Joaquin Guzman Loera (El Chapo) has a long standing relationship with MEXGOV, but he paid off primarily SEGOB and SEDENA. He had Mexican Army liaisons with him almost all of the time and Gobernacion people with him some of the time to fend off unwanted inquiries.
Times change and politics changes. Since Enrique Pena took office, there has been a systematic purge of the old guard at PRI and the young turks have replaced them. El Chapo is now going it alone without the top cover that he's grown accustomed to.
El Chapo and his partner, Ismael Zambada (El Mayo) have split the sheets with Cartel Nueva Generacion Jalisco and El Mencho. The Sinaloa Federation is trimming down and is getting ready to operate under a new paradigm.
The New Sinaloa Federation
As part of the Sinaloa Federation's restructure, El Chapo has joined with Los Caballeros Templarios (LCT) and is allied with key figures within Los Kaibiles de Guatemala (Guatemalan Special Forces). Thus, his strength in Southern Mexico is profound. Much of their methamphetamines and opiate products are now streaming into the marketplace (USA) by way of Canada. Chapo is proportionately as strong in Canada as he is along the US Border. The Arellano Felix Organization was folded completely into El Chapo's new Sinaloa Federation and he has a strong grip on the border from the Pacific Ocean to New Mexico.
Because the rapprochement with the Sinaloa Federation has gone, MEXGOV wants to put pressure on them to crush them.
|Example of MANPAD damage to a|
El Chapo's Reaction to the MEXGOV Reaction
El Chapo has decided to up the ante. One of those moves is to provide the Sinaloa Federation with protection against MEXGOV rotorcraft and low flying aircraft. He turned to Guatemala (site of the shoot-out yesterday) to purchase Man Portable Air Defense Systems (MANPADS) - surface to air missiles. He couldn't lay his hands on the latest generation of MANPAD, but the Chinese FN-6 is good enough to eliminate the threat that MEXGOV can present from the air to cartels operating in the field.
New MEXGOV Philosophy
For a very long time, the Mexican Government has been paid by drug cartels for the right to move narcotics through "plazas" as the drugs make their way to "the customer/consumer" - the USA. This resulted in unacceptable violence. Today MEXGOV plans to cut out the middle man and handle the business themselves. It brings more profit to PRI's new young turks and they can do it without encountering the problem of violence between competing cartels. Or at least that's the plan.