HomeNewsBriefUS is Negotiating with 'El Chapo': Ex-Mexican President
BRIEF

US is Negotiating with 'El Chapo': Ex-Mexican President

EL CHAPO / 21 MAR 2012 BY GEOFFREY RAMSEY EN

As the Mexican government claims to be getting closer to capturing the country’s most notorious drug lord, an ex-president claims that the US is negotiating the terms of “El Chapo’s” surrender.

According to a Milenio interview (see video below) with former President Vicente Fox, the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) is in the process of negotiating with several high-profile cartel leaders, offering them reduced prison sentences if they turn themselves in. Among them is Joaquin Guzman, alias “El Chapo,” the head of the powerful Sinaloa Cartel.

Fox also pointed out that drug consumption in the US is the cause of much of the violence in Mexico. He argued that, for this reason, the US should take more responsibility in the fight against drug cartels, asking: “Are we not doing their work for them?”

This is not the first time that Fox has made a controversial statement regarding the drug war. In August the former head of state called for the Mexican government to “gather the violent groups to a truce and evaluate the advantages of an amnesty law,” in a bid to reduce violence.  Two months later, in an October interview with the BBC, he argued that the US should legalize drugs in order to reduce the demand for illicit substances in Mexico. He has also advocated drug legalization.

InSight Crime Analysis

Although Fox did not cite a source for his assertion about Guzman, it would hardly be surprising if the US were holding talks with the drug lord. Such negotiations are a hallmark of successful law enforcement work. The DEA has engaged in negotiations with drug traffickers in Colombia for years, and is currently rumored to be talking to the leaders of the Rastrojos drug gang as well as trafficking kingpin Daniel Barrera Barrera, alias “El Loco.”

Indeed, there is reason to suspect that such negotiations have already taken place in Mexico. Jesus Vicente Zambada Niebla, the son of a Sinaloa Cartel head, was arrested in 2009 and extradited to the US. He has alleged that US officials worked out an agreement with the cartel to reduce the law enforcement pressure on the gang in exchange for information on other groups.

If more evidence of these negotiations emerges, it will put the administration of President Felipe Calderon in a tight spot. Calderon has flatly denied rumors that his government engages in negotiations with drug gangs, and has criticized suggestions that it should consider doing so. It will be especially damaging to the president if it comes out that US officials are communicating with Guzman, because the Mexican government has attempted to portray itself as on the verge of capturing him.

share icon icon icon

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

What are your thoughts? Click here to send InSight Crime your comments.

We encourage readers to copy and distribute our work for non-commercial purposes, with attribution to InSight Crime in the byline and links to the original at both the top and bottom of the article. Check the Creative Commons website for more details of how to share our work, and please send us an email if you use an article.

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

Related Content

MEXICO / 5 MAR 2013

Ten workers have been murdered at a farm in Guerrero state, southwest Mexico, in a manifestation of the criminal violence…

HUMAN RIGHTS / 20 OCT 2015

Citing a failure to meet human rights goals, the United States government has withheld $5 million in anti-narcotics funding for…

MEXICO / 8 DEC 2014

As Mexico's president struggles to claw back approval ratings through new security measures announced in the epicenter of his current…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Guatemala Social Insecurity Investigation Makes Front Page News

10 DEC 2021

InSight Crime’s latest investigation into a case of corruption within Guatemala's social security agency linked to the deaths of patients with kidney disease made waves in…

THE ORGANIZATION

Venezuela El Dorado Investigation Makes Headlines

3 DEC 2021

InSight Crime's investigation into the trafficking of illegal gold in Venezuela's Amazon region generated impact on both social media and in the press. Besides being republished and mentioned by several…

THE ORGANIZATION

Gender and Investigative Techniques Focus of Workshops

26 NOV 2021

On November 23-24, InSight Crime conducted a workshop called “How to Cover Organized Crime: Investigation Techniques and A Focus on Gender.” The session convened reporters and investigators from a dozen…

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Names Two New Board Members

19 NOV 2021

In recent weeks, InSight Crime added two new members to its board. Joy Olson is the former executive director of the Washington Office on Latin America…

THE ORGANIZATION

Senate Commission in Paraguay Cites InSight Crime

12 NOV 2021

InSight Crime’s reporting and investigations often reach the desks of diplomats, security officials and politicians. The latest example occurred in late October during a commission of Paraguay's Senate that tackled…