They don't call him the Bill Gates of drug running for nothing. As the long-running boss of Mexico's beleaguered Sinaloa cartel, it's believed Joaquín Guzmán Loera not only effectively owns the drug pipeline stretching from Central American through Mexico and on toward Chicago--who just declared him Public Enemy Number One--but that his narco empire spans 140 countries.
Guzmán Loera, known simply as el Chapo, has for all intents and purposes changed why and how drugs are muled across borders. He is a legend, the subject of untold hundreds of narcocorridos. And he was maybe just gunned down along the Mexican-Guatelama border.
It's all still a bit unclear, which is par for course in this game. But Guatemalan officials are investigating whether el Chapo was killed late Thursday in a gunfight with Guatemalan forces near Peten, an area of jungle on the border with Mexico. As Al Jazeera reports, police have collected fingerprints and photos of the scene, which are now undergoing cross-checks by Mexican authorities.
"The first information we have is that it could be him," Interior Minister Mauricio Lopez told a local radio station. Nothing, for now, is "100 percent" certain, Lopez cautioned.