Is Joaquín ‘El Chapo’ Guzmán hiding in Central America?
By Dialogo September 30, 2013
Is Guatemala the hiding place of fugitive Sinaloa Cartel kingpin Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman? Could he be on the run in another Central American country, such as Honduras?
The Guatemalan military is taking a hard line against organized crime, making it unlikely 2013, that El Chapo is hiding in that country, said security analyst Gabriela Alvarado, a researcher at the Democratic Security Program at the Institute for the Study of Strategy and Public Policy (Ieepp) in Nicaragua.
The tough stance taken by Guatemalan President Otto Perez Molina against transnational criminal organizations makes that country inhospitable for fugitive drug cartel kingpins, Alvarado said.
“The strategy of the president of Guatemala, Otto Perez Molina, is to fight organized crime primarily with the military,” Alvarado said. “The Guatemalan government has strengthened the number of troops in 28 municipalities, in the three departments where organized crime violence is concentrated. The main objective of the military is to fight organized crime and protect the population against these criminal groups.”
Guatemalan security forces captured El Chapo in 1993. He was transferred to Mexico, where he was imprisoned for drug trafficking. In 2001, El Chapo escaped from a maximum-security prison in Jalisco state by hiding in a laundry cart.
Guatemala fights organized crime
In June 2013, organized crime operatives killed eight police officers in western Guatemala. The killers were probably either working for the Sinaloa Cartel or Los Zetas, which also operates in Guatemala, the president said.
The president transferred more than 1,500 troops to the police department and sent them to the region to battle organized crime.
Guatemalan security forces captured alleged drug trafficker Waldemar Lorenzana in April 2008. Lorenzana, who is known as “The Patriarch,” collaborated with El Chapo’s forces, authorities said.
In July 2013, a Guatemalan appeals court denied the last of The Patriarch’s legal motions to avoid extradition to the United States, where he is facing drug trafficking charges. He is charged with having conspired with El Chapo to smuggle tens of thousands of tons of cocaine into the United States.
El Chapo in Central America
The Sinaloa Cartel operates in the Pacific regions of Guatemala and El Salvador. The transnatioanal criminal organization also operates in inland areas and along the Caribbean coast of Honduras.
The drug cartel also operates in Ecuador. In addition to using airplanes, the Sinaloa Cartel uses submarines, and “pangas,” fishing vessels outfitted with powerful motors, to transport drugs from Central America.
In each of these countries, security forces are working hard to stop the Sinaloa Cartel’s operations. For example, the military has made great strides in cracking down on airborne drug trafficking, said Gen. Miguel Palacios Romero, the leader of the Honduran Air Force.
The Honduran military has identified 200 clandestine air strips, and destroyed more than 60 of them, according to authorities. The campaign is part of
“Operation Armadillo,” which was launched in July 2012. Operation Armadillo has helped reduce the number of narco-flights in Honduran air space by 50 percent, according to Palacios.
El Chapo theories
In February 2013, the international security consultancy Stratfor Global Intelligence reported that El Chapo was believed to be living in Guatemala. That was the same month that some news agencies reported that Guatemalan security forces had killed El Chapo. The reports turned out to be untrue.
In August 2012, Hector Rosada, a Guatemalan security analyst, said El Chapo might be hiding in Guatemala or Honduras. “He is able to move with ease in these countries,” Rosada told El Universal.
In October 2011, then-President Felipe Calderon shared his theory of El Chapo’s whereabouts with The New York Times. “He is not in Mexican territory, and I suppose that El Chapo is in American territory,” Calderon said.
In April 2009, the Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Durango, Héctor González Martínez, said, “Everyone knows that El Chapo lives a little past Guanacevi,” in the northwest region of Durango.
Everywhere and nowhere
El Chapo is probably hiding out in Mexico, moving between the states of Sinaloa, Sonora, Coahuila, Tamaulipas, Michoacan, Chihuahua and Veracruz, according to a report by the Mexican Attorney General’s office (PGR).
The billions of dollars El Chapo has acquired through drug trafficking and other criminal enterprises allow him great mobility, because he can afford to maintain homes in different places, said Ghaleb Krame, a security analyst at Alliant International University in Mexico City. Such mobility poses a challenge to security forces who are looking for him, Krame said.
“It is difficult to find El Chapo’s whereabouts. The intelligence and investigation process to capture a drug trafficker takes months,” he said. “He is unpredictable, does not follow the same patterns of behavior, and is constantly on the move in order to avoid detection, like Osama bin Laden was, as well as Saddam Hussein.”
A mythology has grown around El Chapo’s elusiveness, Krame said. “El Chapo is everywhere and nowhere at the same time,” the security analyst said.
Mexican security forces have captured several drug kingpins in recent months:
• On Sept. 1, the Federal Police (PF) announced that its agents had captured Alberto Carrillo Fuentes, the leader of the New Juarez Cartel who is known as “Ugly Betty.” PF agents captured him in Bureiras, Nayarit.
• On July 17, Army soldiers and PF agents worked together to capture Mario Armando Ramirez Trevino, the Gulf Cartel (CDG) kingpin who is known as “El Pelon.” Security forces captured El Pelon in Tamaulipas.
• On July 15, a team of Marines captured Los Zetas kingpin Miguel Angel Trevino Morales and two of his operatives as they rode in a truck near Nuevo Laredo. He is known as “40,” “Commander 40” and “Z-40.”
