Reuters, and the major media outlets, including a Yahoo headline today, are reporting the arrest by Mexican Marines of
Jesus Alfredo Guzman, “El Gordo”. This would be a major victory for Mexico’s embattled President weeks before the election.
The operation was hailed as great success of joint US/Mexico cooperation and intelligence sharing. In fact, it seems it may have been a politically timed and hastily launched operation by two embattled administrations before election time.
I am increasingly doubting that the man paraded for Mexican media was in fact Guzman’s son. There is little resemblance between him and known photographs. The circumstances of his capture are also unlikely.
If in fact, they have the wrong man, this will surely lead to finger pointing (Mexico blaming bad DEA info and vice versa) and a big embarrassment for the two administrations that needed just the opposite. The Obama administration, already under fire for “Fast and the Furious” type operations in Mexico will have to answer for another bungled job in handling the drug war.
This is still not conclusive, and hopefully time will tell, (if there is not a successful cover-up) if they did catch him or not.
News of the son’s arrest would undoubtedly have set the entire cartel including El Chapo (the leader and father) on the move since the son probably knows many of the top leadership’s hideouts. This “rattling the hornet’s nest” could bring about intelligence as cartel leaders scramble, move, make phone calls and mistakes in fear and desperation. However, this would only occur if they were under the impression at least for some time that the real Guzman had in fact been captured. If they are in frequent contact, then of course this would not be the case.
One of Obama’s few political triumphs has been the nearly botched operation to kill Bin Laden. As the election looms, he must be desperate to repeat it with other wanted figures. It may have not worked out well this time, as is often the case when politics gets in the way of law enforcement and military matters.
We will see how long it takes Yahoo to correct its headline.