Sinaloa Cartel leader Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman

US authorities planned Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman's capture during Mexico's previous administration, according to a respected Mexican news source, but Mexican armed forces blocked the operation, indicating government complicity in the elusive Sinaloa Cartel leader's repeated escapes.

Proceso correspondent Jesus Esquivel, author of the recently released book "The DEA in Mexico", told EFE that the US presented a simple plan for Guzman's capture to the administration of former President Felipe Calderon. The plan involved specially trained US troops entering the zone where Guzman was hiding, supported by remotely controlled planes with missiles. According to the agent, the operation would have taken only 10 to 15 minutes, but was halted by the Mexican navy and army because they were not included in the plan.

Jose Baeza, one of a group of several DEA agents interviewed by Esquival, said that the United States provided all the information necessary to catch Guzman on at least two occasions during the Calderon administration, and has continued to provide information since. The Mexican government knew where he was, said Baeza, but various political links afforded the cartel leader protection. 

"The day that they arrest certain politicians they are going to discover many truths regarding the mysteries of Chapo and the Sinaloa Cartel," he stated.

Following Esquivel's interview, reports emerged that Guzman's father-in-law had been arrested. This is only the most recent case involving members of Guzman's family who have been targeted by law enforcement: the father-in-law had been blacklisted by the US Treasury earlier this year, following sanctions imposed against Guzman's sons in 2012

InSight Crime Analysis

This report is far from the first indication that the Mexican government is not doing its part to capture Guzman. A 2010 NPR investigation indicated that Mexican policy favored the Sinaloa Cartel over other cartels, evidenced by a comparatively low number of arrests. Additionally, an investigation by Mexico newspaper El Universal found that the Mexican goverment may have faked the reported near capture of Guzman in 2012.

Investigations

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9
  • 10
Prev Next

Justice and the Creation of a Mafia State in Guatemala

Justice and the Creation of a Mafia State in Guatemala

As Guatemala's Congress gears up to select new Supreme Court Justices and appellate court judges, InSight Crime is investigating how organized crime influences the selection process. This story details the interests of one particular political bloc vying for control over the courts and what's at stake: millions of ...

The Victory of the Urabeños - The New Face of Colombian Organized Crime

The Victory of the Urabeños - The New Face of Colombian Organized Crime

The mad scramble for criminal power in the aftermath of the demobilization of the United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (AUC) is over. The Urabeños, or as they prefer to call themselves, the "Autodefensas Gaitanistas de Colombia," have won.

50 years of the FARC: War, Drugs and Revolution

50 years of the FARC: War, Drugs and Revolution

The possibility of ending nearly 50 years of civil conflict is in sight. While the vast majority of the Colombian public want to see peace, for themselves and especially for their children, the enemies of the peace negotiations appear to be strong, and the risks inherent in the ...

Mexico’s Security Dilemma: Michoacan’s Militias

 Mexico’s Security Dilemma: Michoacan’s Militias

Well-armed vigilantes in Mexico's Michoacan state have helped authorities dismantle a powerful criminal organization, but now the government may have a more difficult task: keeping Michoacan safe from the vigilantes and rival criminal groups.

Uruguay, Organized Crime and the Politics of Drugs

Uruguay, Organized Crime and the Politics of Drugs

After the lower house passed the controversial marijuana bill July 31, Uruguay is poised to become the first country on the planet to regulate the production, sale, and distribution of the drug, and provide a model for countries looking for alternatives to the world’s dominant drug policy paradigm. ...

The Zetas in Nuevo Laredo

The Zetas in Nuevo Laredo

After the capture of Zetas boss "Z40," Nuevo Laredo is bracing itself for the worst. This investigation breaks down what makes the city such an important trafficking corridor, and what it will take for the Zetas to maintain their grip on the city.

El Salvador's Gang Truce: Positives And Negatives

El Salvador's Gang Truce: Positives And Negatives

Whether it is sustainable or not, the truce -- which the Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13) and the Barrio 18 put into place March 2012 -- has changed the conventional thinking about who the gangs are and what is the best way to handle the most difficult law and order ...

FARC, Peace and Possible Criminalization

FARC, Peace and Possible Criminalization

The possibility of ending nearly 50 years of civil conflict is in sight. While the vast majority of the Colombian public want to see peace, for themselves and especially for their children, the enemies of the peace negotiations appear to be strong, and the risks inherent in the ...

Corruption in El Salvador: Politicians, Police and Transportistas

Corruption in El Salvador: Politicians, Police and Transportistas

Since the end of El Salvador's civil war, the country's police has become a key player in the underworld. This series of five articles explore the dark ties between criminal organizations and the government's foremost crime fighting institution.

Juarez after the War

Juarez after the War

As a bitter war between rival cartels grinds to an end, Ciudad Juarez has lost the title of world murder capital, and is moving towards something more like normality. InSight Crime looks at the role politicians, police, and for-hire street gangs played in the fighting -- asking who ...