El Chapo apprehended again



A map showing timeline of Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzmans escape journey in Mexico.

Joaquín Archivaldo Guzmán Loera, also known as “El Chapo,” has recently been apprehended again after escaping prison for the second time. He is a Mexican drug lord who was the leader of the Sinaloa cartel, the world’s largest drug-trafficking organization.

During Chapo’s late 20s, he was helping a prominent drug dealer, Miguel Angel Felix Gallardo, with his cartel. Gallardo was arrested after murdering a drug agent, so Chapo took over the production with his own cartel. It was in the 1990s that Chapo started showing up on Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Drug Enforcement Agency’s Most Wanted List for being a dangerous criminal.

He was arrested for the first time in 1993 in Guatemala and was deported back to Mexico to serve his sentence. In prison, Chapo was in contact with family members to help keep up the business while he was gone. Chapo escaped from prison in 2001 and was in hiding for over a decade.

Chapo went into hiding and had a security presence to protect his business transactions and himself. In 2012, the jail in Guatemala where he was first arrested reported that he had died in a shootout, but that was never verified. On February 24, 2014, Chapo was found on a Mexican beach resort and was arrested.

On July 11, 2015, Chapo once again escaped his maximum-security prison cell and was not seen until January. The ongoing search was in the media for months and came with a $5 million reward for anyone who found him.

The President of Mexico, Enrique Peña Nieto, tweeted on January 8, 2015, “Mission accomplished: We have him. I would like to inform the Mexican people that Joaquin Guzman Loera has been arrested.”

Currently, Mexico City is in the process of extraditing Chapo to the United States for multiple federal drug trafficking charges, according to USA Today. The problem Mexico City faces is making sure Chapo doesn’t attempt to break free for a third time, since citizens are willing to help him escape.

According to Law Street, a blog dedicated to the social, political, and economic problems in the world today, Mexican citizens no longer trust their government.

Senior Stephania Ortega, an international student from Honduras, an area affected by El Chapo’s cartel, said, “Americans aren’t really educated. They don’t understand what [his drug cartel] does for the people. Most of the [drug lords] are from poor areas, and they help the towns and cities they grow up in. They provide safety to towns and donate money, too.”

Chapo has been locked away, but the drugs are still circulating around the globe and in the United States. “Even if El Chapo is in jail, there will still be another ‘El Chapo’ somewhere,” Ortega said.

Azanae Barrow is a Community Editor for The Patriot and jcpatriot.com.