When Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto announced on Friday that the snarling hellhound of the Sinaloa drug cartel, Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, had finally been recaptured after making a daring escape from a maximum security prison last summer, the word on the street was that the rabid, chainsaw madman that has invoked paralyzing grips of fear within the international drug trade was on the verge of being neutered down to nothing more than a lonely, whimpering eunuch humping a dead horse.
But no man willing to crawl around in the shit wells of the coastal city of Los Mochis in order to avoid doing another stint in a Mexican prison is going to allow his balls to be gnawed on by Mexican authorities for too long before going in for the choke.
A report from Reuters suggests that when a special troop of Marines arrived at Guzman’s hideout, a legion of hit men were already lined up inside the house prepared to blast the military with machine guns and missile launchers the moment they came crashing through the door.
It's with the same kind of power Guzman used to persuade several of his men to take lethal doses of lead on his behalf while he attempted to slither to freedom through the Sinaloa sewer system that makes him untouchable regardless of if he is roaming free or sitting behind bars anywhere in the world. Sure, the mainstream media would have you think that Guzman’s arrest is a major victory in the international War on Drugs, but the truth is the machine behind the world of illicit drugs is far too vast to be controlled, much less stopped, by simply throwing one of its CEOs into a prison cell.
Despite the tough talk of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), which claims El Chapo’s “days are numbered,” even Uncle Sam understands that burying Guzman underneath a prison somewhere will not stop the illegal drug trade from terrorizing civil society.
In a leaked memo drafted by the Office of Intelligence and Operations Coordination -- an extension of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security -- the federal government admits that putting drug lords like Guzman in prison “does not have a discernable impact on drug flows as determined by seizure rates.”
It seems that while the face of the federal government would like the American population to think that caging violent drug criminals leads to a safe and sober nation to raise the next generation, the report finds that cartel operations run so deep that there is actually limited damage done to these organizations by simply removing a solitary entity --- even if that person just so happens to be the leader of Mexico’s most powerful drug cartel.
Nevertheless, the United States government wants to make an example out of Guzman, if for no other reason than the bragging rights. Over the weekend, extradition proceedings were launched in an effort to hold El Chapo responsible for his role in trafficking hundreds of tons of cocaine, methamphetamine and heroin into the Land of the Free. Attorney General Loretta Lynch applauded Mexican officials for finally nailing Guzman to the wall, saying that he has caused “significant violence, suffering and corruption on multiple continents,” and that he will be given to the U.S. to face changes ranging from money laundering to murder.
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Yet, the implications of El Chapo’s arrest, especially now that he is back at the Altiplano prison, the same facility he escaped from last year, is that he’ll continue to run his operation from behind prison walls. There is also a distinct possibility that he will be given an opportunity to escape again. Guzman is a very well liked and respected part of the Mexican community, which is the primary reason the U.S. wants so desperately to incarcerate him on American soil.
“You remove him from his criminal infrastructure that provides him support,” said Mike Vigil, a former head to the DEA’s International Operations. “Once he's here, he's convicted and goes to prison, he's not going to be able to bribe prison officials, he's not going to be able to dig tunnels, and he's not going to have access to his criminal network.”
Even if the U.S. government eventually succeeds in crippling the Sinaloa Drug Cartel, which is virtually impossible, there are a number of cutthroat cartels out there that are fully prepared to step up and take over the territory.
In other words, El Chapo’s arrest changes absolutely nothing.