It should be of no surprise that Mexican drug lord and leader of the world’s most powerful Sinaloa narcotrafficking cartel, Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, has escaped jail under dubious circumstances for the second time, and there is strong reason to believe that President Enrique Peña Nieto and his government allowed him to leave jail as part of a negotiation that apparently included the release in 2013 of Rafael Caro Quintero, another powerful Sinaloan drug trafficker.
The DEA new El Chapo would escape and many experts on drug cartels agree that what is surprising is how quickly he has been allowed to flee.
Since his arrest in February 2014 and after then Attorney General Jesus Murillo's statement that El Chapo would not be extradited to the United States for at least 300 years, it was obvious to many that the government was planning something. There was no doubt in the minds of many that El Chapo would soon leave jail.
And there is no reason not to believe that President Enrique Peña Nieto himself is involved in some way with his “release” or escape as Mexican authorities are calling it. Former President Vicente Fox has been said to have been complicit with the drug trafficker's “escape” in 2001.
Last year, Phil Jordan, former head of the DEA in Texas, told Univision and other news outlets, that the U.S. government had conclusive evidence that El Chapo had financed President Enrique Peña Nieto’s presidential campaign. He also said there were documents that proved Guzman had paid former President Vicente Fox and his National Action Party hundreds of millions of dollars for protection and later for his release from jail in 2001, which then was also said to be an escape.
Jordan added that Guzman continued paying now ruling PRI party millions of dollars for protection and said that El Chapo’s arrest in February 2014, more than likely was the result of a negotiation, which clearly suggests that Peña Nieto, the PRI and federal authorities are in on the drug lord’s second escape.
To begin with, it is too much of a coincidence that Peña Nieto is out of the country when Chapo Guzman leaves the Almoloya de Juarez jail in Toluca, some 30 miles north of Mexico City, which is considered to be one of the most secure prisons in all of Mexico. About 159 military personnel traveled with Peña Nieto to France.
Another factor to ponder is that “maximum security” jails in Mexico have at least one underground 10-meter-high wall all around the prison that is more than 20 inches thick and reinforced with a massive net of steel bars. If anybody attempts to break through this wall, prison officials are immediately alerted. Why has nobody mentioned this fact?
Yet another important detail is that prisoners in these jails never leave their cells without at least a two-guard escort. Another detail no news media outlet has mentioned.
Mexico's Attorney General Arely Gomez Gonzalez looks into the entrance of a tunnel connected to the Altiplano Federal Penitentiary and used by drug lord Guzman to escape, in Almoloya de Juarez. (Photo: Reuters)
It's still unclear whether he escaped from his cell or the shower area, but there is no doubt that President Peña Nieto sanctioned the order for Chapo's “escape”. It’s so obvious and so absurd, that nobody is going to believe he is that “stupid.”
“But of course the president knows about it, but nobody is going to dare say anything. They’re all in on it. They must believe that nobody is going to blame the president and his staff directly. They simply would find it hard to believe they are that stupid,” Julio ‘El Tio’ Martinez, an “administrator” who works with an emerging operator of El Chapo, told teleSUR in an interview early Sunday. He asked to be named only as Julio ‘El Tio’ Martinez.
“Let me give you a prime example of the impunity and the protection we enjoy. Everybody, newspapers, authorities, the opposition … everybody!, absolutely everybody knows (Ismael) ‘El Mayo’ (Zambada) owns the largest milk producer in the north of Mexico which is the Santa Monica. It’s been operating for decades and has grown incredibly, but do they (the government) do anything to stop them, to seize the company … hell no! They wouldn’t dare,” Martinez said. “And again, what is El Mayo’s son (Vicente) saying in the U.S.? That he smuggled drugs into the U.S. with the permission of the DEA and he hasn’t said who he and his father pay off in Mexico … not yet at least.”
Vicente Zambada, 40, was arrested in 2009 and quickly extradited to Chicago in the U.S., where early last year his lawyers announced Zambada could not be prosecuted by the United States, because he had been secretly working as an informant for the Drug Enforcement Administration. Zambada even smuggled thousands of tons of cocaine across the border. The DEA had guaranteed Zambada immunity in exchange for intelligence about the drug trade in Mexico.
Chapo’s Arrest Last Year
Those who live in Sinaloa know exactly where Chapo Guzman hangs out and how he rolls.
Him and his buddy Ismael “El Mayo” Zambada, another of Mexico's most powerful drug lords, do openly drive around the capital of Sinaloa, Culiacan, but they usually “hide out” in a vast mountainous region that begins in Jesus Maria, about 50 minutes north of Culiacan, and all the way up to Badiraguato and Santiago de los Caballeros. They control that area and cultivate hundreds if not thousands of hectares of marijuana there. They also have strips for landing, loading and sending of Cessna's packed with weed and cocaine toward the border with the U.S.
There, they enjoy federal protection. The Mexican army patrols the area for them and, of course, they pay them well. And only in cases where more land is being used for marihuana cultivation than reported to authorities, will the military use helicopters to fumigate the unreported plantations.
