Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : February 23rd 2014 Contents A41
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Mexico s most wanted man,
drug kingpin Joaquin Guz-
man---also known as El Chapo
or Shorty---has been captured
in Mexico by US and Mexican
law enforcement officials,
sources said yesterday, in what
would mark a major coup in a
grisly fight against drug gangs.
Guzman runs Mexico s infa-
mous Sinaloa Cartel, which has
been fighting a brutal war with
other gangs over turf and drug-
trafficking routes to the United
Guzman has been caught
before, and famously gave his
jailers the slip. He escaped a
Mexican prison, reportedly in a
laundry cart, in 2001 to become
the country s most high-profile
trafficker. He is believed to com-
mand groups of hitmen from
the US border into Central
He was indicted in the United
States on dozens of charges of
racketeering and conspiracy to
import cocaine, heroin, mari-
juana and crystal meth.
The five-foot six-inch tall
gangster s exploits have made
him a legend in many impov-
erished communities of northern
Mexico, where he was immor-
talised in dozens of ballads and
low budget movies.
The United States had placed
a US$5 million bounty on 56-
year-old Guzman s head and
authorities in Chicago last year
dubbed him the city s first Public
Enemy No.1 since gangster Al
A senior US law enforcement
official said Guzman was taken
alive on Friday night by Mexican
marines in a beach resort town.
The US Drug Enforcement
Administration and the Marshals
Service were "heavily involved"
in the capture, the official said.
Guzman s drug empire
stretches throughout North
America and reaches as far away
as Europe and Australia.
In more than a decade on the
run, Guzman transformed him-
self from a middling Mexican
capo into arguably the most
powerful drug trafficker in the
world. His fortune reputedly
grew to more than US$1 billion,
according to Forbes magazine,
which once listed him among
the "World s Most Powerful
People" and ranked him above
the presidents of France and
Venezuela. Forbes dropped Guz-
man from its billionaires list last
year, because it was impossible
to verify his wealth.
From humble beginnings in a
ramshackle village, Guzman rose
up in the 1980s under the tute-
lage of Sinaloan kingpin Miguel
Angel Felix Gallardo, alias "The
Boss of Bosses," who pioneered
cocaine smuggling routes into
the United States. Growing up
poor, Guzman was drawn to the
money being made by the flow
of illegal drugs through his home
state of Sinaloa. After joining
the Guadalajara cartel, he rose
quickly through the ranks as a
ruthless businessman and skilled
networker, making key contacts
with politicians and police to
ensure his loads made it through
He came to prominence in
1993 when assassins who shot
dead Roman Catholic Cardinal
Juan Jesus Posadas claimed they
had been gunning for Guzman
but got the wrong target.
Guzman is the latest in a
series of high profile capos to
be caught or killed.
Last July, the leader of the
Zetas drug cartel, Miguel Angel
Trevino, aka Z-40, was caught.
The Zetas have been blamed for
many of the worst atrocities car-
ried out by Mexican drug gangs.
(Reuters and AP sources)
drug chief arrested
Joaquin Guzman, left, the leader of Mexico's Sinaloa drug cartel, is seen next to an unidentified man
in this undated handout photo found after a raid on a ranch, released to Reuters on January 18, 2011.
WASHINGTON: The Pan American Health
Organization (PAHO) is urging Caribbean countries
to speed up the adaption of laws to control the
tobacco "epidemic," saying that, despite progress in
the countries of the Americas, the epidemic
continues to grow.
In a new report, PAHO said applying at least six
measures could help prevent one million deaths
annually. The six measures include: large, graphic
health warnings on tobacco packaging; banning all
forms of tobacco advertising and sponsorship;
monitoring use of tobacco products; helping people
to quit smoking; and raising taxes on tobacco
The "Report on Tobacco Control in the Region of
the Americas 2013" summarises progress in the
implementation of the WHO Framework
Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), the first
international public health treaty, which entered
into force in 2005.
PAHO said there are 145 million smokers in the
region, accounting for 12 per cent of the world's
total, estimating that about one million people lose
their lives as a consequence of tobacco every year.
It said tobacco kills six million people annually in
the world, estimating that, if the current trends
continue, the number would reach eight million by
CARACAS---Venezuelans braced yesterday for the
possibility of more political violence as supporters
and opponents of the government of President
Nicolas Maduro planned competing rallies in a bit-
terly divided country.
In major cities across the country, people awoke
to smouldering barricades of trash and debris in some
streets but no reports of major overnight incidents.
The capital was largely peaceful as the two main fac-
tions made their way to gathering points for the
rallies, with supporters of Maduro, many in the red
T-shirts and matching baseball caps for the colour
of his party.
On the other side of the city, the opposition gathered
for a march across major avenues expected to start
later in the day in concert with gatherings elsewhere
in the country. "If we stay in the streets they will
finally understand what we want," said Juan Altimari,
a journalism student and protest leader.
In San Cristobal, a remote city on the western
border that has experienced some of the most violent
clashes between protesters and National Guard troops,
thousands of people were marching peacefully, many
criticising the high crime, food shortages and inflation
that has made life difficult for many in a country
that once had one of the highest standards of living
in South American thanks to its massive oil reserves.
KIEV, Ukraine---Protesters took control of Ukraine s
capital yesterday, seizing the President s office as
Parliament voted to remove him and hold new elec-
tions. President Viktor Yanukovych described the
events as a coup and insisted he would not step
After a tumultuous week that left scores dead and
Ukraine s political destiny in flux, fears mounted that
the country could split in two---a Europe-leaning
west and a Russian-leaning east and south.
Parliament arranged the release of Yanukovych s
arch-rival, former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko,
who was on her way to Kiev to join the protesters.
She promised to run for President.
Yanukovych said he would not recognise any of
the lawmakers decisions as valid. He left Kiev for
his support base in the country s Russian-speaking
east, where lawmakers questioned the legitimacy of
the newly empowered legislature and called for vol-
unteer militias to uphold order.
"They are trying to scare me. I have no intention
to leave the country. I am not going to resign; I m
the legitimately elected President," Yanukovych said
in a televised statement, clearly shaken and with
long pauses in his speaking.
"Everything that is happening today is, to a greater
degree, vandalism and banditry and a coup d etat,"
he said. "I will do everything to protect my country
from breakup, to stop bloodshed."
The past week saw the worst violence in Ukraine
since the breakup of the Soviet Union a quarter-
century ago. (AP)
take control of Kiev
for more rallies
PAHO: Caribbean must control tobacco epidemic
Drug trafficker Joaquin Guzman
Loera, alias "El Chapo" Guzman,
after his earler arrest in 1993;
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