The ruthless and somewhat legendary El Chapo has been captured in Mexico by Mexican and US officials. He is head of the notorious Sinaloa Drug Cartel that runs operations in Ciudad Juarez, Tijuana, and other Mexican cities. He was apparently found in a condo with a woman in Mazatlan. Officials of the Mexican Navy and the US Drug Enforcement Agency worked together to capture the drug lord.
Authorities discovered tunnels leading into the sewer system at many of El Capo’s hideouts and surmised that it was through them that he made his escapes and was always able to elude police and capture. His real name is Joaquin Guzman. Villagers in remote villages would also provide him with protection and a hideout at times. Recently, El Chapo seems to have become far to comfortable as instead of hiding out he would walk opening into places like Mazatlan.
El Chapo became almost legendary when he escaped from a Mexican prison in 2001 following his first capture. His escape means was via a laundry truck. He developed somewhat of a bigger than life persona at that time. Insiders are known to have aided him in his escape at the time and some suspected that he was being protected by the government of former Mexican El President Felipe Calderon. Under his administration Mexican authorities neutralized many of the rivals of El Chapo’s cartel yet the Sinaloa Cartel amazingly seemed rather untouched. Today’s capture greatly boosts the credibility of current Mexican El Presidente Pena Nieto whom some believed was not serious about putting the drug cartels out of business. El Chapo’s drug empire stretched from Mexico to the US to Europe and beyond. It runs mostly cocaine and meth along with marijuana. It has been responsible for many murders and mass killings in Mexico including frequent beheadings. El Chapo had a $7 million dollar bounty on his head and was given the distinction of Public Enemy Number One by Chicago Police which is a title carried only by one other man in history, Al Capone.
It’s estimated that 70,000 people have been killed in the drug violence in Mexico since President Calderon deployed thousands of soldiers and police into drug cartel hotspots in 2006. Current President Pena Nieto’s administration has stopped counting drug related killings separately.
El Chapo may be extradited to the US to face numerous charges Mexican authorites have indicated off record but for now his fate is uncertain. Mexico might send him to the US in order to avoid another embarrassing black eye and a repeat of his 2001 escape. One might think that with El Chapo out of the picture it spells the end of the Sinaloa Cartel but you couldn’t be more wrong. His lieutenant will simply take over control of the cartel and he’s just as powerful and ruthless. His name is Ismael “El Mayo” Zambada. He is allied with Juan Jose “El Azul” Esparragoza Moreno who is one of the most astute figures in the Mexican underworld.
The capture of El Chapo certainly put a dent in the operations of the Sinaloa Cartel but it is not going to stop their operations. I suspect Zambada will at some point launch some sort of revenge as a response to El Chapo’s capture most like severed heads and headless bodies which is what the cartel is famous for.
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