Joaquin El Chapo Guzman is certainly one of the most ambitious figures in the drug trade. Born in the mid-50s in Sinaloa, Mexico, he sold oranges at a young age to make a living. With the nearest school to his home being about a hundred kilometers away, he grew up with little formal education. Scarce employment prospects are said to have forced him to grow opium poppy as did many in his locality.
During harvest season, in which his whole family participated, his father is said to have sold the produce to buyers in Guamúchil and Culiacán. In his 20s, he worked for one of Mexico's biggest drug trafficking organizations - the Guadalajara Cartel. Its head was Miguel Ángel Félix Gallardo also known as "El Padrino." El Chapo is said to have been in charge of drug shipments from Colombia. This gave him significant experience and connections in the trade. Currently, he is believed to be the most powerful drug lord in Mexico.
This year, he made an audacious escape from Altiplano maximum security prison via a one-mile long tunnel. As a result, Mexican authorities are currently tightening the noose around the Sinaloa Cartel, his organization, and those around him. This is by arresting individuals in his inner circle in the trade and seizing cartel property.
"Mexican forces clashed with suspected organized crime figures in the hometown of fugitive drug kingpin Joaquín 'El Chapo' Guzmán, killing two and netting 4.5 tons of marijuana, the Navy said Saturday. The armed suspects attacked the forces on Christmas Day patrol Friday in Badiraguato in Sinaloa state, it said in a statement. The forces called in air support, and the alleged bandits also attacked the Navy helicopter that responded."That said, a nephew to Ismael Zambada Garcia also known as El Mayo, who is said to head the Sinaloa Cartel together with El Chapo, was killed earlier this month. According to Insight Crime, he was in Culiacan, one of the Sinaloa cartel's strongholds in a truck with a few guys, when another vehicle with armed men pulled up. The armed gangsters opened fire on them. Two men who were with El Mayo's nephew died on the spot and another got injured. The attack has been speculated to be the result of power wrangles within the Sinaloa cartel.
"In fending off the attack, two suspects were killed, according to the Navy. Their criminal affiliation was not immediately clear. Mexican forces seized six large weapons and ammunition, as well as 4.5 tons of marijuana that was packaged and ready to be shipped. It was incinerated on site."
However, the Jalisco - New Generation cartel, abbreviated CJNG is said to be the current main rival of the Sinaloa cartel. CJNG first made headlines this year when it attacked a police contingent. According to The Star, 15 police officers were killed in the attack.
[Image via Twitter]