By Joseph Dana for The National. The dust is finally starting to settle on the arrest of drug kingpin Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman by Mexican security forces earlier this month. When authorities announced El Chapo’s recapture – he had already broken out of jail twice in the past three decades – many across the country dismissed the official account of events. Every television set that I saw in Mexico City carried rolling coverage of the event, but few I spoke with believed the broadcasters. Perhaps, as one widely held theory contended, the drug kingpin had called on his connections high in the government to facilitate a relatively safe retirement behind bars, away from the violence of his Sinaloa drug cartel.
The scepticism of the Mexican people notwithstanding, the government was happy to use the rearrest of El Chapo as proof that its war on drugs was working. The only problem is that everywhere you look, there is evidence of the war’s failure.
A week before the arrest, the newly elected mayor of Temixco, a town an hour outside Mexico City, was murdered in front of her family. Cartel assassins carried out the attack because the mayor had promised to rid the town of the traffickers.