenses, Murillo Karam detalló que en el operativo se detuvo también a 13 personas, además de que se confiscaron “97 armas largas, 36 cortas, dos lanzagranadas y un lanzacohetes”. Se catearon 16 casas y cuatro ranchos.

La primera noticia

La primera en dar la información fue la agencia de noticias de The Associated Press . A partir de ahí, diferentes funcionarios de EEUU y México fueron confirmando lo dicho. El expresidente Calderón también se pronunció en Twitter, pero la espera terminó cuando hizo lo propio Enrique Peña Nieto.

La captura se da a 13 años de que el narco se fugara de una cárcel de máxima seguridad en México.

La detención se dio en un hotel de Mazatlán, en Sinaloa, cuna del cártel al que el capo dio origen y que actualmente es uno de los más poderosos de México y del mundo.<span> </span> <table cellspacing=”0″ cellpadding=”0″> <tbody> <tr> <td> <div>¿Dónde nació y creció El Chapo Guzmán?

El Chapo Guzmán manejaba “el principal cartel. Los gastos son extraordinarios, pero por lo menos gana alrededor de mil millones de dólares, posiblemente más al año”, señala el profesor Bruce Bagley, de la Universidad de Miami, quien es consultado ocasionalmente por la revista Forbes para calcular la fortuna del narcotraficante.

El Chapo Guzmán nació el 4 de abril de 1957 con el nombre de Joaquín Archibaldo Guzmán Loera en La Tuna, Badiraguato, Sinaloa. Es hijo de Emilio Guzmán Bustillos y Consuelo Loera Pérez.

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Joaquín El Chapo Guzmán se vuelve más poderoso

Guzmán Loera había sido calificado como el Osama bin Laden de México, destacó AP. El capo estaba siendo seguido de cerca desde hace varios meses cuando fue capturado por oficiales de la Marina mexicana, “que trabajaron con todas las instituciones del Gobierno Federal”.  

Guzmán fue el primer capo mexicano en crear un imperio de las drogas. Sus negocios ilícitos se extienden por los cinco continentes.

El cartel de Sinaloa está involucrado en la sangrienta guerra contra las drogas que azota México desde 2006 y que ha dejado más de 80 mil muertos.

Objetivo de las autoridades

Desde la pasada administración, encabezada por  Felipe Calderón, a  El Chapo se le seguían los pasos siguiendo sus tres debilidades: las mujeres, el gusto por la comodidad y el maltrato contra sus operadores.

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¿Cómo ocultaba el Chapo Guzmán la droga para sacarla de México hacia Estados Unidos?

En las bases de datos del Gobierno Federal había bancos de voces, información de tiendas departamentales así como de empresas de televisión e internet satelital, además de un grupo aeromóvil de la Fuerza de Tarea Sierra Madre encargados de rastrear al capo.

En la última década, El Chapo había permanecido oculto en zonas inaccesibles del Triángulo Dorado, una zona entre las entidades de Durango, Sinaloa y Chihuahua con increíble producción de amapola, específicamente seis puntos de Sinaloa y 12 de Durango, detalla el informe al que alude  Reforma.

La fuga

Trece años han pasado desde la fuga de Guzmán del penal de Occidente en Jalisco. Solo en dos ocasiones durante cinco años, el gobierno mexicano había detectado la presencia del capo en zonas urbanas: Culiacán, en Sinaloa, y en  Los Cabos, Baja California. De ambos lugares, El Chapo logró huir antes de que llegara la presencia policial.

Problemas de salud

Guzmán Loera enfrenta dos enfermedades que podrían costarle la vida: padece diabetes, así como una enfermedad cardiovascular. Se dice que últimamente padecía además problemas en el hígado provocados por su pasión por el alcohol.

Fuentes de Inteligencia destacan que Guzmán padece un tipo de cardiopatía que le exige recibir atención médica con regularidad.

why an epidemic awaits America – Bird In Flight

“Mexico’s most wanted man” El Chapo was caught, escaped, was caught again, escaped again, and so on several more times. Two-thirds of Mexican drug lords are either dead or behind bars. But Esquire’s Don Winslow doesn’t think these captures will stop the heroin epidemic.

