Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman is among the most popular drug lords of contemporary times. Having started dealing in drugs at a young age, he is presently believed to have vast amounts of money and resources accumulated from years in the trade, with his wealth being estimated to be about a billion dollars, according to Forbes.
Considering that he came from a humble background and grew up growing poppy just to make ends meet, he has become an inspiration to many youth in Mexico. And the result is numerous narcocorrido songs made to celebrate the narco lifestyle, which is festooned with guns, women, money, and fast cars.
Below is one of those that drew lots of controversy last year after El Chapo’s escape.
Below is another.
Of course the luxuries, guns, and women are just a facet of a typical drug lord’s life and running away from authorities, gang rivalries, violence, and shootings are also part of the whole deal. This is not to mention the immediate risk that drug dealers pose to their families and next of kin, which is a huge cost.
Taking El Chapo Guzman for example, he has lost close family members to the trade — his brother Arturo was killed while in prison due to cartel rivalry; in 2009, his son Edgar was killed outside a mall in Culiacán, Sinaloa; and lost a girlfriend, Zulema Hernandez, who was found strangled and dumped in the trunk of a car. El Chapo also has a nephew by the name of Obied Cano Zepeda, who was shot and killed not too long ago while attending a party.
Recently, one of his brother’s properties was seized by the police after a shootout between rival gangs in the vicinity resulted in the death of eight men allied to him. Known as Aureliano Guzman Loera, aka El Guano, he is said to have taken over control of the La Sierra de Badiraguato area after El Chapo’s arrest last year.
The offensive on his property is said to have been carried out by a gang from Chihuahua. Because of fear of gang retribution and harassment from authorities, it is alleged that relatives of the deceased chose to bury them in secrecy. The following is an excerpt of the report.
“After the slaughter of the eight people, relatives of the victims gathered the corpses, bought coffins through a distributor which supplies local funeral houses and buried them in their communities without informing the authorities.
“In addition, the Navy also reported ambushes in the neighboring villages of the municipality, but the balance of bodies is unknown. At least two bodies were taken to the community Surutato. The prosecution did not make any official reports of the deaths, even when the town confirmed that at least one of the bodies was more than eight hours awaiting the arrival of the MP, which never came.”
This is as reported by Borderland Beat.
Living in fear of the authorities is also another aspect of a drug lord’s life. According to Ismael Zambada Garcia, also known as EL Mayo, who is El Chapo’s partner in the Sinaloa cartel, one has to constantly be on the lookout for the authorities.
Narrating a close encounter with the authorities during an interview with Proceso magazine, he recalled how a few years ago, Mexican marines started searching the Culiacán mountains and almost caught him. According to his narration, he could hear the helicopters nearby and at once got a radio notice from one of his men saying, “Leave, they’re on you.”
It took a whole night of running in the shadows to elude the authorities. He said that there were instances when the soldiers were so close that he could hear their boots, but at last he and his three bodyguards were able to reach a friendly community where a man who knew the sierra well was able to guide them out of danger.
This is as reported by Live Streak.
[AP Photo/Marco Ugarte]