El Chapo: A Momentary Distraction for a Country in Flames

Crosses placed on city streets where cartel members have died.
Photo: Cartel Chronicles

As Mexican politicians continue their congratulatory speeches about the “intelligence driven” capture of Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman Loera and news outlets worldwide eat it up, Mexico continues to burn.

Information leaks about the various aspects of El Chapo’s capture and private life have provided the Mexican government a welcome respite from harsh criticism at the hands of international media and a few Mexican news outlets. They will soon return to pointing out Mexico’s out of control violence, tanking economy and widespread corruption.

While Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto was the first one to announce Guzman’s capture and his administration has been trying to bask in the glory, the Mexican public has taken to social media to point out and mock the president about the fact that Guzman has managed to escape from Mexico’s maximum security facilities not once, but twice. As previously reported by Breitbart Texas, Guzman’s escape was not only made possible by the movie-like mile long tunnel that led to his cell, but also by corruption within the prison system and public officials.

In addition to the slap in the face that El Chapo delivered during his second escape, the Mexican government has been working diligently to minimize the out of control violence in that country while at the same time pushing the rhetoric that things are improving.

Breitbart Texas has been reporting the raging violence in Mexico including, the recent beheading of four individuals by Los Zetas in the border city of Piedras Negras, and the wave of ransom kidnappings of innocent victims by the Gulf Cartel that has brought terror to the border city of Matamoros. The citizen journalists of Breitbart Texas’ Cartel Chronicles have worked to fill the void left behind by local news outlets in northern Mexico like in Tamaulipas, where drug cartels and the government have muffled the media.

While the government pushes the message that all is well, Breitbart Texas has travelled the highways of Tamaulipas and seen firsthand that citizens from that state looking to travel to the Texas border must do so under an escort by Mexican federal police. The armed escorts are required since Los Zetas and the Gulf Cartel have been robbing motorists, stealing vehicles, and hijacking buses.

Another symptom of the ever increasing violence in Mexico deals with the case of the missing 43 education students from Ayotzinapa. The students were kidnapped by local police in Iguala and then turned over to cartel members. The government has fought to push the “official version” that the students were killed by cartel members and subsequently incinerated; however, as Breitbart Texas reported, international scientists have disputed such claims. That particular case has resulted in multiple protests as well as much media scrutiny of Pena Nieto’s government by international news outlets.

While the raging violence appears to be Mexico’s most pressing problem, the situation is continually worsened by the widespread corruption at all levels of that country’s government. As reported on Friday, Humberto Moreira, the former governor of Coahuila, was arrested in Spain on corruption and money laundering charges that stemmed from his time in office.

Moreira is the third Mexican governor to be accused of money laundering by a foreign country. As previously reported,  former Tamaulipas Governors Tomas Yarrington and Eugenio Hernandez are wanted by the U.S. Department of Justice on money laundering charges. Yarrington is also sought on drug conspiracy charges.

Despite the accusations by two separate foreign governments, the men are not being pursued or prosecuted in Mexico. All three politicians come from Pena Nieto’s party, the Partido Revolucionario Institucional, which has a long history of corruption and back room dealings.

The former governor’s political allies continually claim that the warrants from authorities in the U.S. and now in Spain are in fact politically motivated.

Prior to Moreira’s arrest, all three men were often seen in Mexico. Yarrington and Hernandez are often seen in public events.

In addition to Mexico’s out of control violence, the ever increasing number of casualties and the widespread corruption, Mexico’s economy continues to be a big concern despite the government’s best effort to claim otherwise.

Just this week Pena Nieto issued a statement claiming that the economy was stable and moving forward, Mexico’s Milenio reported. 

However despite the nice rhetoric, Mexico’s El Financiero reported that the value of the Mexican peso continues on a downward spiral prompting that country’s central bank to auction off $400 million U.S. dollars in an effort to slow it down. The peso has been on a downward spiral since Pena Nieto took office in 2012. During the term of his predecessor, Felipe Calderon, the Peso averaged at $13.50. This week the Peso was valued at $18.18.

In addition to a tanking economy, Pena Nieto and his cadre have been linked to allegedly taking  bribes in exchange for lucrative contracts. As previously reported by Breitbart Texas, one of those bribes includes a multimillion dollar house given to Pena Nieto’s wife that became known as the Mexican “White House”. The team of reporters, including prestigious anchor Carmen Aristegui, that broke the story ended up getting fired for their reporting.

As the list of headaches continues to grow for Pena Nieto, it seems that capturing El Chapo may not have been enough to gain him the respect or approval from the citizens of his country.