Bird in Flight publishes an abridged translation.

The phone rang. It was July 2014 and I was halfway to a shower in a motel room in Tucumcari, New Mexico. It was my wife and I the second day of a road trip across America. Looking at the incoming number, I immediately recognized it and felt something break inside me. The person on the other end of the line was a close friend of mine. Her 23-year-old son had been battling heroin addiction for several years.

I also knew her son. He was a smart, talented and funny guy when he wasn’t stoned or broken. He was supposed to call me that afternoon to discuss the details of returning to school.

He didn’t call.

It was his mother, sobbing and barely able to speak because of her sobs. But I already knew that she was going to say, “He’s gone.”

According to her, on the same day he went to a rehabilitation center to finally sign up, but on the way he decided to “get better” for the last time. He died on the sidewalk.

I talked to his mother for quite some time. For the most part, she spoke – and what could I say in this situation? Then I went to the shower and cried.

I have been researching and writing about the so-called drug wars for over 20 years. During this time, I’ve been to funerals, I’ve sat with the families of teenage killers, I’ve explained why loved ones sometimes leave. I studied autopsy photographs, trying to identify the unnamed bodies. I watched videos of showdowns, torture and executions. I thought I had become hardened, hardened, by facing countless instances of horrifying but uniform cruelty.

But now it hurt. It was personal. And what’s more, I knew it would happen.

The heroin that killed him came from Mexico. The people who grew the poppies, made the drug, and brought it north were members of the most powerful drug dealer organization, and the death of my friend’s son was a direct consequence of a business decision made by several of these people.

One of them was Joaquín Guzmán Loera.

The head of the Sinaloa cartel, the biggest drug trafficker in the world, known under the pseudonym El Chapo, or Shorty.

I have known Guzmán for a very long time. I remember when young Guzmán worked as an errand boy for old drug bosses like Pedro Aviles Pérez and Rafal Caro Quintero.

By the time of his first term in 1993, Guzmán had already made it to the big leagues. While he was running his business from Puente Grande Federal Penitentiary, I was working on my first of three books on the evolution of the Mexican drug business. I talked to cops and convicts, dealers and drug addicts, gang members and their families. I was still working on that book when Guzman made his first escape in 2001.

At that time, the entire Mexican drug traffic was divided between several large and a dozen small cartels. The most important were the Tijuana Cartel, the Juarez Cartel and the Golfo Cartel with their ultra-violent Zeta military wing.

After leaving prison, Guzmán, head of the Sinaloa cartel, intended to gain control of the country’s entire drug business. For the next 10 years, he waged war with other cartels.

This war claimed more than 100,000 lives in Mexico, and more than 22,000 people are still missing. It was a disaster that triggered, among other things, a heroin epidemic that claimed thousands of lives, including my friend’s son.

Photo: Johan Ordonez / AFP / East News

The Cant Paradox

Okay, I’ll say this: the heroin epidemic was caused by the legalization of marijuana.

We wanted legal weed and we got it for most of America. Four states have legalized it, the rest have decriminalized it, and in most of the rest, the police, despite local laws, do not arrest for weed, creating a “de facto” street legalization.

Good news, isn’t it?

But not for the Sinaloi cartel, which by the time Colorado passed the 64th Amendment in 2012, was the dominant cartel in Mexico. The Guzman organization’s product, for which marijuana was the main source of income, suddenly began to give way to an American product of much better quality and with disparate costs for transportation and security.

In just one year, the cartel’s weed sales dropped by 40%. The losses were in the billions of dollars. Mexican marijuana has become a virtually worthless commodity.

Good news, isn’t it?

Well, yes, but not really. Guzman and his companions are primarily businessmen, and they were not going to simply put up with this order of things. So, it was necessary to find another source of income.

Researching the American market, they discovered a new potential niche: more and more Americans were hooked on OxyContin, a prescription opiate. And the pleasure was quite expensive: a dose on the street cost about $ 30, and the number of such doses for one person per day reached 10.

