Saturday, June 23, 2012

Chapo's son – or not

Apologies for not posting for some time, I've been busy working on other projects. Just wanted to offer a quick opinion regarding the arrest of Jesus Alfredo Guzman Salazar, one of Chapo's sons. Or not one of his sons. It appears that the young man arrested in Zapopan on Thursday was actually Felix Beltran and not Chapo’s son, according to his attorney, Veronica Guerrero. He was, however, found with a large cache of weapons and $160,000 in cash. Everyone's jumping to criticize the authorities, who apparently were acting on intelligence provided by the DEA. My initial reaction, given the mistakes made in this drug war, are to do the same. HOWEVER... every news report I've read seems to take the attorney's word for it. Given that this young man had weapons and vast amounts of cash on him, there is reason enough to believe he's guilty of something. And while I'm not gonna say that this guy is Chapo's son, I have little doubt that Chapo's son has a nice little alibi ready – fake ID in hand – in case of arrest, and an attorney ready to step in (as well as, in this case, someone to come and claim she is his mother). If he doesn't, then the Sinaloa cartel is not run the way I believe it is. I'm not saying this is all a show and an effort to manipulate the media, public opinion and the authorities, but it could well be. So, I'm gonna wait and see with this story before pronouncing judgment. I should also mention that the authorities are investigating whether the marines involved in the arrest may have planted the weapons on Felix Beltran. If so, that is a huge blow to US-Mexican cooperation, in my mind. The marines, and SEMAR (the navy) are far more trusted than the army. US agents have been turning to them more and more in recent years, due to trust issues, and if the marines are screwing things up, then that does not bode well for intelligence-sharing and joint ops. I sincerely hope this was not the case. Stay tuned... PS - Meantime, here's a link to a recent Newsweek International article on Mexico's generals and their side of the war on organized crime.