El Chapo: violence grows in Mexico, and more coming north!
Yesterday, a Mexican friend summarized the latest on El Chapo's whereabouts: "Está en México" (He's in Mexico). Then he laughed.
Nobody knows, but El Chapo is likely sitting in a comfortable living room, reading the internet and enjoying his new international standing.
My good friend Allan Wall thinks that he may be in Sinaloa:
With his vast fortune, web of contacts, and a drug-trafficking empire spanning continents, Chapo could be anywhere.
The United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) thinks that Chapo Guzman went back to his home state of Sinaloa, and is there now.
It’s not that the DEA is proffering any hard evidence that Chapo is in Sinaloa, in fact a DEA spokesperson said the agency doesn’t have any such evidence that the drug lord is even in Mexico.
It’s just that, for several reasons, it seems like a reasonable assumption.
It's a reasonable assumption that he went home to Sinaloa, but he could be in Central America or San Francisco. El Chapo's escape confirmed that the cartels are a lot more powerful than anyone thought.
Beyond El Chapo, Mexico is seeing a rise in violence as cartels break up and new ones are created, as reported by the New York Times:
For years, the United States has pushed countries battling powerful drug cartels, like Mexico, to decapitate the groups by killing or arresting their leaders. The pinnacle of that strategy was the capture of Mexico’s most powerful trafficker, Joaquín Guzmán Loera, better known as El Chapo, who escaped in spectacular fashion last month from a maximum-securityprison.
And while the arrests of kingpins make for splashy headlines, the result has been a fragmenting of the cartels and spikes in violence in places like Chilapa, a city of about 31,000, as smaller groups fight for control.
Like a hydra, it seems that each time the government cuts down a cartel, multiple other groups, sometimes even more vicious, spring up to take its place.
Frankly, I am not surprised that new cartels come into the picture.
First, a lot of young men in Mexico are attracted to the easy money. What options do they have in rural Mexico? They can walk north to the U.S. or get drafted into the easy money in the cartel world.
Second, we keep consuming billions in illegal drugs. Someone in Mexico has figured out that Americans buy what they grow and manufacture in those makeshift cartel plants. Demand is there and suppliers understand that the money is huge.
Last but not least, we hear that people are walking north from Mexico – i.e., a surge. Unlike their fathers and grandfathers, these young men are not the economic refugees who want to cut your grass, fix your roof, and send remittances to their mothers.
They are voting with their feet and rejecting the violence in Mexico. They also understand that they are likely to get legalized if they cross the border – i.e., the Obama effect!