‘El Chapo’ Guzman: A Tale Of Betrayal, Infighting, And Violence

Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman has built the biggest drug trafficking organization in the world through cunningness, creativity, corruption, and violence. Currently said to be in his late 50s, he has been behind bars since January, following a raid on one of his properties in Los Mochis, Sinaloa.

Presently, there are reports indicating that gangs have invaded La Tuna, the area where he was born and brought up. Apparently, El Chapo’s rival, Isidro Meza Flores, is said to have ordered the attack. The following is a report on this by Vice.

“Several residents said they had information indicating that the attacks were ordered by Isidro Meza Flores — known as El Chapito, or El Chapo Isidro — one of a new generation of leaders in the Beltrán Leyva cartel… They became bitter rivals after the arrest of Alfredo Beltrán Leyva in 2008… One source said it seemed Meza Flores sent a large group of his men to the area to search for and kill one of Chapo Guzmán’s brothers. They said the original request came from one of Alfredo Beltrán Leyva’s sons.”

It has been reported that El Chapo’s mother’s house was ransacked by the invading party, and that she was flown out using a helicopter to avoid the attack. The Beltran Leyva cartel is reportedly settling old scores. In 2008, it went to war with El Chapo Guzman’s Sinaloa cartel following accusations of betrayal. The feud is said to have traumatized Mexico, leaving thousands dead in its wake. However, El Chapo emerged victorious.

The rivalry began after the surprise arrest of Alfredo Beltran Leyva in 2008, and the simultaneous release of one of El Chapo’s sons, which seemed to confirm to Arturo Beltran Leyva that his brother had been betrayed in exchange for the son’s release.

To avenge his brother, he unleashed a wave of violence on El Chapo’s associates, including authorities under his payroll. El Chapo’s son was killed following orders from Arturo, which led to El Chapo using tremendous force against the group. El Chapo’s gang was able to win the war.

Apparently, the Beltran Leyva brothers and El Chapo Guzman were so close before their feud that they were instrumental in facilitating El Chapo’s escape from prison in 2001. They are said to have brought in suitcases of money to bribe prison authorities.

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El Chapo also has a complex relationship with Ismael Zambada García, aka El Mayo. He is believed to be El Chapo’s partner in the Sinaloa drug cartel, but chooses to live a very low profile life. He mostly resides in the Sinaloa mountains. While on an interview with Proceso Magazine in 2013, he highlighted that he and El Chapo were friends. The following was his statement in regards to this.

“‘El Chapo’ Guzmán and I are friends and compadres and we call each other on the phone frequently.”

On how he and El Chapo carried out their meetings, he offered the following.

“As for el Chapo, if we meet today, I come from far and as soon as we finish, I leave….end.”

This is as reported by Borderland Beat. El Mayo is reported to have been responsible for El Chapo’s security after his escape from prison last year, and is said to have betrayed the drug lord.

According to Mexico News Daily, his daughter, Rosa Isela Guzman Ortiz, claimed El Chapo visited her in the U.S. while a fugitive, and that El Mayo set him up to the authorities. The following was her exact statement in regards to this.

“He [El Chapo] had already retired, it was just a question of smoothing it with El Mayo [In regards to letting his son Iván Archivaldo take his place in the Sinaloa cartel], but it seems the old man [El Mayo] didn’t much like the idea. We’re completely sure El Mayo betrayed him. They used to always meet in private places and my dad found it strange that he had suggested that place [In Los Mochis].”

[AP Photo/Marco Ugarte]