Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman has a solid reputation for escaping from Mexican prisons with relative ease and with collaboration from the authorities. Estimated to have a net worth of about a billion dollars, he no doubt has more than enough resources to bribe and create innovative infrastructures to aid his escapes. Born in La Tuna in Sinaloa, Mexico, El Chapo is directly related to Pedro Avilés Pérez, the alleged pioneer of bulk drug trafficking. Apparently, Pedro initiated El Chapo into the Mexico-U.S. cross-border drug trafficking business, while in his 20s.
As such, El Chapo may be one of the most experienced and successful drug lords in the world. However, he is said to have played a major part in the increase of drug-related violence in Mexico, leading to over 100,000 deaths.
Just to get a picture of just how much this has impacted the Mexican society, about 100 mayors have been killed in drug-related violence in the last decade. In January, Temixco Mayor Gisela Mota Ocampo was killed after having pledged to bring the fight to local Mexican cartels. She had just held the position for a day. The following is an excerpt of the report, according to the Huffington Post.
“[Temixco Mayor Gisela Mota Ocampo], who had pledged to challenge local drug gangs, was beaten and killed in her home just one day after she took office. The exact reasons behind Mota’s killing remain unclear, but authorities say they suspect the Los Rojos drug gang ordered the killing and have arrested three men for the crime.
“The incident highlights the dangers facing local elected officials in Mexico.”
That said, there has been overwhelming evidence indicating that some mayors and authorities have been colluding with drug cartels in Mexico, some because they fear for their lives and others simply because of the money. Those who choose not to cooperate have had to bear serious consequences such as torture and murder, including the killing of their next of kin.
Those suspected of cooperating with Mexican drug cartels in the past include Humberto Moreira, who was at one time the head of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI). He was arrested in Spain at the beginning of the year following money laundering allegations.
The following is a report on this by the site.
“Humberto Moreira, the former head of the ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), was arrested in Spain this month on money laundering allegations. Moreira has maintained his innocence and was released from jail on Friday, but authorities withheld his passport and barred him from leaving the country while he’s under investigation. News reports say investigators suspect he is tied to the violent Zetas cartel.
“The former governor of Coahuila has long faced allegations of embezzling state funds, as public debt in the state skyrocketed more than 100 times in six years under his leadership, to some $35 billion. He has not faced criminal proceedings in Mexico, although members of both major opposition parties have urged the attorney general’s office to investigate the allegation of colluding with the Zetas.”
Considering the level of corruption in the country and the fact that drug cartels have heavily exploited this, it is not surprising that when El Chapo was captured earlier on in the year, the Marines who caught him sought bribes from him. According to a report by the Daily Mail, the officers took him to a run-down sex motel immediately after capturing him so as to negotiate a bribe with him.
This was following two carjackings carried out by him and his chief of security in an attempt to elude authorities in the town of Los Mochis, Sinaloa. However, Mexican authorities claim he was taken to the motel so they could wait for security backup.
[Photo by Marco Ugarte/AP Images]