Very rarely will someone dare to talk about these arrangements, but in Sinaloa and especially up in the mountains everybody knows.
Chapo Is Home Partying With Family and Friends
Julio ‘El Tio’ Martinez told teleSUR, “El Chapo is already in Jesus Maria with his wives and children. El Mayo and Aquiles are also there. El Mayo also has family in Jesus Maria. They are partying. I heard (Rafael) Caro Quintero was also going to be there.”
The obvious question was, “An Italian journalist and writer named Roberto Saviano – famous for his book Gomorra, in which he exposes the Italian mob, has said in New York that El Mayo and El Chapo were at loggerheads ...”
Martinez didn't even allow for the question to be completed: “Bullshit. That's is not true. They are very tight. They are compadres and that is by no means true.”
Saviano also said Caro Quintero was not operating anymore. This man was detained about 30 years ago in connection with the abduction, torture and homicide of DEA agent Enrique Camarena Salazar and was allowed to walk out of jail in August 2013 in a measure highly criticized by the United States, whose authorities were calling for his extradition. The official Mexican explanation was that a technical-legal mistake had paved the way for his release. But after a barrage of criticism and condemnation, Mexican authorities released a new order for his arrest.
“That is also bullshit. Caro Quintero has never stopped operating. His family, brothers, nephews, cousins, uncles, close friends, took on many responsibilities, but the Quintero's are very powerful people and have a wide net of family members across the country and in the United States that work for him. So, yes, Saviano is full of shit,” Martinez said.
Many spoke of El Chapo not being in control of the Sinaloa cartel, “But it doesn't matter if they jail them, they have brothers, sons and others that have been taking care of business for years anyways. I mean it's stupid for anybody to think that it's all over just because they have detained a leader. They are so powerful, they have paid off so many politicians and public servants, even governors and presidents, that their enterprises continue on even if they are killed. There is Chapo's brother, for instance, Aureliano, who hardly nobody talks about and he is in charge of large parts of the business,” Martinez added.
This information holds even in the case of the Tijuana cartel of the Arellano Felix brothers, who are related to Miguel Angel Felix Gallardo, who is still in jail, but is still a very powerful drug trafficker in Mexico.
“So, as you know, the Arellano Felix brothers are either in jail or dead, but their dynasty lives on and it is controlled by Erendira, their sister and this will continue on for generations,” he said.
Something else to think about is the fact that one of his many sons, Ivan Guzman tweeted in May that his father would soon leave jail. Would he dare do that unless he was 100 percent sure it was going to happen? Wouldn’t it be also be prudent to believe that Guzman would have to have permission to leave jail from the highest levels of the Peña Nieto administration?
The tweet reads, “The General will son be back.”
The King of the Tunnels
Amado Carrillo Fuentes exploited air travel winning over most Colombian cartels. He would transport hundreds of tons of cocaine by air. At one time he had a 747 flying back and forth from Colombia to Mexico with up to a thousand tons at a time. He became the “Lord of the Skies.”
Well, El Chapo should be called the “King of Tunnels” as he made the Sinaloa cartel powerful by hiring top level architects and engineers to build tunnels across the U.S. border from Mexico throughout many cities on the line dividing both countries.
You cannot even begin to imagine the huge amounts of cocaine, meth, marijuana and even people being smuggled on a daily basis through these tunnels.
“El Chapo came up with this idea after talking to engineers and architects and this is how he and his people have become so rich. And of course all level of government and the DEA are in on it. Don't doubt this for a second,” Martinez said. “I've been present in negotiations with DEA agents, Mexican politicians, federal police and high-level military persons. There all in on it. They all profit, but when it comes to putting someone in jail it is always the person they call 'drug trafficker' who goes to jail. But they are all drug traffickers, even the president, because they all profit from the business. However, El Chapo and El Mayo know this and that is the agreement. They're o.k. with it, because they are rich and powerful and their families are set for generations.”
El Chapo never goes anywhere without at least 80 to 120 heavily armed men guarding him. Federal police and even the Mexican army deploy peripheral protection wherever he is. They set up roadblocks to check everyone entering the area where the person they are protecting is to make sure that nobody nor any armed group enters that zone.
“Whenever you see federal police and military roadblocks, at least in Sinaloa, you know there is a drug lord nearby they are protecting,” El Tio assured.
Taking this into consideration, it would be naive to believe he was arrested without some kind of negotiation with the highest level of government.
One good explanation is that due to Caro Quintero's release, Peña Nieto's government was under extreme pressure from Washington so they needed to do something to relieve that crisis. Therefore they talked to El Chapo and asked him if he would let himself be detained temporarily.
Saviano talked about a negotiation as well, but he then said he thought El Mayo had turned him in.
But in the end, El Chapo's arrest served to deviate the world's attention from the Caro Quintero issue.
And despite assurances that El Chapo would never again escape from prison, he is now, according to authorities, nowhere to be found. Perhaps, though, authorities didn't lie because more than likely he did not actually escape. Rather, he was permitted to build a tunnel so it would seem he did escape instead of them letting him walk out the main door as he did in 2001.
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