Well, thought Guzmán and his companions, we have the best poppy fields in the world. But opium, morphine, hydroxy, heroin are all about the same thing, and therefore…”

The cartel decides to compete with pharmaceutical companies. He increases heroin production by 70% and also improves the quality by bringing in specially prepared cooks from Colombia to outdo competitors from East Asia. If earlier the goods sold by the cartel were 46% pure, now the figure reached 90%.

If before the goods sold by the cartel were 46% clean, now the figure reached 90%.

The third step was textbook economic: the cartel cut prices. A few years ago, a kilo of heroin in New York cost $200,000. In 2013, the price dropped to $80,000. A year ago, a kilo could be bought for $50,000. More quality product for less money – try to beat this offer.

At the same time, the American authorities, concerned about the increase in deaths from pharmaceutical opiates (165,000 in 5 years), begin to hunt for their legal and illegal distribution, thereby opening the way for Mexican heroin from 5 to 10 dollars per dose.

But pill lovers were not familiar with the potential of the new heroin. Even heroin addicts were surprised.

As a result, overdose deaths more than doubled between 2000 and 2014. In 2014, for example, heroin claimed over 47,000 lives, the highest figure in the history of the United States. (The most famous victim was probably Philip Seymour Hoffman, who died in February 2014 at the height of the epidemic.)

New Pandora’s Box

On February 21, 2014, after 13 years as Mexico’s Most Wanted Man (despite numerous public appearances at restaurants, concerts and private parties), Guzmán was captured for the second time.

When journalists approached me for a comment, I only said one word: Iraq.

“But what do you mean?” they asked. I reminded them that after the fall of the Saddam regime, Iraq was mired in a bloody standoff between Shiites and Sunnis, and then ISIS emerged, establishing brutal control over many Iraqi and Syrian cities.

Look, I don’t have an ounce of compassion for either one or the other – both have blood on their hands up to the elbows. But the fact that the violence on the Mexican streets stopped in 2014 because Guzmán and his cartel won this war and established the so-called peace in Mexico is a fact.

After the name of Guzman became known even to housewives, the media began to hunt for the smallest details from his biography. He grew up in poverty, harvesting poppies in the fields when he was eight. At the age of fifteen, he began selling cocaine himself. This is all true. He gave money to the needy (true). He built hospitals, schools and churches (true, true, true). He was a good son (really).

He’s been on the run before (kind of true). Here, it would probably be better to write down the chronology, otherwise the history of Guzman’s escapes and arrests is a bit confusing.

1993: Guzmán is arrested and sentenced to 20 years in a maximum security prison, where he successfully runs his own country club with call girls, gourmet food and wine, and weekly movie marathons.

2001: Guzmán makes his “escape”, which, like the last one, was not an escape at all. Press story – he escaped by hiding in a laundry cart. In fact, he just went up to the roof and got into the helicopter.

2014: Guzmán is caught again.

2015: he runs away again. The legend this time is an underground tunnel.

I never get tired of explaining to the media over and over that he never once escaped from nowhere – he was deliberately released to clean up the mess.

Photo: Gerardo Magallon / AFP / East News
Photo: Alfredo Estrella / AFP / East News

Mexican ISIS

If Mexico were Iraq, the Jalisco New Generation Cartel (NPH) would be its ISIS. The NPH used to be a branch of the Sinaloy cartel led by Ignacio “Nacho” Coronel. But Nacho’s organization split after he was killed in a shootout with the Mexican army, and one half evolved into the NPH.

The boss of the NPH, Nemesio “El Mencho” Cervantes, after serving 3 years in a California prison for the distribution of heroin, returned to Mexico and led a squad of militants. At that time, the Zetas were their main enemies. In 2011, El Mencho and his gang slaughtered 35 Z, and a month later – another 32.

El Mencho’s son, El Menchito, was a close ally of Guzmán, but in January 2014 he was arrested. Guzmán was arrested a month later, and El Mencho decided to seize the opportunity to break away from the Sinaloa cartel.

The biggest similarity between the NPH and ISIS was their absolute indifference and cruelty. To increase his influence, El Mencho ordered the assassination of Jalisco’s secretary of tourism, as well as one congressman.

