The trial of El Chapo was a riveting one, and a known international drug lord has finally been brought to justice, bringing great relief to anyone who has been affected by his crimes. Now, as Guzmán awaits his sentence and as we keep our fingers crossed that he cannot escape a U.S. prison, it is the ideal time to look back and review some of the most disturbing and bizarre things that came up over the weeks since the trial began in November.
On Tuesday, February 12, after years of investigations and a 3-month long trial, famed Mexican drug lord Joaquín ‘El Chapo’ Guzmán was finally found guilty on all 10 charges of his indictment. After over a week of delegations, in what is likely a sigh of relief for authorities in the United States and Mexico the jury finally revealed its guilty verdict to the court in Brooklyn, New York on Tuesday. It is highly likely that the drug leader will be in prison in the U.S. for the rest of his life.
Between the 1980s and early 2000s, Colombia was notorious for drug trafficking and the cultivation of illegal drugs, primarily Cocaine. The Colombian drug traffickers were the primary suppliers of cocaine in many Unites States cities during the later half of the century and were the lead suppliers for the Miami “crack cocaine epidemic” that killed hundreds of Americans due to overdoses and thousands of Colombians and Americans alike in drug violence.
Conventional perceptions of Latin America’s organized criminal groups tend to emphasize the greed and violence produced by these groups when, in reality, their existence is much more nuanced than this. Although most associate the presence of criminal groups with heightened levels of violence or drug use, these groups usually do much more than this, often providing certain services and resources to local communities.
Just last week, authorities were shocked to find the remains of eight bodies in what appears to be a string of particularly brutal murders in the Mexican tourist hotspot of Cancun. These findings are representative of the growing problem of gang violence in Mexico’s most popular tourist destinations, an issue that has proven especially severe in beach towns such as Acapulco and Los Cabos.
Coca is a leaf that is integrated in the Bolivian culture through rituals, medicine, food, religion, social interactions, and much more. The primary use for the coca leaf is consumption; it is chewed or brewed for tea. Coca leaves are not exclusive to Bolivia, rather many Andean countries such as Colombia, Chile, Argentina, Ecuador, Peru, Paraguay, and Brazil use coca for similar cultural practices as well.
The Colombian government and the left-wing rebel group, the FARC, have been participating in peace talks for the last year in Havana, Cuba. The drug regulation plan was proposed by the FARC during these talks, now in the 19th round.
El estado de Michoacán, México está convirtiendo en un campo de batalla entre el pueblo y los carteles. En respuesta a la violencia que trae el cartel Caballeros Templarios a esta región, grupos vigilantes forman para protegerse.
Earlier this week, the Mexican government announced the legalization of growing vigilante groups. The government came to an agreement with the vigilante groups to integrate into the already existing quasi-military groups named the Rural Defense Corps.
Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán had long been a thorn in the side of the Mexican government. He made the Forbes list as one of the richest men in the world more than once, reportedly had operations in over 50 countries, and according to the US State Department, had long surpassed Pablo Escobar’s reach and influence with an untold number of corrupt officials at all levels of government working for him.