This piece from The Atlantic is a great up-close look at the American-Mexican drug trade. After last week’s jail break by Mexican drug-kingpin Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, his second escape from a maximum security prison, the most disturbing issue is the lack of surprise his disappearance caused. It was expected and some are saying necessary.
Perhaps, I wondered aloud, Chapo had possessed information that could have incriminated senior Mexican officials in the drug trade and, rather than try him, they had agreed to turn a blind eye to his escape?
The heads around the table shook back and forth. Chapo, they believed, had been thrown back into the drug world to—wait for it—restore order. Things have gotten that crazy.
“When I first heard the news, I thought this is either a good thing or a bad thing,” said the cartel operative. “Either this is a sign of how far things in Mexico are out of control. Or this shows that the government is willing to risk a certain amount of international embarrassment in order to restore peace for Mexican people.”
They pointed to what’s been happening in his absence. The levels of drug violence in Mexico have begun to surge. An ascendant cartel, known as Jalisco Nueva Generacion (the New Generation Jalisco), has launched breathtaking attacks against security forces and public officials. Led by yet another ruthless killer named Nemesio “El Mencho” Oseguera Cervantes, the cartel has set up armed roadblocks to search cars driving into and out of some of the most important cities in central Mexico, in order to keep out its rivals. And when authorities have attempted to stop the organization’s members, they’ve fought back with some serious firepower. A spectacular rocket attack earlier this year downed a military helicopter, and a rampage against Mexican police left 15 officers dead in a day.
We hope you’ll read the whole story on The Atlantic site
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