Tagged: Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzmán

Mexican drug lord ‘El Chapo’ Guzman gets his own miniseries, made in Colombia

(NEWSMAX) — While the real Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman is locked up in a cold, tiny cell in New York, his career as a drug lord apparently over, his fictional counterpart is free and in top form in Colombia, where the Univision network and Netflix are filming a television series about his life.

Ironically, Guzman’s re-arrest in 2016 — after two dramatic prison escapes — has created such a bloody power struggle for his Sinaloa cartel in Mexico that the series’ producers thought it would be safer to film in Colombia, the country that used to be the epicenter of the hemisphere’s drug violence.

Guzman was extradited to the United States in January, and his lawyers complain the conditions he faces at a Manhattan jail while awaiting trial are so restrictive they violate his rights.

The filming in Colombia was so cloaked in secrecy that the crew told locals they were filming a mythical TV soap opera, “Dolores de Amor,” roughly “The Pains of Love.” The Associated Press attended one filming session in the town of Taibo, where a half-dozen extras said they didn’t know what the series was about.

[READ MORE]

Mexico arrested the son of a shadowy Sinaloa cartel boss ‘El Azul’

(BUSINESS INSIDER) — The Mexican government announced the arrest of Juan Jose Esparragoza Monzon, aka El Negro, on January 19 in Culiacan, the capital of Sinaloa state.

Monzon is reportedly the son of Juan Jose Esparragoza Moreno, aka El Azul, perhaps the most reclusive and shadowy of the top three figures in the powerful Sinaloa cartel, alongside Ismael “El Mayo” Zambada and Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzmán, the latter of whom was recently extradited to the US.

Mexican National Security Commissioner Renato Sales said the anti-drug squad of the country’s federal-police force captured Monzon, 45, and that he “is likely responsible for coordinating a drug distribution network” and “is also likely responsible for administering financial resources of a criminal organization.”

Monzon is also suspected of investing the those financial resources in purchasing property in the states of Baja California, Baja California Sur, Jalisco, Sinaloa, and Querétero, where he is also suspected of involvement in criminal activities, according to Proceso.

Sales also said that Monzon was accused of generating violence in the border cities of Mexicali and Tijuana, the latter of which is ground zero for an ongoing clash between the Sinaloa cartel and the ascendant Jalisco New Generation cartel.

[READ MORE]

‘El Chapo’ Guzman extradited to US

(MEXICO NEWS DAILY) — “El Chapo” Guzman, one of Mexico’s most famous drug lords, is on his way to face criminal charges in the United States, the Secretariat of Foreign Affairs has announced.

Joaquín Guzmán, former leader of the Sinaloa Cartel, was removed from his cell at a federal prison in Ciudad Juárez this afternoon in preparation for extradition to the U.S.

A statement released by the Foreign Affairs Secretariat said a court decided today to reject a request for an amparo, or legal protection, against extradition.

“. . . today, the government of the republic handed over Mr. Guzmán to the authorities of the Unites States of America,” the statement said.

The newspaper Milenio reported that the former cartel boss had been transferred from Cefereso No. 9 in Juárez to that city’s international airport to be flown to the U.S.

CNN reported that it had been told by a U.S. official that Mexican authorities had planned to hand Guzmán over before tomorrow’s inauguration of president-elect Donald Trump.

Government officials said last fall they expected the hand-over to take place early this year. January marks the first anniversary of Guzman’s capture in Sinaloa, six months after a spectacular escape through a 1.5-kilometer tunnel from the Altiplano federal prison in the State of México.

He had been in custody since February 14 when he was arrested in Mazatlán.

In the U.S. he will face charges of money laundering, drug trafficking, kidnapping and murder.

[READ MORE]

Judge who handled El Chapo’s cartel case is assassinated

(NEW YORK POST) — A judge who has investigated some of Mexico’s biggest drug gangs — including El Chapo’s feared Sinaloa Cartel — was assassinated on Monday.

