Joaquin ‘El Chapo’ Guzman has for a long time been one of the most revered drug lords in the world. Currently thought to be in his early 60s, he has, over the years, been able to build the biggest drug trafficking organization in the world, with its network reaching Europe and presently being thought to be expanding into Asia.
However, with such power and influence comes the inevitable consequence of having powerful enemies and sometimes deadly conflicts, a reality that El Chapo has most likely become accustomed to. Presently, there are reports citing his betrayal by a close associate, and that is Rafael Caro Quintero, one of his former bosses.
They first met in the 80s after El Chapo started working for the Guadalajara cartel, which was co-founded by Caro Quintero. It was his arrest that led to its spit, prompting El Chapo Guzman to form the Sinaloa cartel.
Delving a bit into the details, Caro was accused of ordering the murder of a DEA agent, Enrique Camarena Salazar. The news sent shockwaves throughout the drug trafficking world, with anyone linked to Caro Quintero immediately becoming a suspect in the investigation. The following is a report offering the details.
“His body [Enrique “Kiki” Camarena’s], was found nearly a month later. His skull, jaw, nose, cheekbones and windpipe were crushed. His ribs were broken. His head had been drilled with a screwdriver.
“The campaign to prosecute those responsible — the tentacles went from Mexican police to fabled drug lord Rafael Caro Quintero – took years. Even today, in the Drug Enforcement Administration’s offices in Bogota, federal agents say the Camarena case has established a steely template for how the U.S. pursues drug investigations in what remains one of the world’s most perilous law enforcement terrains.”
This is according to the Los Angeles Times. After his arrest in Costa Rica in 1985, the Guadalajara cartel was split into three, namely, the Tijuana and Juárez and Sinaloa cartels, with El Chapo heading the last. Sentenced to forty years, he was released in August 2013 on a technicality, following the decision by a tribunal.
According to a recent report by Insight Crime, Caro is presently making moves to expand into areas controlled by El Chapo’s Sinaloa cartel. In Chihuahua and Ciudad Juárez, which was once referred to as the murder capital of the world, there are fears of a murder spike following clashes between gangs affiliated to El Chapo and Caro Quintero.
Execution-style murders are said to have already started taking place and large drug shipments beginning to appear. Caro Quintero has apparently forged ties with the Beltrán Levya Organization (BLO), which is one of the Sinaloa cartel’s biggest rivals. About a month ago, the cartel is said to have carried out attacks in El Chapo’s home turf, even ransacking his mother’s home. The following is an excerpt of the report on this by Business Insider.
“They took two vehicles called Razers and at least three all-terrain motorcycles and cut telephone and internet lines.
The attackers also took vehicles from residents of nearby communities, prompting many inhabitants in the area to relocate to the municipal capital of Badiraguato and to the state capital, Culiacán… The attack was orchestrated by members of a criminal group formed by the Beltran Leyva Organization (BLO) and Fausto Isidro Meza Flores, aka ‘Chapo’ or ‘Chapito.’”
With El Chapo Guzman currently behind bars, it is likely that Caro sees this as an opportunity to take up his territories.
[AP Photo/Marco Ugarte]