‘El Chapo’ Guzman’s Nemesis: I’m Not Fighting Him, Please Leave Me In Peace

Joaquin ‘El Chapo’ Guzman has been through a lot in the past year, having escaped from Altiplano maximum security prison and then recaptured in a dramatic shootout that left several of his henchmen dead. Presently languishing ín a prison in Juarez, his organization, the Sinaloa Cartel has been said to be undergoing some teething problems operating without him.

In June, El Chapo Guzman’s replacement within the Sinaloa cartel was said to have been captured. Francisco Javier Mendoza Uriarte, also known as “El Chapito,” is alleged to have taken over the reins of the organization, and he is believed to have been responsible for numerous executions connected to conflicts with rival organizations. The following is an excerpt of the report on this by Borderland Beat.

“Ministry of State Security said that federal police of Baja California, captured Francisco Javier Mendoza Uriarte aka “El Chapito Uriarte” a plaza boss of the Sinaloa Cartel, who took refuge in the East Zone of Tijuana.”

“The offender is the brother of José Luis Mendoza Uriarte, aka “El Guero Chompas” both cousins of Raydel Rosalio López Uriarte, aka “El Muletas” all responsible for killings and related violence in Tijuana in recent years.”

He is said to have been targeted by the authorities for his involvement in drug smuggling, weapon distribution, and connection to numerous homicides. Apparently, he headed a gang of hitmen numbering in the dozens. Such arrests of top leaders of the Sinaloa drug trafficking organization, including El Chapo, have led to a lot of fighting over territories thought to be under its control as rivals try to take advantage of the now seemingly weakened organization.

Just recently, a spike in violence was reported in Baja California Sur; a region thought to be under the control of El Chapo Guzman’s organization. According to Business Insider, the number of homicides in the area in the past two years has almost doubled, with the New Generation Cartel being thought to be trying to wrest the strategic region from El Chapo Guzman’s drug trafficking network.

However, recent news has indicated that one of El Chapo’s former bosses, Rafael Caro Quintero, has joined the Beltrán Levya Organization (BLO), a drug trafficking organization that is one of the Sinaloa cartel’s biggest rivals. The following is an excerpt of a report by Insight Crime on this.

“Since leaving prison Caro Quintero is believed to have allied with the Beltrán Levya Organization (BLO). Recent violence in the area of Badriguato, Sinaloa — where the mother of Sinaloa Cartel leader Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán resides – has been blamed on confrontations between the BLO and Sinaloa Cartel.”

“Given reports he has forged an alliance with the BLO along with elements of the Zetas and Jalisco Cartel – New Generation (CJNG), Caro Quintero may feel the timing is propitious to challenge the once hegemonic Sinaloa Cartel, which may be experiencing internal unrest following the arrest and possible extradition of El Chapo.”

However, according to Caro, who is currently a fugitive with a $5 million price on his head, he stopped trafficking in drugs in 1984 and has no problems with any cartels, stating, “I have stopped being a drug trafficker and I repeat, please, leave me in peace”.

This was while speaking to Proceso. In the interview, he cited concern over reports of him fighting the Sinaloa cartel. According to Mike Vigil, a former DEA chief, Caro will readily deny everything, but he knows he needs resources to survive while on the run, and the drug trafficking business is his only salvation. However, he can’t publicly declare war against El Chapo Guzman’s outfit as it’s too powerful. This is as reported by Fox News.

During the interview, Caro recalled meeting El Chapo right after being released in 2013, stating, “He came to greet me. I told him I didn’t want to have anything to do with illegal activities”. Apparently, they had breakfast together.

[AP Photo/Marco Ugarte]