Shocking footage shows Vicente Antonio Bermudez Zacarias being shot in the head while he was out jogging in Metepec, 30 miles west of Mexico City.

The mystery gunman runs behind him before shooting him in the back of the head at point-blank range. Bermudez, 37, lies dying in the street as the gunman flees. According to local reports, he was rushed to a hospital, where he later died.

President Enrique Peña Nieto condemned the murder and ordered the attorney general’s office to take over the investigation.

Bermudez became a district judge in December 2013 and served in the Fifth Tribunal for appeals and civil judgments in the State of Mexico when he was killed.
Modal Trigger

His cases included one involving the Los Cuinis drug cartel and a tax fraud investigation against powerful businessman Naim Libien Kaui, whose family is accused of links to drug traffickers.

[READ MORE]

Carnage and corruption: upstart Mexican cartel’s path to top

By Dave Graham

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – In barely four years, a little-known criminal gang has grown to challenge the world’s most notorious drug lord, Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, for domination of the Mexican underworld, unleashing a new tide of violence.

Once minions of Guzman’s Sinaloa Cartel, traffickers of the Jalisco New Generation Cartel (CJNG) have turned on their former masters, seizing territory and buying off thousands of corrupt police.

Led by former policeman Nemesio Oseguera, aka “El Mencho”, the gang soon carved out an empire at the expense of weaker rivals.

The speed of its ascent shows how quickly power can shift in Mexico’s multi-billion-dollar drugs trade.

Juggling interests from China to North Africa and eastern Europe, the CJNG’s bloody advance has pushed murders to their highest levels under President Enrique Pena Nieto, who vowed to restore law and order when he took office in late 2012.

All but four in a 2009 list of Mexico’s 37 most wanted capos are now dead or in jail, and Pena Nieto did initially succeed in reducing violence.

But a resurgence that led to 3,800 murders between July and August highlights the government’s failure to beat down cartels without new ones springing up in their place.

Pena Nieto recently sought to allay security concerns by announcing a plan to step up crime prevention in the worst-hit areas. He did not set out the details of his plan, but urged states to speed up efforts to put local police under unified statewide command.

[READ MORE]

Heroin turf wars among Mexican cartels fueling homicides

(NEWSMAX) — Growing turf wars among Mexican drug cartels after the arrest of Jaoquin “El Chapo” Guzman in 2014 has been linked to the huge surge in inner-city drug violence as these groups distribute heroin through street-level gangs, a new analysis has found.

“There is reason to believe that recent crime spikes are associated with a growing heroin market and the capture of drug lord ‘El Chapo’ Guzman, both of which have caused local cartel affiliates to battle for territory and kill Americans caught up in the crossfire,” the American Enterprise Institute said.

AEI analyzed data from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, which identifies the cartels as “Mexican transnational criminal organizations” — or TCOs.

The groups “remain the greatest criminal drug threat to the United States,” the DEA said in a recent report. “No other group can challenge them in the near term.”

The agency added later in the report that the cartels “are moving to expand their share of US illicit drug markets, particularly heroin markets.

“Many gangs rely on Mexican TCOs as their primary drug source of supply, and Mexican TCOs depend on street-level gangs, many of which already have a customer base, for drug distribution.”

[READ MORE]

Mexico grants extradition of drug lord Joaquin ‘El Chapo’ Guzman to U.S.

(USA TODAY) — Convicted drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman can be extradited to the United States, Mexico’s Foreign Relations Department said Friday.

The process can still be appealed, which means it could take weeks or months before the Sinaloa cartel leader may be sent north. Guzman’s lawyers have 30 days to appeal the decision.

Juan Pablo Badillo, one of Guzman’s lawyers, told Reuters he would file “many” legal challenges in the coming days.

If the extradition goes through, Guzman, who has escaped Mexican prisons twice and led authorities on a months-long search in 2015, will be transferred to U.S. Federal District Court for the Western District of Texas, according to a Mexican government website. The charges are conspiracy, organized crime, weapons possession, murder and money laundering. He will also be prosecuted in the Southern District of California on charges related to cocaine trafficking, according to the Mexican authorities.

