Note: This post has been moved from Latest Picks due to length of extended updates.
“Joaquin ‘El Chapo’ Guzman, the world’s most wanted drug lord, was on Friday night recaptured following a last stand gun battle with Mexican security forces. Mexico’s President Enrique Pena Nieto said the fugitive cartel chief was taken alive and uninjured six months after he made an audacious escape from a maximum security prison.”
What will his escape be this time, commandeered Amazon drone from San Diego lifting him out off a maximum security roof?
9th January 2016
Mexican drug lord given away by plan to film life story (msn.com/The Financial Times).
“He was planing to make a film of his life story. An ‘important thing allowing us to pinpoint his location was the discovery that Guzmán intended to make a biographical film and had already been in touch with actresses and producers,’ Arely Gómez, attorney-general, told reporters.
A biopic of the Sinaloa cartel boss, nicknamed ‘El Chapo’, or Shorty, would not lack for material: his life has been the stuff of criminal legend. There was his escape from jail in 2001, either hidden in a laundry cart or disguised as a policeman, depending on which account you believe. … Then there was his reputation for sweeping into restaurants with his entourage and then picking up the tab for the terrified diners.”
Sounding a bit like the Zoolander-ish gangster turned international model who went on the run in Australia who was snared in fake fashion shoot (Latest Picks 20th May 2015).
10th January 2016
Perhaps bored of watching videos of Daesh decapitations but seemingly keen to continue on with his distressed Russell Brand bit of letting us know of world events by putting himself at the center of them:
“Though his fortune, estimated at $1 billion, has come with a trail of blood, he does not consider himself a violent man. ‘Look, all I do is defend myself, nothing more,’ he told Mr. Penn. ‘But do I start trouble? Never.’ The seven hours Mr. Guzmán spent with Mr. Penn, and the follow-up interviews by phone and video—which began in October while he was on the run—marked another surreal turn in his long-running effort to evade the Mexican and American authorities. … The interviews were held in a jungle clearing atop a mountain at an undisclosed location in Mexico. Surrounded by more than 100 cartel troops, and wearing a silk shirt and pressed black jeans, Mr. Guzmán sat down to dinner with Mr. Penn and Kate del Castillo, a Mexican actress who once played a drug kingpin in the soap opera ‘La Reina del Sur,’ according to Rolling Stone. ”
Presumably much of the rest of the discussion concerned whether it should be titled “The Penn meets El Chapo” or “El Chapo meets The Penn”.
Updated 15th January 2016
5 reasons Sean Penn failed as a “journalist” in “Chapo” interview (insightcrime.org).
“No journalist got as far as Penn did, exactly because Chapo was not interested in speaking to a journalist. But Penn is so wrapped up in his starring role as ‘journalist’ that he forgets that he does not really represent any of us, much less our profession. This is his—and as it turns out Chapo’s—fatal flaw. Ego is what drives this story, not journalism.”
But, as said, he wasn’t the only star involved:
Mexican actress Kate del Castillo, real-life drug connection (bigstory.ap.org).
“The 43-year-old Del Castillo had her most memorable role in 2011 playing a drug kingpin in ‘The Queen of the South,’ a TV series based on a book written by Spanish writer Arturo Perez-Reverte. … Del Castillo has long been fascinated with ‘El Chapo,’ to whom she wrote a public appeal in 2012, urging him to do good and saying, ‘Today I believe more in Chapo Guzman than in the governments that hide the truth from me.’
“Penn wrote that Del Castillo was first contacted by the drug kingpin’s lawyer in 2012 after she sent the public appeal, which included urging him to start ‘trafficking with love. … El Chapo’s representatives contacted her again after his arrest in February 2014, when ‘gringos were scrambling to tell his story,’ Penn wrote.’ … Penn described elaborate security measures—disposable phones and encrypted communications—that both he and del Castillo took to keep the meeting secret. But apparently, del Castillo’s contacts with Chapo’s lawyers weren’t as closely guarded—and were detected.”
So seemingly, any breech of “elaborate security measures or not” were, seemingly not by “the Penn” or “El Chapo”; del Castillo… or I know, there’s a lawyer, and they even opportune for the blame.
11th January 2016
And it seems the Penn meets Chapo or Chapo meets Penn meeting in the middle of the Mexican jungle assisted his capture, and may also speed something else along too:
Mexico formally launches “El Chapo” extradition process (msn.com/dw.com).
“Interpol Mexico agents have executed two arrest warrants, formally launching extradition procedures. The move comes amid criticism over US actor Sean Penn’s interview of the notorious drug lord. Mexican authorities on Sunday formally launched the process to extradite drug trafficking kingpin Joaquin ‘El Chapo’ Guzman to the US after he was rearrested on Friday.”
