For a long time, Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman has been considered to be the most powerful drug lord in the world. Currently in prison, his drug trafficking organization, the Sinaloa Cartel, is slowly being seen as greatly weakened, especially by rival cartels looking to expand.
Just a few weeks ago, El Chapo’s son, Jesus Alfredo Guzman, was kidnapped at a resort in Puerto Vallarta, together with five other men believed to be members of El Chapo’s cartel. The kidnappers were said to be from the Jalisco New Generation cartel (CJNG), which is was challenging Guzman’s group in several Mexican states.
The following is an excerpt of the report about the kidnapping incident, according to CNN.
“Early on August 15, the seven men stormed into a trendy restaurant on the main drag of Puerto Vallarta, a Mexican beach resort.
“They interrupted a group of revelers in the white-walled restaurant, separating the men from the women, and left with a high-value captive, according to Mexican authorities.”
Alfredo is believed to have been part of the new leadership in the Sinaloa syndicate. His kidnapping is likely to have caused serious consequences as it showed he was ill-prepared for the task at hand, something that is bound to lower his rank within El Chapo’s organization. Alfredo was released a week after the incident.
As for the reason why he was kidnapped, it has been speculated that the CJNG wanted to use him to negotiate a deal concerning the drug trade, most likely a strategic drug-trafficking corridor. This is taking into account the recent clashes between the Jalisco New Generation cartel and El Chapo’s syndicate in areas such as Ciudad Juarez and Tijuana. The two regions have been used as drug-trafficking routes into the United States for years and also considered to be the most dangerous areas in Mexico.
Nemesio Oseguera Cervantes, otherwise known as “El Mencho,” is said to be the leader of the CJNG. The group has been reported to be immensely creative and well-funded. El Mencho is said to have close ties to El Chapo, even helping spring him from jail last year, according to a report that came out after Guzman’s escape.
The following is an excerpt of it by Business Insider.
“According to documents seen by Mexican newspaper Excelsior, investigators shared with legislators that Guzmán ‘maintained communication with [Oscar Manuel Gomez, his lawyer] and with operators of the Cartel Jalisco Nueva Generacion’ to share information about the legal situation of those involved in the Sinaloa cartel boss’ escape.”
El Mencho is likely to have used El Chapo’s son as ransom in order to settle scores or trafficking corridors. The fact that his men were able to kidnap El Chapo’s son only served to demonstrate to the elder Chapo that some regions needed to be relinquished, as his sons seemed incapable of even protecting themselves.
It is unlikely that the kidnapping incident affected the Sinaloa cartel as a whole. This is because it has numerous heads, each with his own area of influence. For example, Ismael Zambada Garcia (aka “El Mayo”) heads the Sinaloa organization alongside El Chapo, with the two only sharing main elements such as the Colombian connections that offer the main supply. Both drug lords have numerous groups under them that act autonomously to smuggle drugs into the United States and work as hitmen.
According to Borderland Beat, El Mencho has managed to grow the influence of his cartel using extreme violence. In 2011, his group embarked on a mission to eliminate members of the Los Zetas cartel in key drug trafficking zones and once left 35 decapitated bodies on a busy highway to illustrate a point.
[Photo by Marco Ugarte/AP Images]