According to THE ECONOMIST, CHIEF AMONG the signs that not all is well in Mexican law enforcement is the trial of the country’s most wanted man. It began this week in New York, because each time Mexican authorities locked up Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán, allegedly the boss of the Sinaloa drug gang, he escaped. After his third capture, in 2016, Mexico extradited him to the United States.
That has not reduced bloodshed in Mexico. As the accused kingpin stood in the dock, Mexico’s president-elect, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, known as AMLO, unveiled a plan that he said would end a misguided, decade-long war on drugs.
The subject of ballads and gory television series, El Chapo provokes fear even in New York. A juror broke down in tears upon learning of her selection for the trial. Prosecutors accused him of smuggling 150,000kg (330,000 pounds) of cocaine into the United States. But his lawyer insisted that there had been a mix-up. Mr Guzmán was never in charge of Mexico’s biggest drug-trafficking gang, he said.
Instead, he accused Ismael Zambada, another gang member, of running the show, alleging that Mr Zambada paid Mexico’s two most recent presidents, Felipe Calderón and Enrique Peña Nieto, millions of dollars to pursue the Sinaloa gang’s rivals. Both presidents vehemently deny the accusations.