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Tuesday, July 14, 2015

El Chapo flying high

To continue with the narcocorrido tone of the previous post, here's a picture of Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman which was supposedly taken a day or two after his escape from that maximum security jail:

(Interesting fashion choice: while NBA players dress like Hollywood drug lords, a real drug lord dresses like….a lumberjack?)

And here is another picture of Guzman, purportedly post-escape, enjoying a beer:

(A bit more stylish this time, though still not NBA-level.)

A neighbor reported to police that on Saturday night he saw a helicopter land near the entrance to the tunnel through which Guzman escaped.

El Chapo's first prison stay lasted from 1993 to 2001; he reportedly enjoyed women and cocaine at will there (though he escaped from that prison as well). Given which, one wonders what his stay in Altiplano this past year was like. How did the other inmates treat him? How did the guards treat him? What kind of special favors did he enjoy?

Given El Chapo's reputation and power and reach, one has to imagine the guards and other inmates treated him pretty much like a god. At least one of the guards who was bribed and/or threatened must have kept him apprised of the progress of the tunnel which was being built, and informed him when it was time to go.

It's highly doubtful that any of the other inmates ever got horny and thought to themselves, hmm, his ass looks pretty good to me, I think I'll rape him.

Extreme respect -- even obsequiousness -- must have been the order of the day.

Evidently the more powerful cartels hire former Mexican Army Special Forces personnel. This isn't surprising, when you think about it. Look at it from the soldiers' point of view: you can either continue to work for a soldier's pay, or you can make twenty times as much taking your special skills elsewhere.

Drug kingpins tend not to be particularly long-lived. But while alive, they tend to enjoy themselves, what with unlimited money and all that comes with it, including beautiful women and personal armies.

A commenter ("Mark") said after yesterday's post, in reference to President Obama, "If I gave many speeches in front of thousands of cheering people it would affect my ego too."

I think Obama's self-regard was in place long before his tenure as President. But the comment makes me wonder whether El Chapo, who must receive a similar level (if different style) of adulation, has let it go to his head. 

Judging from his taste in clothing and beverages, he hasn't.

(Anyone have a tune I can set these lyrics to?)


Anonymous said...

Of course the real art for the successful organised criminal is to convert your winnings into a legitimate business empire that secures your family's position indefinitely and to have your children and theirs established in high political office. If piracy is your game, you might even aspire to acquiring your own country.

John Craig said...

Anon --
You've watched Godfather II (and III?) too many times. How many political dynasties, beside the Kennedy's, can you name in this country that sprang from criminal enterprises? (The Rockefellers don't count, as the original oil baron was a legitimate businessman, albeit an unscrupulous one). Eisenhower, Johnson, NIxon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, Clinton, and Obama all came from at best middle class families. And the Bushes, while patrician, were not originally a criminal enterprise.

Anonymous said...

Really John, the Kennedys were involved in organised crime?? Tell me more.

I was thinking, for example, of the likes of the British-founded trading companies in China, the "hongs", in the mid-1800s, some of which were involved in opium smuggling in their early years, which I understand was not sanctioned by the Chinese, though I assume that there was some at least implicit sanction from the British. They quickly evolved into highly successful diversified companies and continue to prosper today.

John Craig said...

I said "criminal enterprises," not "organized crime," which generally means a large organization like the Mafia. (Old Joe did his bootlegging pretty much on his own, though I'm sure he was vaguely in cahoots with the mob.)

Aha, okay, abroad. Yes, true. And the Chinese have always been nothing if not corrupt.

Anonymous said...

Old Joe had his hands in a lot of different money-making schemes (in his lifetime).


Anonymous said...

During the winter time, I read a book about an American nun who lived in a maximum security prison in Mexico (until the end of her life). In the book, I learned a little bit about the drug lords in Mexico. The nun managed to meet and befriend some of the famous drug lords who were imprisoned where she chose to live and minister. Most of the men came from poor areas of Mexico, turning to crime to earn a living. For some of these men, the American nun impacted their lives in a positive way.


Mark Caplan said...

"he reportedly enjoyed women and cocaine at will there"

That's just another example of why Mexico is a Third World country. In America, all inmates enjoy those privileges, not just the elite ones.

John Craig said...

Mark --

What's amazing is that the Americans warned the Mexican authorities about the escape attempt as much as a year ago, but the Mexicans just completely ignored those warnings…..Talk about Third World.

John Craig said...

Birdie --
Sorry, don't know what happened to your comment. i saw it yesterday, was going to post it, then it disappeared somehow, and I finally got to post it today. (I may have read it on my phone and not saved it properly.) Anyway, yes, I think I've heard of that nun. quite admirable.

Shaun F said...

John - I have a tune! "Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Old Oak Tree" by Tony Orlando and Dawn. I see them performing live, as "the whole damn bus is cheering" while El Chapo's and his bus roll in! One must dream.

John Craig said...

Shaun --
Ha! Good choice, actually. That was a song about a soldier's homecoming, and while using it for a drug dealer might be a little sacrilegious to some, it does have a festive feel to it. And, I suppose, El Chapo does have plenty of ex-military guys in his employ, so maybe it's not that far afield….