El Chapo Guzman is no doubt among the most powerful drug lords in the world. However, in the drug trafficking world, such power corrupts and draws attention from the authorities and the general population.
Speaking of drawing attention, it was one of the main weaknesses of Pablo Escobar and consequently caused his downfall. Born in 1949 in Antioquia, Colombia, he began dealing in drugs in the 1970s and also collaborated with others to form the infamous Medellin cartel. It is reported that in the mid-80s, his cartel was able to ship more than $420 million worth of cocaine every week to the United States.
Of course, this made him very rich and influential. So rich, in fact, that he had a Learjet purchased to transport his money. At one point, while running away from the authorities, he is said to have burned about $2 million to keep his daughter warm. His accountant also offered an account of how he hid his money, which was in old warehouses and farming fields. It was reported to have been so much that 10 percent of it had to be written off because of damage caused by rats and moisture, reported Business Insider.
However, unlike El Chapo Guzman, who has spent a significant part of his life hiding and running from the authorities, Pablo took popularity to whole other level, and in 1982, he became a member of Colombia’s Congress. He even had ambitions to become the president of Colombia, a position that would give him power and immunity from extradition to the United States to face drug trafficking charges.
However, for El Chapo Guzman, he drew attention to himself mainly through violence. Currently in his 60s, he is said to have begun general violence among Mexican cartels after breaking an alliance between his cartel and the Juarez cartel after ordering the assassination of Rodolfo, the brother of Vicente Carrillo Fuentes, its leader. What followed was open violence between the two groups from 2004 to 2008, especially rife in Juarez.
The following is a report in relation to this by Breitbart.
“Starting in 2007, the annual murder rate in Ciudad Juárez began to skyrocket in parallel with a war between the Sinaloa Federation and the Vicente Carrillo Fuentes Organization, a.k.a. the Juárez cartel. The war peaked in 2010, when Juárez earned the nickname ‘Murder City’ for its death toll of over 3,600, per New Mexico State University researcher Molly Molloy… the murder rate began dropping, reaching 434 deaths in 2014 according to the US State Department.”
This became a nightmare for then-Mexican President Felipe Calderón and his administration. In total, more than 100,000 people were killed in drug-related violence during his term. However, decent attempts to capture the main drug lords were made.
The following is an account by Ismael Zambada Garcia (El Chapo Guzman’s partner) to keep a distance away from Mexican soldiers who had raided his camp.
“That dusky afternoon Ismael Zambada Garcia was more restless than usual. His instinct as a man of the mountains notified him that things didn’t look so good in the southern hill of Culiacán.
“In highways, roads, paths, hills and thickets were men ‘sow’ themselves, some armed, others disguising them self with the environment. Watching the vanguard and the rearguard of the leader of Sinaloa’s cartel… Feeling the boots of the soldiers. The shouts of ‘¡There they are, there they go!’ and the deafening crash of the propellers. It opted for running… It was already seven in the morning of the following day when they spotted the population where they wanted to arrive. Their spirit changed, they felt insurance.. they began speaking to their gunmen and family. “We are well.”
This is as reported by Borderland Beat.
[Photo by Marco Ugarte/AP]