Saturday, 9 January 2016

El Chapo Guzman recaptured 08-01-2016 Breaking news (expanded and updated)


    The issue of El Chapo Guzman is, to-day, a very pleasant thing.  It should be admitted that your humble writer was elated at the news that the Mexican Army had located and engaged Guzman in an upscale subdivision of the very pleasantly boring city of Los Mochis, Sinaloa. 

     After first reports, this Army guy had to swallow the fact that the Mexican Army provided the necessary security ring around the site to be attacked, perhaps three special companies of heavy infantry.   Los Mochis is a new city, relatively, by Mexican standards, being founded and organised in the first quarter of the 1900s, mainly by American agricultural interests.   It is also the western terminus of the famous Copper Canyon rail line, Ferrocarriles Chihuahua al Pacifico, or  The Che - Pe  (chay - pei) as it is known in the area.             

    Oddly enough, the rail line does not really connect Chihuahua City with the Pacific Ocean.   It actually connects to the Sea of Cortez, which is connected to the Pacific Ocean, but several hundred miles further to the South. But we diverge from our unconquerable instinct to gloat.

     When the time came to wallow in the quagmire of stupidity and/or corruption that was required to facilitate the escape of El Chapo Guzman, we were more than slightly disappointed, as the OROG might imagine. While we reserve the right to bellyache and moan about Mexico's deficiencies and problems, we truly do celebrate their advances and the really fine things that abound in Mexico.   We especially celebrate how they maintain so much of their past and how in all seeming disorder they present so very many, thousands and thousands of exquisite corners of tranquility, beauty, dignity, and peace.   And yes, the French, Germans, and Japanese visitors say the same is not the mad visions of a pro-Mexican Texian.

     BUT!   When El Chapo made his escape and all were guffawing about the stupidity, corruption, and incompetence of the Mexican authorities, your humble commentator suggested strongly that it would be but a short episode that El Chapo would be a free man.
    The press people assured us, however, that El Chapo was extremely shrewd and that he had 6,000,000,000 dollars in his front pocket and scores of thousands of people who would protect him at all costs and that he would bribe his way into Costa Rica or wherever he wished and that was that, so stick a fork in's done.

     One quiet, small, insignificant voice said, "No!"
   That is because of Rule No. 7 of the Mexican Ethos and Life Guide which reads, "The easy stuff we can screw up pretty well.  The hard stuff we do perfectly."

    G-2 elements of the Mexican Army managed to pick up on the trail of El Chapo about three months ago.   Regular infantry went in at a place named Cosala',  Sinaloa on the western slopes of the Sierra Madre Occidental, near the border with the State of Durango.  Rather clumsily, they found that El Chapo had been in a small, very marginalized congregation of huts.  After a bit of door busting and shouting, it was learned that El Chapo had gone west towards the Coast, in the general direction of Mazatlan and Los Mochis, and Culiacan.....where he had a lot of friends.....and even more enemies.
     Apparently, while afoot, and grabbing rides with two buddies in tow, he decided to go, while still in the mountainous pre-savannah area, to the north and another village where he was less known.   That stay lasted about two weeks, and then one early evening he was informed that the Army had arrived in force....many soldiers....maybe 300.    Before he could come up with a plan, he was left with no alternatives except to run into the night and hope that he could remember the run of the bunny trail that led due west.
      Suddenly there was a great deal of gunfire, several of El Chapo's men were killed or seriously wounded.   El Chapo himself either broke his leg, or was shot in the leg....stories change back and forth.  He also had suffered a serious laceration to the left side of his forehead.   But he managed his escape.

      Another two months or so elapsed.   Observers were deployed along the old "free" highway between Los Mochis and Mazatlan, and at many points along the fancy toll road.   Secondary, rural highways were staked out.   Ears were put to the ground, conversations monitors at truck stops, in a thousand little bars and clapboard restaurants and in the hundreds of fancier, even elegant restaurants and haunts of the middle and upper classes.   It is probable that 200 or more Mexican Army and Naval Infantry worked in plain clothes, as their information drew them, ever further, to the north, and the city of Los Mochis.
     It is probable, and it has been said, that Mexican Policia Civil Federal, also in plain clothes joined with the Army to form a line over all the highways heading north towards Mexicali and Hermosillo and Nogales.   They did not want El Chapo to make a run to the United States.   Toll Stations were manned with revolving teams of plain clothes "maintenance workers" and  "truck drivers'' in case Guzman decided to take the high road to the north.  Truck stops and diners were likewise staffed in all probability with Federal Civil Police.   Information continued to be gathered.
     Before long, the golden nugget is delivered.  El Chapo has many friends, and he has even more enemies.   He is in Los Mochis in one of the several rich districts.   In a matter of hours, the forces of the Republic are deployed and the forces of Lucifer are surrounded.   It is in a lower range de luxe part of town.  The house is solidly built, brick veneer over concrete block and plaster, inside and out.
     There was a methodical fire fight for about four hours.  At each juncture where there was a silence, the renewal revealed a little less firepower on the part of the Guzman group.   El Chapo was not in the house when all went silent, but the police and Naval Infantry and Army pretty much knew where he would be.  And they were waiting for him.  To wit:

     When all was done there was El Chapo, semi-hog tied, six dead members of his inner group.  Some were immediate subordinates.   One, the leader of the northern division of the Sinaloa Cartel escaped, although it is thought he might have been "allowed" to escape so as to be followed by some of the "maintenance workers" and "truck drivers" to other important hideaways in the north, perhaps even in the United States.  El Chapo, in the meantime, was seen exiting a sewer and meeting up with his "ride" on the north end of town.  That vehicle was quickly surrounded by the famous belted machine-gun pickups of the Mexican Army....three or four of them, and Guzman was taken to a nearby, tony hotel/motel of four and a half stars, washed-up, and then delivered to a waiting helicopter.
      That helicopter then delivered Guzman to the airport where a Mexican Army executive jet was waiting to take him and his five buddies to prison processing.   The shackled "detainees" were prohibited from speaking for the duration of the 90 minute flight.

     An odd twist is placed upon this whole scenario when one learns that El Chapo made many mistakes that set him up for a fall.   Among the strangest is that he continuously worked his cellular telephone, negotiating with producers and agents concerning a biographic that he was trying to put together.   I have not been made privileged to be informed exactly with whom Guzman was so ardently negotiating about telling the story of his fine life.
Add Here is a bit of proof that we Army-type guys did have a
role in this capture of El Chapo Guzman.    Kudos, however, are
certainly due the Naval Infantry...what we call the Marines, for the
truly magnificent victory they achieved.   Truth be told, the Infantry
Naval and the Ejercito are both repeated and honoured as honest
and valiant fighting and public service groupings, but a slight edge 
is held by the Naval Infantry in opinion polls.  

More later,

El Gringo Viejo