Mexicans disguise fear with humor over El Chapo Guzman’s escape

NewMugThe jaw dropping escape of Mexico’s most brutal kingpin from a maximum-security prison over the weekend left Mexicans and the world stunned.

Well, not really.

The initial shock fueled by social media’s non-stop details, gave way to a more comical collective resignation of a country that let its people cling to a ray of hope with the arrests or deaths of top ranking drug lords in the past few years, only to see it vanished overnight with the escape of Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzmán.

It’s not that Mexicans are shrugging off the spectacular second escape on Saturday night as inevitable. This is more tragic because of the government’s inability to root out corruption that has allowed drug lords like El Chapo terrorized the country. At least 30 prison officials have been detained for questioning.

Read it on azcentral.com

I’ve been captivated by people’s response. They’ve turned to humor to ridicule everything they see wrong with Mexico: an inept president who only cares about his physical looks and kingpins becoming Robin Hoods of sorts who are helping sustain the economy.

Patrick Radden Keefe of the New Yorker summarized a collective sentiment best.

“If a man like that can buy his freedom in Mexico today, then there is nothing in the country that is not for sale.”

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El Chapo Guzman is best known for his elaborate tunnels built along the U.S.-México border. His Sinaloa drug cartel extends throughout North America, Europe and Australia. The Wall Street Journal characterized him in a 2009 article as the informal CEO “of one of the world’s biggest drug-trafficking” and “with links to organized crime in 23 countries.”

But El Chapo is not only a Robin Hood; he is also the one who will bring justice to Latinos, if memes in the Internet are any indication. El Chapo’s next target is Donald Trump because of his views on Mexicans, memes show.

 

 

About a dozen corridos–folk ballads–appeared in YouTube on Sunday and they sing about El Chapo’s audacity and the government’s incompetence.

Folks are so cynical and fed up with the rooted government corruption that many even believe “El Chapo” simply walked out of prison and dug the tunnel merely for show.

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  Elvia Díaz is editor of La Voz, a Spanish-language publication that is part of Republic Media. Reach her at 602-444-8606 or elvia.diaz@arizonarepublic.com. Follow her  on twitter @elviadiaz1.