Why Arresting “El Chapo” Might Be a Bad Thing

It sounds crazy, but catching the most notorious and wanted drug trafficker in the world might be a bad thing.

Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzmán Loera’s empire spans almost half of Mexico, employs, bribes, and kills thousands of people, and rakes in billions of dollars every year from the insatiable American demand for illegal drugs. He has been ranked for the last three years as one of Forbes magazine’s top 100 most powerful people in the world[1], and the US government is offering a $5 million reward for information leading to his capture.[2]

Guzmán is also a smart and talented businessman, getting involved in the drug business at a very young age under the tutelage of Miguel Ángel Félix Gallardo, known as “The Godfather” of Mexican drug trafficking. He was a major player in the original Guadalajara cartel, and was granted his own corridor in Sonora, Mexico when Gallardo divided up his empire in 1987. El Chapo is as “old school” mobster as they come, having built up his transnational criminal organization (TCO), known as the Sinaloa Federation, into one of the richest and most powerful organized crime groups in the Western Hemisphere. So why wouldn’t Mexican and American authorities want him behind bars?

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