Guzman Arrest Will Likely Do Little to Stop Well Oiled Machine Drug Business

Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman

The arrest of Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, the one-time leader of the notorious Mexican Seniola Cartel, will likely do nothing to stop the well oiled machine that is the drug business. There is very large sums of money involved and several channels and distribution networks set up all around the world, and not just by Guzman's organization. There is the Zetas and the Gulf cartels, remember. Not to mention, there are hundreds, if not thousands of others on all continents. As many in prison have conceded, according to this Chicago Reader blog post, someone will probably just take his place.

But also, history tells a similar story. When previous drug kingpins have been taken down, like Pablo Escobar in Colombia, the savvy gangsters in Mexico were quick to dominate it and completely run the show when it came to distributing their product in the U.S. and the rest of the world for that matter. The Seniola Cartel specifically distributes most of the drugs entering the United States, according to AFP, and operates in around 50 countries.

According to Fox News, one of Guzman's lieutenants has already changed his plea in a Chicago drug case to guilty.

Guzman may be extradited to the U.S. but no such request has been made, according to sources. DEA officials have stated that if Guzman, who has already been known to bribe officials and has broken out of a Mexican maximum security prison, is not extradited he will likely escape again and continue his drug operation. Guzman is a drug dealer legend in Mexico and was arrested as he was with his beauty queen wife at a resort in Mazatlan. A Mexican judge reportedly denied his appeal request for avoiding extradition to the U.S.

The Chicago Reader provided a written glimpse of how the drug culture views the issues. For one, because Guzman is so powerful and usually only lower level dealers get busted, many in the prison system were skeptical of the arrest. It is rare they see someone in that position get pinched by the law. Secondly, the prisoners are nervous to know how this might impact the government's position on easing sentencing guidelines for low level drug traffickers. Most also agreed that the drug business will survive, no matter how many kingpins are put behind bars. As long as there is demand, there will be supply.

Statement from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA):
"The arrest of Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman Loera was a significant achievement for Mexico and a major step forward in our shared fight against transnational organized crime, violence, and drug trafficking. We congratulate the Mexican people and their government on the capture of the alleged head of the Sinaloa Cartel. The DEA and Mexico have a strong partnership and we will continue to support Mexico in its efforts to improve security for its citizens and continue to work together to respond to the evolving threats posed by transnational criminal organizations."