The latest video purportedly showing fugitive Mexican drug lord 'El Chapo' partying isn't what it seems

El Chapo Guzman music videoLos Titanes De Durango/YouTubeA scene from the music video for ‘Ando Arremangando’ by Los Titanes De Durango.

Earlier this week, what appeared to be “leaked” mobile phone video showing fugitive Mexican drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzmán partying with heavily armed associates emerged on the internet.

Guzman el chapoThe Associated PressJoaquin ‘El Chapo’ Guzman after his arrest in the Pacific resort city of Mazatlan, Mexico, February 22, 2014,

Given the appearance of the people in the video and the way they interacted with each other, a former DEA official said there was “a very strong possibility” that it was authentic.

But there seems to be a different reason for the verisimilitude: The video was behind-the-scenes footage of a music video for the Mexican band Los Titanes De Durango.

The original clip convincing, despite doubts about its origins and veracity.

“I would say 90 to 95 per cent … that it’s (El Chapo) in the video,” Mike Vigil, the former DEA chief of international relations, told before the likely origin of footage came out.

“I don’t know who else it could be,” Vigil added. “It certainly looks like him.”

El Chapo Guzman music video faceLos Titanes De Durango/YouTubeDespite the resemblance to ‘El Chapo,’ this man is only portraying the fugitive Mexican drug lord.

It’s not clear how the behind-the-scenes clip first hit the internet. If it was released by someone acting on behalf of the cartel, it wouldn’t be the first time the public had been teased about the whereabouts of Guzmán, who is the boss of the world’s most powerful drug cartel and generally considered to be the most wanted man on the planet.

Earlier this year, after Guzmán pulled off a brazen escape from a high-security prison in central Mexico, a Twitter account purporting to be one of his sons posted photos that appeared to show the kingpin either in Costa Rica or a town in Sinaloa with the same name. 

El chapo sons on tWiTtErZTwitter/Amanda Macias/Business InsiderPhotos from two Twitter accounts purporting to be ‘El Chapo’ Guzmán’s sons.

That Twitter account has since been suspended, and rumours of Guzmán travelling elsewhere in the region have surfaced, as well.

In any case, a song and a music video that laud the narco-lifestyle and the kingpins who live it isn’t really a rare thing. According to Ioan Grillo, a journalist based in Mexico and author of “El Narco: Inside Mexico’s Criminal Insurgency,” there is an entire genre dedicated to it: narcocorridos.

Drug traffickers are sometimes even willing to pay to have a song composed about them. “For the narcos, getting a ballad about them is like getting a doctorate,” a music producer in Guzmán’s home state of Sinaloa told Grillo.

And, in the case of “El Chapo” Guzmán, who continues to elude authorities (despite some close calls), songs may be all we get for some time.

Here’s the music video for “Ando Arremagando” by Los Titanes De Durango:

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