In March 2015, armed with automatic weapons and grenades, a cartel squad broke into the city and killed 5 policemen. Two weeks later, he attacked a convoy, killing 15 cops. The next day, the chief of police was killed.

In April 2016, NPH members shot down a military helicopter with an RPG. Now they are clashing with the Sinaloa cartel over the town of Baja, disrupting stability in the region. According to the latest reports, they also teamed up with the Beltran Levia rebels to attack Acapulco, sparking a new wave of brutality in the city.

At the same time that all this fuss began, a new drug (or rather an old one) entered the scene. Fentanyl is a synthetic opiate that is 30 to 50 times more potent than heroin. It was developed in 1960 by Janssen Pharmaceuticals (now a division of Johnson & Johnson) as a pain reliever for terminal cancer.

Photo: Manuel Velasquez / Anadolu Agency / AFP / East News

Addiction to fentanyl is so strong that drug control before joint operations warned police officers not to even touch it without gloves. It can be used in pills, sprays, injections, you can sniff it, you can even put it on a band-aid and stick it – it works as you like. For example, Prince died of an overdose of fentanyl. Just like the other 700 Americans who died of drugs last year.

This is a universal killer. In 2016, fentanyl deaths outnumbered homicides in New Orleans for the first time.

For drug dealers, the advantages of fentanyl over heroin are enormous.

First of all, it is produced in a laboratory, which means that poppy fields are no longer needed, and with them all the risks of being noticed by the police or the banal risk of crop failure disappear. Also, hundreds of people are no longer needed to care for the fields and protect them.

But the most important thing about fentanyl is its incomparable yield compared to heroin. It takes 20 times less effort to produce one kilogram of fentanyl, with a net income of $1.3 million per kilogram. Whereas in the case of heroin, these figures barely reach $271,000. Not surprisingly, fentanyl exports have increased by 65% ​​since 2014.

Due to the fact that fentanyl is often mixed with heroin to enhance the effect of the latter, heroin addicts who are not in the know overdose while taking their standard doses.

Survivors get even stronger. Cartels deliberately add fentanyl to heroin, since the addict, having tried once, will no longer be able to return to regular heroin – the effect will be too weak.

The combination of growing illegal production of fentanyl and weakening control of the Sinaloa cartel turned out to be a disaster for American authorities and society: small groups like the NPH could easily make super profits and use them to reconquer their territories, returning violence and death to the streets.

ISIS in Iraq is losing ground, largely due to the inability to continue to pay its soldiers. In the case of fentanyl, this problem will not be. The Mexican government did little to nothing to fill the vacuum left by Guzmán’s arrest. As a result, not a few large groups will compete for this vacuum, but many.

For Americans, the growth of small groups makes it much more difficult to track and intercept the drug. We will no longer know where it comes from and, worst of all, what is in it. The first recipients who try the new batch will not be able to tell what they are dealing with – pure heroin, heroin with fentanyl, pure fentanyl, fentanyl with who knows what. It will be pharmacological chaos.

We’re talking about the heroin epidemic here. Fentanyl will be the plague of the 21st century.

Who is Sean Penn

Guzmán’s first months of freedom were a farce. While the media were guessing about his whereabouts (he was in Costa Rica, then in Colombia, then in Los Angeles), the special services were watching him from the moment he left the “tunnel”.

By autumn, the Mexican authorities were almost certain that Guzmán spent most of his time in the coastal town of Los Mochis in Sinaloa, where he was subsequently caught. The house he lived in was not a fortress somewhere on the outskirts. It was a 4-storey cottage in the very center of the city next to the house of the mother of the governor of Sinaloa. At some point, Guzman became overconfident. For example, he allowed his son to post his photo on social networks with the geotag “Costa Rica”. This gave rise to a lot of rumors that Guzmán had fled Mexico. And only a few of us tried to convince that Costa Rica is also a city in Sinaloa.

