In recent months, news outlets and the public in general have fallen in love with Mexican drug lord Joaquin Guzman Loera, better known as “El Chapo”. The Mexican criminal has drawn praise from news organizations, musicians, pundits and others who glorify his criminal empire and business savviness. However, the praise overlooks the dark violent side of the El Chapo.
While people familiar with the topic of the so-called War on Drugs are familiar with the name of El Chapo, his did not become a household name until two specific events turned him into a star. In 2009, Guzman Loera’s was named by Forbes as one of the richest and most powerful men in the world. The financial magazine valued his criminal empire at more than $1 billion. The criminal empire is known as the Sinaloa Federation or the Sinaloa Cartel, a ruthless crime syndicate responsible for most of the drugs in America. Since 2013, Guzman continues to be a regular figure among the list published by Forbes.
The second event that propelled Guzman into worldwide fame came when the drug lord managed to escape from one of Mexico’s maximum security prisons. Initially, the escape was billed as a movie-like feat with a mile long tunnel and rail-bike that allowed the capo to flee. As Mexican news outlets and Breitbart Texas reported, authorities have uncovered that the capo had help from inside the prison as guards played solitaire and delayed by hours the sounding of the alarm giving time for the drug lord’s escape.
While news outlets fawn over the drug lords exploits, they overlook the darker sinister side of El Chapo.
Currently the United States is undergoing a heroin epidemic where the number of overdose deaths has spiked 244 percent from 2007 to 2013, Breitbart News reported.
Guzman’s criminal empire has been singled out as being responsible for 50 percent of the heroin that is currently consumed in America, beating out other heroin giants like the Asian mafias, Breitbart Texas previously reported.
The capo’s influence is tragic enough that in 2013 the crime-ridden city of Chicago named him as that city’s Public Enemy #1.
While many journalists and the public in general perceive Guzman Loera to be a benign drug trafficker who abhors violence, that statement could not be father from the truth.
El Chapo and his associates are directly responsible for Mexico’s drug violence which has brought the nation into a state of narco-revolution. The reason for all of the violence comes from Guzman Loera’s efforts to control the entire Northern Mexican border with the United States. As expected the other cartels in Mexico did not take kindly to that attempted land grab and war ensued.
As Breitbart Texas’ Sylvia Longmire previously reported, starting in 2007, the annual murder rate in Ciudad Juárez began to skyrocket in parallel with a war between the Sinaloa Federation and the Vicente Carrillo Fuentes Organization, a.k.a. the Juárez cartel, over the control of lucrative drug trafficking areas. The rising death toll resulted in the city earning a reputation as the murder capital of the world.
Over time, El Chapo’s influence in Juarez is believed to have resulted in a decrease in violence as he began employing local gangs in the city, along with police forces, to do the dirty work for him and to force the Juárez Cartel into submission. While the current crime statistics are low, the potential for more violence remains.
The raging violence in Juarez is only part of the story. Years before Juarez became synonymous with murder, the lesser known city of Nuevo Laredo was a prize that El Chapo and his forces sought resulting in blood running down that city’s streets.
During the first part of the 2000’s Guzman along with his then allies the Beltran Leyva Cartel, made a push for the Mexican border state of Tamaulipas. They attempted to wrestle the border city of Nuevo Laredo from the Gulf Cartel and their then fearsome enforcers, Los Zetas. The clash over lucrative drug smuggling territories resulted in a massive escalation of violence that had not been seen before. Convoys of gunmen began to clash along city streets and gruesome executions with drug banners became commonplace. The raging violence proved unsuccessful at first after the hyper-violent tactics used by Los Zetas gave them the upper hand. The Gulf Cartel and Los Zetas themselves went to war during the early part of 2010. That conflict continues to this day. Ironically, the Gulf Cartel sought the help of Guzman Loera and the Sinaloa Cartel in order to push back Los Zetas.
Despite the dark history of El Chapo’s exploits, which have resulted either directly or indirectly in thousands upon thousands of deaths, executions, and untold horrors, news outlets continue to praise and glorify the Mexican drug lord. Maybe, just maybe, it is time to put away the El Chapo halloween costume, the fake Chapo twitter accounts and the narco-corridos and refer to the man as a criminal who is responsible for thousands of deaths and broken families.