7/23/15 Stratfor Global Intelligence
The escape of notorious Sinaloa drug trafficker Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman Loera has cast a shadow on Mexico’s attempts to appear capable of combating organized crime. Nearly a week after Guzman’s July 11 escape from the Altiplano maximum security prison, Mexico City’s top officials are working in earnest to organize Guzman’s recapture. Officials including Secretary of the Interior Miguel Angel Osorio Chong are also busy trying to ease the political fallout and temper international embarrassment from the prison break. Some 10,000 federal police officers reportedly have been assigned to the hunt, and Mexican federal officials are personally overseeing investigations of the case.
Though Guzman’s escape will not directly alter the established trajectory of Mexican organized crime or the resulting levels of insecurity, the fact that one of Mexico’s most famous crime bosses was able to elude authorities for a second time touches a nerve in Mexico City. Mexico has been trying to shake the image that it is corrupt and insecure, but to the dismay of many U.S. officials, the country is refusing to allow the United States to more actively intervene in the search for Guzman, a clear sign of the changing dynamic between Mexico City and Washington.