The vicious Sinaloa Cartel leader Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman was recently captured during a daring raid by law enforcement officials over the weekend.
The Sinaloa Cartel that Guzman heads is a notoriously violent group that has been blamed for a great deal of violence and unrest throughout Mexico within the last decade.
Guzman himself will be answering to charges ranging from murder to money laundering. Whether or not he will be extradited over crimes committed in the United States is not presently known.
Mexico usually does not extradite individuals to locations where the death penalty is on the table. Perhaps the feared and hated drug cartel boss might find himself an exception.
The big question has been whether or not Guzman’s apprehension truly means a less difficult road ahead for law enforcement officials trying to combat the formidable Sinaloa Cartel.
Observers and participants in the fight are already saying that the answer is a resounding no.
Capture of one drug lord inevitably leads to replacement by another. Only decriminalizing use will undermine market. http://t.co/3VZzmMYJBW
— Kenneth Roth (@KenRoth) February 23, 2014
Chapo's capture is symbolic. Much of the day-to-day management of Sinaloa cartel fell to subordinates still at large http://t.co/z9ypCT3NL3
— Viridiana Rios (@Viri_Rios) February 23, 2014
First there is the most obvious turn of events when it comes to the powerful Sinaloa Cartel itself. Guzman may be seen as the current leader of Sinaloa and a powerful global influence, but he is not irreplaceable.
It’s likely that another powerful member of the Sinaloa Cartel will take over as the group attempts to reshuffle its ranks. There may also be an explosion in violence as other cartels test to see if the loss of Guzman means Sinaloa has weakened.
U.S. marshal of the Western District of Texas Robert Almonte warned that, “Although Chapo was the one we were going after, and he is now under arrest, there is a lot of people trafficking drugs, and Chapo's arrest will have no impact.”
Almonte even wondered if Guzman’s arrest might do more to strengthen the drug trade in some aspects rather than weaken it.
Said Almonte, "Everybody needs to understand that Chapo's arrest does not mean that this battle is over. This was a major victory in a battle, not the war."
Image via YouTube