17th January 2016
El Chapo: Mexican drug kingpin wanted to buy Chelsea Football Club (ibtimes.co.uk).
“Notorious drug lord Joaquin ‘El Chapo’ Guzman apparently didn’t meet all of his goals before he was recently recaptured. He had hoped to spend some of his ill-gotten gains purchasing England’s powerhouse Chelsea Football Club, according to Mexican authorities. … But it’s highly unlikely Guzman could have passed the British football leagues’ ‘fit and proper person’ test required of potential buyers of football clubs.”
Making you wonder if he should have approched “fit and proper” FIFA boss Sepp Blatter for an opening instead; Sepp Blatter, the Ernst Stavro Blofeld of global football and Chapo, what an unbeatable combination, as would any team they would be favouring, it being hard to play with much resistance if you dared without working legs after all.
Many thanks to The Sister for sending that in.
- 10 ways soccer and organized crime mix in Latin America (Latina Pick of the Week 14th June 2014)
19th January 2016
The Penn? Who? Oh, Chapo wasn’t in the slightest interested in him…
The actress being Kate del Castillo of course.
“Evidence recovered by Mexican police seems to suggest that El Chapo may have had a penis enhancement surgery at a hospital in Tijuana, Mexico. … The New York Times reported that the notorious drug lord had never even heard of Sean Penn. They say that the meeting was actually set up Castillo, a mutual acquaintance of both men.
“Leaked text messages supposedly show that Castillo and Chapo were flirting for months before his arrest. He offered to get her a light pink cell phone, ‘suitable for a woman,’ and even wanted her to meet his mother. What a romantic.”
21st January 2016
Dog tastes Mexican drug lord Guzman’s jail food for poison (msn.com/AFP).
“Mexican drug lord Joaquin ‘El Chapo’ Guzman has his prison food tasted by a dog each day before he eats it to prevent anyone poisoning him, an official said Wednesday. … ‘A K9 tastes the food first because we must care for his physical integrity in case someone wants to poison him,’ [Eduardo Guerrero, the head of Mexico’s penitentiary system] said, adding that the same thing is being done for other imprisoned drug barons.”
But extradition to the US seemingly being quickly pushed through there may be those who think his escape the last time and the time before that may have been covertly advocated by powers that be and in that case, with so much to tell and perhaps bargain with that may not be much help—or indeed much of a preventative measure—if said powers that be decide he is now more a liability.
4th February 2016
“The drug lord Joaquín ‘El Chapo’ Guzmán bankrolled the election of senior Mexico politicians and twice secretly entered the United States to visit relatives, according to his eldest daughter. Rosa Isela Guzmán Ortiz said that shortly after an interview with Hollywood star Sean Penn last year, her father dodged a massive manhunt with the complicity of corrupt Mexican officials and evaded US border controls to sneak into California—despite being one of the world’s most wanted fugitives.”
Indeed, a rump Trump’s proposed wall wouldn’t have helped much, Chapo’s cahoots being rather good at digging miles of tunnels—some including ruby motorbike on rails transport—including one to San Diego’s SeaWorld I hear.
Updated 20th January 2017
Mexican drug lord “El Chapo” pleads not guilty in U.S. court (reuters.com).
“Drug kingpin Joaquin ‘El Chapo’ Guzman appeared in a U.S. court on Friday after his surprise extradition from Mexico and pleaded not guilty to charges that he ran the world’s largest drug-trafficking organization during a decades-long criminal career. Guzman, 59, once one of the world's most wanted drug lords, was accompanied by two court-appointed lawyers during the appearance in federal court in Brooklyn. Best known by the nickname El Chapo, or ‘Shorty’ in Spanish, the diminutive Guzman was extradited on the eve of Donald Trump’s inauguration, raising speculation about the timing.”
Indeed, that proposed wall making Mexican willingness to cooperate less likely perhaps after being build, the parts that are not going to just be fence I mean, and actually, perhaps there retort may be to no longer take the conflicted American obsession with war on drugs and buying said drugs as serious—and as bloodily for Mexicans—as they have.
- Hunted drug kingpin El Chapo “fell off a cliff while being chased by special forces” (Latest Picks 22nd October 2015)
- Fugative drug boss El Chapo’s son accidentally reveals father’s location on Twitter (Latest Picks 6th September 2015)
- Mexican drug lord Joaquin “Chapo” Guzmán escapes prison again (Latest Picks 12th July 2015)
- El Chapo captured, the personal feuds and “honourifics envy” (Pick of the Week 26th February 2014)
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