Mexico's 'War on Drugs' started in 2006 with former President Felipe Calderon, who sent in armed forces to tackle the increasingly powerful drug cartels, which had shifted gears from smuggling cocaine for the Colombian cartels to becoming full narcotrafficking operations themselves. Since then, more than 200,000 people have been killed in gang-fueled violence and over 40,000 are missing.
El Chapo’s son, Ovidio Guzmán Lopez — managed his own feat of government humiliation this week, when cartel henchmen forced a patrol of at least 30 members of government forces to release him after he had been captured.
Jose Luis Gonzalez Meza, a lawyer for Guzman, said this week his client had proposed that billions of dollars in revenue that U.S. authorities had attributed to his business operations should be handed to indigenous communities in Mexico.
In Culiacan, the capital in Mexico's northwestern state of Sinaloa, locals lamented that Mexicans were deprived of the chance to see the notorious capo tried, convicted and punished on his native soil.
Guzman left a bloody trail in Mexico's drug wars even as he became a hometown hero while amassing a fortune in illicit proceeds valued by Forbes magazine in 2009 at $1 billion and by US prosecutors this month at $12.7 billion.
Guzman's lawyer, Jeffrey Lichtman, called the sentencing request ``superfluous.'' He also said that the ``government has yet to locate a penny'' of Guzman's purported $12.6 billion in drug proceeds prosecutors want to be forfeited.
Guzman, 62, was convicted on Feb. 12 on all 10 counts he faced, after jurors heard evidence from more than 50 prosecution witnesses, offering an unprecedented look at the inner workings of his Sinaloa Cartel. He faces life in prison at his scheduled July 17 sentencing.