Photo: El Chapo
Dozens of people took part in a protest against violence and drug trafficking in Culiacan, the capital of Mexican drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” (Shorty) Guzman’s home state of Sinaloa.
The turnout for Saturday’s march was much lower than expected, organizers said.
“I feel sad and disappointed that the ‘March for the Dignity of Sinaloa’ was not as well attended as the one for El Chapo. We prefer to follow the narcos who poison our young people rather than supporting good causes,” protester Alma Nora Ortega told Efe.
Hundreds of people turned out last Wednesday for a protest to demand that the government release Guzman and not extradite him to the United States, where he is wanted on drug and other charges.
Less than 100 people Saturday’s march in Culiacan.
“People get organized really fast for the negative things, but they don’t want something good. Many people I invited gave me all kinds of excuses. I just told them that if they didn’t support it, they should not complain that the narcos and the politicians do whatever they feel like,” protester Roberto Garcia said.
The few demonstrators who showed up carried bedsheets and cardboard signs demanding more government support for education and cultural programs, less corruption and an end to impunity.
Culiacan Mayor Sergio Torres Felix said marches were not the best approach for improving the city.
“The best way to clean up the image of the city and the state is by working and showing visitors the true face of Culiacan,” the mayor said.
Several hundred people turned out last Wednesday for marches in Culiacan and Guamachuil, another city in Sinaloa, to demand the release of Guzman, the most-wanted drug trafficker in Mexico and the United States.
Guzman was arrested on Feb. 22 in the Pacific resort city of Mazatlan.
The 56-year-old Guzman, the world’s most notorious and powerful drug lord, was captured by the security forces in Mazatlan without any shots being fired.
The drug lord is being held at the Almoloya de Juarez prison in Mexico state, which surrounds the Federal District and forms part of the Mexico City metropolitan area.
Guzman was arrested in 1993 in Guatemala and sent back to Mexico, where he was convicted of bribery.
He escaped from the Puente Grande penitentiary in the western Mexican state of Jalisco on Jan. 19, 2001, pulling off the Hollywood-style jailbreak by hiding in a cart full of dirty laundry in front of guards.
The drug lord will likely face additional criminal conspiracy, drug, firearms and money laundering charges in Mexico, officials said.
The office of U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York Loretta Lynch said on Feb. 23 that it planned to request Guzman’s extradition from Mexico.
Guzman faces charges in at least three U.S. federal judicial districts for criminal conspiracy, money laundering and conspiracy to smuggle cocaine, heroin, marijuana and methamphetamine into the United States.