Joaquín “el Chapo” Guzmán Loera used the US Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) and the Mexican Police to fight his own war with the rival cartels, said today Vicentillo Zambada, son of Ismael “May” Zambada.
On the second day of his appearance before the Federal Court of the Eastern District in New York, Vicentillo, one of the main witnesses in the case of drug trafficking against “el Chapo”, told the ins and outs of the wars for control of the drug market that were unleashed in the first decade of the century, as well as his intention to get out of the drug trafficking business.
After a meeting with his father “Mayo” and “el Chapo”, Guzmán offered him a contact with the DEA to leave the drug trafficking business, since the government considered that Vicentillo was a piece of greater interest could be an opportunity for him to start a new life, according to his testimony.
However, this was frustrated with his arrest in 2009 by the Mexican Special Forces.
Vicentillo’s intention, apart from departing from the family business, was to provide information about his enemies to the US security forces, so that the US authorities would take care of them.
Their father “Mayo” and “El Chapo” did something similar, who according to Vicentillo, used their influence on the Mexican Police and Army to attack rival cartels – such as the Beltrán Leyva or the Carrillo Fuentes brothers – and thus avoiding direct confrontations so that their forces were not depleted.
The incisive interrogation of the prosecutor Amanda Liskamm gave way to a harsh questionnaire by the defense lawyer, Eduardo Balarezo.
Balarezo tried to dismantle Vicentillo’s testimony and insisted on his main thesis: that the true and only leader of the Sinaloa cartel was Mayo Zambada and that El Chapo was a figurehead to free others from guilt.
To this end, throughout the interrogation, Belarezo referred to the father of the witness as “Papa Mayo” and questioned that someone like him, “with an infrastructure, suppliers and basically had bribed half of the country,” would need someone ruined after flee from prison in a laundry cart, as was the case with Guzmán.
The atmosphere warmed up in the room when, after some questions – later defined by the judge as “argumentative” – that confused the witness, the lawyer called him an idiot.
The lawyer tried to highlight some contradiction or mistakes made by Zambada during his statement before the Prosecutor’s Office, before which the drug trafficker excused himself saying that everyone can make mistakes.
Balarezo was also recreated in an anecdote from Zambada, who said he had met in 1997 with a security officer of the then Mexican president, Ernesto Zedillo, in the palace of Los Pinos (residence and seat of the presidency).
Vicentillo Zambada pleaded guilty in 2013 in Chicago after reaching an agreement with the US attorney’s office and, again, last year, and agreed to cooperate with the courts and to pay 1,373 million dollars.
In return, the son of “El Mayo” received special permission for his wife and children to settle in the United States. and the promise that his help could lead to a reduction of his sentence, whose announcement is scheduled for February 27 and could reach life imprisonment.
Although the interrogation of Vicentillo Zambada was going to end today, he will finally appear on Monday to continue answering Balarezo and be asked again by the Prosecutor’s Office.