El Chapo: The Pendulum Swings

November 30, 2018 Crime , OTHER

Reuters photo



Ricardo Swire



The Sinaloa Cartel’s former boss-of-bosses El Chapo Guzman currently faces the American judicial system after playing musical chairs with captivity and freedom for many years in Mexico. On Monday November 26, 2018, during the third week of El Chapo’s trial in Brooklyn’s Federal District Court, a high ranking Sinaloa Cartel underboss was scheduled to testify. The witness’ written statement said he paid US$6 million in payola to a Mexican president for private favours.


Due to legal semantics and objections he was not allowed to elaborate. The previous week another prominent Sinaloa Cartel witness told the Federal Court he bribed one of Mexico’s highest ranking law enforcement officials. The criminal character also admitted he paid a Mexican Army Officer US$250,000 cash to cancel a military operation designed to capture El Chapo. Sinaloa Cartel’s bagman Hector Beltran Leyva, who died suddenly of a heart attack in a Mexican jail, was paymaster for a cadre of corrupt local politicians.


Public interest stories and social media have concentrated on El Chapo’s trial. As the Sinaloa Cartel’s business continues one son has strengthened relations with Colombian drug kingpins in Medellin. In 2016 the same son aka “El Charro” lived in Medellin under a false identity, protected by fifteen La Terraza Cartel bodyguards. The powerful and influential street gang is governed by Oficina de Envigado, overseers of Medellin’s underworld. The Medellin Cartel originally established Oficina de Envigado as the debt collection section.


On August 15, 2016 El Chapo’s two sons El Chapito and El Charro were kidnapped by CJNG rivals, while visiting a Puerto Vallarta restaurant. Five days later El Mayo a Sinaloa Cartel elder negotiated the famous Guzman half brothers’ release for paid ransom. When El Charro visited Envigado and Medellin in early February 2018 the thirty-five year old juggled luxury apartments nightly and travelled via a grey heavily tinted, armoured Toyota Prado.


According to the National Police of Colombia (PNC) during his Colombian hiatus the Mexican laundered high net worth Colombian drug trafficking profits via local businesses. El Chapo’s son also owns two cocaine labs in rural Medellin, each with technical capabilities of four hundred kilos of cocaine weekly. Consignments destined for Mexico usually depart Buenaventura by truck en route to Colombia’s Pacific port. In June 2018 the US Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) interests in El Charro was piqued and agents teamed up with Colombian counterparts.


In September 2018 the DEA added El Chapo’s son to its “Ten Most Wanted List.” Mexican drug trafficking organizations control one hundred thousand hectares of coca in Colombia. More than half is managed by criminal gangs and a special agreement with FARC for provision of field workers. Ex-FARC members known as “Clan of the Gulf,” dedicated to drug trafficking in Tamaco, are an “armed wing” of the Sinaloa Cartel.





Ricardo Swire - Tuck Magazine

Ricardo Swire

Ricardo Swire is the Principal Consultant at R-L-H Security Consultants & Business Support Services and writes on a number of important issues.

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