Consuelo Loera López, the mother of Joaquín El Chapo Guzmán, one of the biggest drug traffickers in the history of Mexico, has died. She was 94 years old. The news emerged in local media this Sunday, citing information collected from authorities in Sinaloa, the family’s state of origin. Loera López has been in the news these years for the greeting she shared with the president, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, on one of his trips to the region these years.
Loera López always lived in La Tuna, a community in the municipality of Badiraguato, in the mountains of the region. From there came El Chapo Guzmán, historical leader of the Sinaloa Cartel, along with Ismael El Mayo Zambada, and the Beltrán Leyva brothers. Despite the theoretical power of the Sinaloa criminal group, life was not always easy for El Chapo’s mother. In 2016, criminals attacked her house in La Tuna, an attack that ended with the death of between eight and 12 people.
Women have always appeared in the media as a folkloric element, the familiar symbol of a criminal industry. Now older, Loera López caught up with López Obrador on one of his trips to the region. In 2020, the president acknowledged that the woman had given him a letter. “I went to see her, because she is an older woman, and I greeted her and she gave me the letter and she told me ‘they don’t allow my daughters to visit her brother in prison.’ I want to ask you to see if you can help us so that they can go, I can’t go see him anymore,” explained the president.
Faced with criticism for his closeness to the boss’s mother, López Obrador tried to explain himself. “That is the great link, the great scandal. The letter was so private and secret that I gave it to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs so that they could send it to the United States ambassador,” he said. “Then they responded from the embassy that they were going to give one of Guzmán Loera’s sisters the opportunity to go see her, that is, it was a procedure,” he added.
El Chapo Guzmán has been imprisoned in the United States since January 2017. His arrest and subsequent extradition are part of the history of the underworld in the country. First apprehended in the early 1990s, he escaped from prison in 2001, under somewhat controversial circumstances. The official explanation is that he hid in a laundry cart. But there was always a rumor that federal police officers took him out of prison, disguised as one of them.
This last possibility has gained strength over the years, due to the accusation and subsequent conviction of the head of the Federal Police during the years of President Felipe Calderón (2006-1012), Genaro García Luna. The United States justice system accused García Luna of conspiring to introduce drugs into the country, in collusion with the Sinaloa criminal.
The second capture of El Chapo Guzmán came in the years of President Enrique Peña Nieto (2012-2018), at the beginning of 2014. The authorities locked him up in the El Altiplano federal prison, from where he managed to escape a year and a half later. His henchmen managed to dig a tunnel from a booth to the floor of his cell, hundreds of meters away from the prison. El Chapo lived on the run for months, until his last arrest, in January 2016, in a hotel in Los Mochis, Sinaloa.
His subsequent extradition to the United States closed a stage in Mexico. By then, the country was suffering a fire of colossal proportions, with violence unleashed, a situation that persists to this day. The wars between the criminal groups of Sinaloa with organizations from other states, added to the beheading of the branch led by the Beltrán Leyva brothers, plunged the country into a bloodletting in which it remains immersed.
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