Tuesday, October 18, 2011
El Chapo Guzmán must be in United States, says Felipe Calderón
But while that issue still brews, Calderón said something else which is equally interesting. The world’s most wanted man is Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán, leader of the Sinaloa cartel. El Chapo (“Shorty”) escaped from a Mexican prison more than a decade ago – he was hustled out while concealed in the bottom of a laundry cart – and he hasn’t been seen since. The combined $7 million bounty which Mexico and the United States have offered for his capture hasn’t helped.
As I reported recently, in mid-August El Chapo’s wife (#3 or #4, but who’s counting?) traveled to the Los Angeles area to give birth to twin daughters. She’s a U.S. as well as a Mexican citizen, and there are no criminal charges against her, so she arrived at the hospital, delivered her babies and in a few days returned to Mexico. She was tailed by federal agents, but the U.S. says there was no sign of El Chapo. Some may not be convinced.
Calderón told the Times that he believes El Chapo is in the United States. “He is not in Mexican territory, (so) I suppose he is in U.S. territory,” said the president. “I have to ask myself, how many drug bosses, or their families, are l living quietly and peacefully on the north side of the border. El Chapo, like many other (drug) bosses is extremely well protected, and has a complete (surveillance) network. His sphere of influence extends throughout the Sierra Madres (in northern Mexico), and to places like Chihuahua, Durango and Sinaloa. This affords him considerable range. He can detect law enforcement presence when we’re still many kilometers or hours away. At least twice during my administration the army arrived somewhere he had been only hours before.”
My analysis: with the almost incalculable fortune Guzmán has at his ready disposition, and enormous liquid assets in many countries, it's no problem for him to move about when, where and as he pleases. Strategically speaking, it's also the intelligent choice. This implies, of course, that Guzmán can buy off people on both sides of the border. It would be foolish to think otherwise.
Previous posts on Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán: http://mexicogulfreporter.blogspot.com/2011/10/sinaloa-cartel-of-el-chapo-guzman.html; and: http://mexicogulfreporter.blogspot.com/2011/09/escaped-mexican-drug-lord-joaquin.html.
at 10:31 AM