‘El Chapo Based in 6 Mexican States’

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Mexican and US authorities believe they have identified six Mexico states where Sinaloa Cartel head Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman is usually based, raising further questions as to why to the elusive kingpin has proven so difficult to catch.

The Mexican Attorney General’s Office and the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) believe El Chapo moves between Coahuila, Sonora, Chihuahua, Michoacan, Veracruz, and Tamaulipas, according to Newsweek Español. Four of the states are among the seven most affected by drug violence in Mexico.

Newsweek added that both US and Mexican authorities know where to find El Chapo, according to “specialists.”

InSight Crime Analysis

In an era when the average lifespan of a free drug lord has fallen rapidly, El Chapo has consistently bucked the trend and eluded capture. If, as Newsweek claims, both the Mexican and the US authorities know his location and are able to track his movements, this raises further questions about why Chapo remains free. Granted, the six states named by the magazine still represent nearly 800,000 square kilometers of territory.

Under previous President Felipe Calderon, there were several reports of El Chapo’s near-capture, at least one of which was later accused of having been faked by authorities. Mexico has also been accused of calling off operations to capture El Chapo, even after receiving significant support from the US. Such incidents will arguably feed long-standing suspicions that the previous government turned a blind eye to El Chapo’s activities, an accusation that the Calderon administration strongly denied.

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