Home Columns Opinion: The average Mexican greets El Chapo’s recapture with a shrug

Opinion: The average Mexican greets El Chapo’s recapture with a shrug

by Yucatan Times
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It’s being celebrated around the world as the greatest thing since the capture and death of Osama Bin Laden. From Washington DC to Europe, people are falling over themselves to congratulate Mexico’s government security forces. I’m talking of course about the recapture of Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, who was apprehended on Friday morning after six months on the run.

In the USA, people are especially glad he has been recaptured, and that this “threat” has been removed. Indications of exactly how El Chapo’s arrest actually makes them any safer are however thin on the ground; the devil is in the details of course, but why worry about them? When we’re told that a “bad man” has been caught, that’s enough for most people to celebrate.

Celebrations have been notably lacking in one country however – Mexico. A collective shrug from the population seems to have been the most accurate way to describe the reaction; sure, it’s made good fodder for some memes, and plenty of businesses are managing to use the event in their publicity. But are people celebrating? Do they feel “safer” now El Chapo is once again residing in Altiplano maximum security prison outside Mexico City? In a word, no. And why would they?

Whether hiding in the mountains of Sinaloa, walking the streets of Culiacan, or enjoying government hospitality at Altiplano, El Chapo’s liberty or lack thereof makes absolutely no difference to the average Mexican. The organization he heads has a well established leadership, which will continue – with or without him – to supply the world’s insatiable appetite for its products.


El Chapo escape anonymous (Image: Google)

Given the opportunity to choose between jailing El Chapo, or national president Enrique Peña Nieto, which would the Mexican population choose? I know where my money would be on that one. Throw Donald Trump into the mix, with an available cell for two, and I’m pretty sure El Chapo would be the one enjoying a cold beer this evening, while the other two discuss “infrastructure” at Altiplano.


By Stewart Mandy

The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial opinions of The Yucatan Times.

Questions or comments? Join the discussion below, or send an email to [email protected]


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Stewart Mandy

Born in Europe, raised in the Middle East, and a long-time resident in the Americas, including the last 3 years in Merida, Stewart has worked worldwide in the travel, tourism and transportation industries for well over 20 years.

His local contacts and global knowledge provide him with unmatched access to the stories ‘behind the stories’ and he likes to take you to the places that others don’t or won’t go. From the Arctic Circle to Tierra del Fuego, from Moscow to Melbourne, from Bergen to Buenos Aires, Stewart has been there. Chances are, wherever you are heading, he knows the score.

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