Guzmán once publicly threatened to beat Donald Trump. And although he did not answer, the statement of the head of the cartel could be taken quite seriously. He then pissed off a lot of people by trying to crush the domestic drug trade. The gangs that controlled the domestic market were so outraged that they were ready to defend their business with weapons in their hands, and at the same time try to squeeze out a piece of the international drug traffic in the hands of the cartel.

Guzman’s partners in the cartel turned out to be so fed up with his antics and new star role that they were not against putting him behind bars, where it would be more difficult for him to interfere with the common business.

The deal the cartel made with the Mexican government was most likely something along the lines of: “Please get this guy away from us, but don’t kill him. He brought us a lot of money and we have a good relationship with his family.”

The only people left alive after the raid on Guzman were Guzman himself and his right hand. Another coincidence, of course.

Meanwhile, Sean Penn and Keith del Castillo appeared on the arena. Del Castillo strongly supported Guzman on social networks, saying that she believed in him more than in the government, and called for becoming a modern-day Robin Hood. And then even offering to drown in the ocean of love.

Guzman seems to be far from being the first man in the world to be fascinated by a beautiful young actress who dreamed of a successful career. And he certainly won’t be the last. But the fact that the most powerful drug lord in the world, the man who created a multi-billion dollar empire from scratch, fell for a pretty face . .. Seriously?

Photo: Kate del Castillo / Facebook

Sometimes it just becomes embarrassing for him. His messages to del Castillo were simply pathetic: “I really want to get to know you and become good friends. You are the best in this world.” Guzman asked Kate to visit him. “I cherish the hope that you will be comfortable. I will take care of you more than anyone on this planet.”

Del Castillo flirted back, “I’m so touched by your words of care. No one has ever told me this before.”

Guzmán transmitted his messages through a lawyer, and later arranged for the actress to visit him. Then del Castillo said she wanted to bring Sean Penn with her.

Guzman had no idea who Sean Penn was, but that couldn’t stop him on his way to his goal. “Have her bring an actor. If she wants to bring more people, let her call. As she wants.”

They met on October 2, 2015. A few days later, a Mexican special squad raided the ranch, where Guzman fled with two personal chefs. The snipers later said that they kept him at gunpoint all the time, but they were ordered not to shoot, since our hero was hiding behind the little girl as a human shield.

On January 8, 2016, he was captured in Los Mochis. All that the authorities had to do for this was to follow the monkey. Yes, it’s a monkey. The story goes that Guzmán sent for Boots, his little daughters’ pet monkey. Mexican and American intelligence agencies tracked the messenger, checked the triangulation of mobile phones, and a few hours later one of the most powerful men in the world was lying face down in the sewer manhole.

In the Middle East, we trade known demons for those we don’t know. In Mexico, the demons we know will be replaced by those we will never know. The ability to hide production (as opposed to poppy fields) and the anonymity of social media communications will create anarchy. The age of the cartels may be drawing to a close.

Where does that leave Guzmán? If one did not know about the things he did, it would be quite logical to imagine him as a tragic figure, the hero of the novel by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, living his last years in the shadow of lost hopes.

He was transferred to Juarez, a city where he has many enemies, a prison notorious for its cruelty. The foreign secretary has clarified the process for Guzmán’s extradition to the US, but many more trials will precede it. Some Mexican legal experts I spoke to said it would take at least two years, if at all. I personally doubt that Guzmán will ever be extradited, but you never know for sure. He can start insisting on it himself – anything is better than being killed in his cell.

In the prison, two dogs were specially brought in to try Guzmán’s food in case someone decides to poison him. And two “elite” commandos with GoPro-cameras on their helmets keep their eyes on him around the clock.

Well. Guzman behind bars, it’s over and we won, right?

Photo: Hector Guerrero / AFP / East News

The Los Angeles Times has estimated that two-thirds of Mexican drug lords are either dead or behind bars. And what is the result? There have never been so many drugs, they have never been so dangerous and available as they are now. Overdose deaths have never been so high. The level of violence in Mexico, once declining, has begun to rise again. Just yesterday, I was looking at pictures of four bodies found in the trunk of a car in Tijuana. All four showed signs of violence.

