With Kingpin Gone, Cartel Turf War Looms

But in Sinaloa, Guzman is remembered for generosity
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 25, 2014 12:06 AM CST
Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman is photographed against a wall after his arrest in the Pacific resort city of Mazatlan, Mexico.    (AP Photo/PGR)
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(Newser) – The world's most powerful drug lord is now being held in an underground cell, but few expect Joaquin Guzman's arrest to stop either the flow of drugs or the flow of blood in Mexico's cartel wars. In Sinaloa, the state that gave its name to Guzman's cartel, people are braced for a bloody turf war and succession battles, the Los Angeles Times finds. "It's going to be the same movie—only with different capos," predicts a taxi driver who used to move drugs for the cartel.

But many in Sinaloa praise Guzman for the jobs and money he brought to the state. "He's helped a lot of people" and given out a lot of money, says a caretaker at a chapel for the drug dealers' "folk saint," Jesus Malverde. "He's built many things." Federal prosecutors across the US who want to bring Guzman to trial are now competing for the kingpin, who escaped through a network of tunnels before authorities finally caught up with him, the AP reports. His lawyers filed an appeal yesterday seeking to halt any attempt to extradite him, meaning he is likely to stay in that underground cell for a while.

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