According to federal police chief Genaro Garcia Luna (speaking at a press conference today), the biggest drug lords in the country today are Heriberto Lazcano, "El Lazca", Miguel Treviño Morales, "El Z-40" and "of course," Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman and Ismael "El Mayo" Zambada.
Well, nothing we didn't know, right?
But wait. What about Juan José Esparragoza Moreno, aka, "El Azul"?
This is a guy, if you recall, who was No. 2 in the Juarez cartel at the same time as he was No. 3 in the Sinaloa cartel. He's known as a consiglieri, a peacemaker, a negotiatior, a silent hand of power, always discreet and in the background. Without him, I doubt the Sinaloa cartel would be as powerful and widespread as it is today.
If I could retitle my book, I might call it The Second to Last Narco, because more and more, I get the sense that El Azul is gonna be the guy to take the reins of the drug trade in Mexico in the future, once they catch those on the list above. He may well be the last of the guard left standing.
But no one will know about him; even the authorities aren't mentioning him anymore. Always in the shadows, always maneuvering, always staying out of the limelight, always staying on top. That's El Azul.