I don't think they'll ever catch him and this is coming from a person who is no longer involved from all that It sucks that the authorities think that being a narc is a bad thing. I think that it's a task like any other job of wealth and benefit for the people. It requires courage and character, besides nobody forces anyone to use said product. On the contrary, the thieves are the Authorities that shamelessly steal the assets that people have worked and risked so much for, along with their families and these people dedicated to drug trafficking make that Country more productive because the economy grows continuously. So, let's drop the nonsense because we all know that the governments fighting narcs steal more since they steal both the assets of the narcs and the taxes of the people who work hard every day....For example...look what happened with the millions of guayo cano, ask where the money that was seized is, obviously they couldn't make the 80 vehicles disappear so quickly, but you will soon see some government official with one of those luxury car parked at their home, showing off as usual something that doesn't belong to them...right?? They will catch him when he's no longer useful to the United States government. Do you think that if he wasn't useful for business they wouldn't have captured him by now? DON'T LIE "FERNANDO BATRES" . HOW MANY INNOCENT LIVES TO MAINTAIN POWER, THE DRUG DEALER WALKS OVER ANY HUMAN BEING, AS DOES ANY CORRUPT GOVERNMENT. DON'T SAY THAT YOU WANT TO COVER THE SUN WITH A FINGER, OR DID YOU COME TO INVENT SUGAR WATER. DON'T BELIEVE THAT GOOD SOCIETY IS IGNORANT. Only a truly irresponsible, ignorant and stupid person can say that narcs are productive and develop societies. They poison the minds and bodies of those who consume their product, a product that creates a mortal dependence for those who consume it, they end up addicted, unproductive and delinquents in order to obtain their dose, without being able to differentiate between right and wrong, and many of them kill, steal or rape while under the influence. "But no one forces them". Do you think that absolves them? I assume you believe they will be free of blame. "The root of all evil, the love of money". From an economical point of view, it completely changes the countries' economy, increasing inflation and therefore affecting those who earn a living honestly, they will purchase for 1000 a land that costs 100 and thus increase the prices of everything, the actual productive capacity, banking, commerce, all is directly affected, not to mention the violence and moral degradation people are led into, where life isn't respected and the most horrendous crimes are committed, submitted to a satanic cult where they invoke the holy death and other demons in order to protect their businesses. Surely, politicians steal but this doesn't justify participating in such abomination, the evil of many is a fool's consolation, as they say, but the saddest thing is people who write such stupidity like this animal, believing and supporting those movements. They sell their souls and conscience for money, just because they get help with university and receive things, that's degrading one's conscience because that money was a product of playing with the lives of many and the blood of many more. I think that, even though it's true that they captured narcs in Guatemala, they are playing dumb with others who really seem their proteges. The narcs, friends of the current government. I agree with fellow Batres, the same thing happens here in Panama. The article seems more like a piece paid by the government of Guatemala. There's a lot of inaccurate information, in the sense that the actors mentioned by the author have not participated in or are doing nothing for fighting drug trafficking for real. It is known that Guatemala is just one piece within this work called "Drug trafficking", whose stage starts in South America and ends in the U.S. The ones that are actually pulling all the strings of the business are the Colombians and the people from the DEA; the operational budget of the latter is to provide thousands of jobs, meaning, that the currently in-fashion cartel work will continue for a long time. The Capos will continue falling because the system requires so, one falls and there are ten more to replace him. The cops, as usually, control and get their share out of it, and that's why all the droppings and deaths of agents. What can I say, this is a see-saw. Ask why doesn't the government want to legalize drugs, as they legalized tobacco and wine.
This is an additional income for them, money received by circulating drugs until they reach the final destiny. Investigate the assets of the Central America, Mexico and other governments. Politicians are worse and bigger thieves than drug traffickers I wonder if the TSUNAMI horse, recently given by El Chapo to the president of Guatemala and delivered at the military base of Huehuetenenago had anything to do with it? That "Chapo" probably had plastic surgery and is traveling around the world without a worry. I think drug trafficking is not good, neither are corrupt governments. When compared, they are both harmful for society. There is a Divine Justice that will make them both disappear. If we the people begged Our Maker with faith and love and also offered our obedience to his laws, then in no time we would be having fair governments and a more progressive society. The solution is so easy, just follow the example of Our Lord Jesus Christ. We are poor but brave countries, offer a reward and it is very likely that someone will hand him over. Nothing is written when someone like el Chapo is hiding, he could be among his people or in a country where he is not known and there is no cause of tension for drugs. This is true power, go plebs, if the DEA is looking for him is because the DEA wants to be like him, one of the biggest in the world with the economic power that el chapo has, his capture is impossible, there's money there for everyone According to the word in my neighborhood: in a western municipality of a Central American country (whose name starts with an H and whose headquarters of the municipal authorities was remodeled to resemble that of the U.S. White House), there was a celebratory day where the big hoopla of that H country attended and even some of the DEA agents, a foreign agency that as we know is in charge of investigating those who arrived to that celebration to provide security to the boss... and just like that, the following day they reopened the exits of that municipality so that the guests could return to their sad realities....the guest of honor had that name and was written down in the notebooks of those agents along with mine, I was just leaving.
The DEA knows where he is, the drug business goes through their hands and we all know that. These people get high before doing what they do, they kill people, women, children, they don't care about human life; and between rival cartels they are bloodthirsty, they behead their enemies and cut them into pieces ... they should be thrown in jail and never be released. In the West of Honduras almost everyone knows where it usually is, if people who live so far from there know it, it's strange that those who are supposed to be in Honduras don't know . That's why they have the DEA, the embassy and the army in its service, who are only justified by the fight against drugs. Take note that if there's demand, there's offer. What can governments do with so many drug addicts? The war against drug trafficking is suffered by the poorest people, after El Chapo there will be another capo, this will only end when the world ends. I like it because they always tell the whole truth