Gang wars are fought in every major city in America, especially in Chicago and New York, and Congressional eagles don’t lift a finger to stop the flow of drugs or weapons, everything ISIS could ever dream of .

Sounds like the good old days. There will be more calls and more overdoses. Someone will replace El Chapo, as he once replaced his predecessor. I’m betting on El Mencho, but it doesn’t really matter. The lesson that, apparently, we will have to learn again, and then again and so on ad infinitum, is, as Guzman once said, “if there was no consumption, there would be no sales.” “It has always amazed me how progressive young millennials can picket a supermarket chain for a week because they don’t buy fair trade coffee, but then go home and enjoy drugs delivered to them by murderers and cartel sadists.

We are as addicted to the fight against drugs as we are to the drugs themselves. Our justice system is fueled by hundreds of thousands of arrests, trials and incarcerations. But as long as the US and Europe continue to spend billions of dollars a year on drugs and at the same time spend those same billions trying to stop it, we will continue to endlessly create new Chapo and Mencho.

The economy based on the prohibition and punishment of drugs is about $50 billion a year. That’s more than double the amount we spend on heroin a year ($22 billion).

This is a huge pile of money. And another Guzman will certainly appear, but at some point he will simply distract attention. So don’t follow the monkey. Follow the money.

Cover photo: Daniel Cardenas / Anadolu Agency / AFP / East News

who is the famous drug lord “Shorty”

Joaquin Guzmán, the former head of one of the world’s largest drug trafficking networks, is arrested in Mexico

9000 2 US authorities require Mexico has the extradition of Joaquín Guzmán. The former head of perhaps the world’s largest drug trafficking network, known by the nickname “El Chapo”, was was arrested a few days ago in his native Mexican state of Sinaloa , also the name of the drug cartel led by Guzmán.

A few years ago, the respected financial magazine Forbes named El Chapo one of the two most powerful people in Mexico, along with billionaire tycoon Carlos Slim. Many Mexicans believe that drug dealer and murderer Guzmán has too much influence in the country to end his days behind bars.

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Joaquín Archivaldo Guzmán Loera, nicknamed El Chapo, or “Shorty”, decided from an early age that, as the song says, “you can’t become famous for good deeds.” Even as a teenager, he became involved in the drug business and by the age of 30 had already become the head of a drug cartel, earning a reputation as a desperate and ruthless bandit. Many believe that in terms of influence and wealth, “Shorty” even bypassed the infamous drug lord Pablo Escobar.

In 1993, Guzmán was arrested and sentenced to 20 years in prison for drug trafficking and murder. After serving eight years, he managed to escape. Authorities have offered a $5 million reward for helping to capture El Chapo.

Shorty was behind bars again only in 2014, as a result of an operation by the special services. But in July last year, the drug lord escaped again: a tunnel one and a half kilometers long was discovered under his cell.

Authorities have recently been on the trail of Guzmán in his home state of Sinaloa. In the end, the Mexican special forces managed to capture him on January 8th.

“When I saw a lot of soldiers, and then I heard machine gun fire, I knew something serious was going on,” says a local resident. “First there was a firefight, and then the soldiers, shining their lanterns, burst into the house. The whole district woke up, but no one was allowed to come close.”

The third arrest of El Chapo was another, but not the last chapter in this detective story.

Recently, an interview appeared in Rolling Stone magazine, which was taken from Joaquin Guzman by the famous Hollywood actor Sean Penn. The interview produced the effect of an exploding bomb in society. As it turned out, in October, after the drug lord escaped, the actor met him in the wilds of the Mexican jungle. According to Penn, Mexican movie star Kate del Castillo helped him arrange an interview with Guzman. As it turned out, Shorty agreed to mediation del Castillo, hoping for her contacts with film producers. Shortly before this, Guzmán sent a request to film studio representatives about the possible shooting of a feature film based on his biography.

While sipping tequila, Guzmán proudly revealed that his organization had an arsenal of all sorts of drug delivery vehicles: trucks, boats, planes, and even submarines. In general, as Sean Penn noted, “Shorty” did not at all give the impression of a wanted killer. Many observers were quick to call Penn’s act “naive” and “risky”.