El Chapo says officials 'on both sides of the border' control the drug trade

The United States is currently facing an unprecedented surge in drug trafficking operations.

Updated: October 3, 2022 - 4:00pm

The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook

Incarcerated Mexican drug lord Joaquin Guzmán, aka "El Chapo," said that to end the drug war, authorities would need to pursue Mexican and American politicians alike.  

Guzmán, speaking through his attorney, insisted that his arrest and the continued arrests of individuals like him would not stop the drug trade. Instead, he asserted, authorities should address the politicians and officials turning a blind eye to or cooperating with the cartels.

"For years, authorities have put away these alleged leaders but it is not serving any purpose, but if you go after politicians that are allowing this to happen, it's a different thing," attorney Mariel Colón told Insider, per ADN America. Officials on "both sides of the border" are complicit in the continuing trade, he added.

Guzmán is currently in near complete isolation. He is permitted to leave his cell for one hour per day and may speak to his mother for 15 minutes via phone, ADN America reported. The drug lord was convicted in 2019 and sentenced to life in prison for his drug trafficking exploits while the head of the infamous Sinaloa Cartel.

The United States is currently facing an unprecedented surge in drug trafficking operations, especially of the highly lethal narcotic, fentanyl. Border authorities in July alone seized 2,071 pounds of the drug. Two milligrams of the substance is reportedly lethal, meaning the seized quantity could feasibly kill 470 million people.

Subsequent seizures and heightened awareness of the issue has led some lawmakers to pursue a declaration naming the drug a weapon of mass destruction.