The department said Friday that the United States has guaranteed that Guzman would not face the death penalty, which is not applied in Mexico.

Guzman made world headlines in July when he slipped out of his cell in the maximum security Altiplano federal prison and through a mile-long tunnel to freedom. The dramatic escape prompted a worldwide manhunt which concluded in January with his arrest following a deadly shootout in Los Mochis, a Mexican coastal city of 250,000 in Guzman’s home state of Sinaloa.

Attorney General Arely Gómez González said the search had drawn few valuable clues until Guzman reached out to actors and producers and began planning a biopic. That tipped off investigators to his location, and Gómez said a journey to the rugged Sierra Madre by American actor Sean Penn drew authorities to Guzman.

[READ MORE]

Queen of Cartels: most famous female leader of Mexico’s underworld speaks out

(UK GUARDIAN) — Inside the front door of Sandra Ávila Beltrán’s home is an altar and lit candles that form a crowded shrine to her first husband (riddled by gunfire), her second husband (stabbed through the heart) and her brother (tortured to death). All were murdered during Mexico’s ongoing cocaine wars.

Ávila is the stuff legends are made of – one of the few women with access to the highest levels of cartel life. She has lived, worked and loved inside the upper echelons of the Mexican drug world since the late 1970s. At the height of her career, she showed a propensity to carry suitcases with millions of dollars in crisp $100 bills.

Her status led her to become known as “The Queen of the Pacific”, in honor of her alleged prowess organizing a fleet of tuna boats laden with 10 tons of cocaine each as they navigated north from Mexico’s Pacific coast towards the world’s number one cocaine market: the United States.
Californian, businesswoman, ‘narco junior’: El Chapo’s American daughter

Ávila has spent the last seven years in prison for money laundering, including two years in solitary confinement. Now free, she gave an exclusive interview, her first in nearly a decade, from her home near Guadalajara, in which she lashed out at Mexican politicians’ corruption, mocked the futility of drug prohibition and celebrated the escape of Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán.

Her three-decade rise to power has provided her with a front-row view of private jets, clandestine plastic surgery operations to disguise identity, murderous shootouts at VIP parties and one non-stop constant: massive bribes to Mexican public officials. “The most I ever heard about was a $100m [bribe] to a Mexican president,” Ávila said. “A million dollars is nothing. I have seen one [politician] look into the bag to see if it was there. He knew everything.”

[READ MORE]

‘El Chapo’ extradition to U.S. may proceed, Mexican judge says

(NPR) — Two days after drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzmán was transferred to a prison near Juárez, a Mexican city near the U.S. border, a federal judge in Mexico said the extradition process can move forward.

An unnamed judge said the “legal requirements laid out in the extradition treaty” between the U.S. and Mexico had been met, The Associated Press reports, adding that Mexico’s foreign ministry has 20 days to approve the extradition.

NPR’s Carrie Kahn reported in January that Guzmán had been “indicted on drug and arms trafficking, money laundering and murder charges in at least six U.S. states.” In July 2015, Guzmán he escaped from Mexico’s supermax Altiplano prison through a mile-long tunnel. He was recaptured in January.

But the judge’s go-ahead for extradition is one step in what could still be a lengthy process. Lawyers for Guzman can still try to block or delay any attempts to extradite the infamous leader of the Sinaloa cartel.

As the Two-Way has reported, the head of Mexico’s extradition office, Miguel Merino, warned in January that Guzmán’s legal team could pursue various appeals that could delay the drug kingpin’s extradition for four to six years.

Reuters reports that “Juan Pablo Badillo, one of Guzmán’s lawyers, said his client’s legal situation was still being processed and that to extradite him now would be a violation of his human rights.” The news service adds that “government officials have said in private that the decision to extradite the drug lord is essentially a political decision dependent on the president.”

[READ MORE]