Fugitive Mexican drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman might be the most wanted man in the world right now, and there is “a very strong possibility” that a new video showing the Mexican drug lord at a party is authentic, according to a former DEA official.
“Based on several factors, there is a very strong possibility — I would say 90 to 95 per cent — that it’s (El Chapo) in the video,” Mike Vigil, former DEA chief of international relations, told mySA.com.
The video, which was originally published on El Blog del Narco, shows a band playing and a crowd around a dressage performer.
About halfway through the short clip, the camera zooms in on a short man standing at front of the crowd as armed men seem to scan the perimeter. El Blog Del Narco says that the video was sent to them from Sinaloa cartel hit men, or “sicarios.”
“Everyone is at his beck and call,” Vigil observed of the video. “He’s right in the middle of the party, almost guest of honour … We know (Guzmán) travels with a large entourage of armed guards … He seems to be about the same height as Chapo.”
But why would a world-famous fugitive allow himself to be filmed? “If I’m the most wanted man in the world, I would certainly not allow anyone to be making a video or phone calls around me.” said Vigil.
El Chapo is known to avoid being photographed, and to strictly control information of his whereabouts, even going as far as to confiscate the phones of patrons at restaurants he visited.
But some others around “El Chapo,” namely his sons, have been more willing to flaunt their wealth and whereabouts via social media.
Another challenge to the video’s authenticity is a mid-October report that “El Chapo” broke his leg and suffered facial injuries while fleeing authorities in the Sinaloa mountains. In the video, the man who looks like El Chapo appears to be standing comfortably and has no visible wounds on his face.
And, while there’s no indication in the video of where it was filmed, if the cartel boss is in his home state of Sinaloa, it would not be surprising.
Despite the attempted arrest, Vigil told mySA.com that “El Chapo” “feels very safe” in Sinaloa. “He has a lot of security there from corrupt officials there and the local population idolizes him.”
“It’s where he would feel the safest,” Rosenberg told EFE, “because there he has his family and his contacts.”
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