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Little big man?

23 February 2010

The capture of José Vázquez Villagrana, alias El Jabalí — despite being described (by Alexandra Olsen for the Associated Press) as a “key operator” in the Sinaloa Cartel may not be nearly as important as he’s made out to be.

Vázquez — a U.S. citizen, by the way — is singing, but to quote Gancho, “it’s not clear how close he was to Chapo.” Vázquez apparently spoke with Chapo on the telephone — once.   Vásquez claims to have some insider information on Chapo’s organizational structure and operation (none of it, except that Chapo and company aren’t in the kidnapping biz, being particularly new or startling), yet his ties to the Beltran Leyva brothers and less-than-insider status make me think of all those “#2’s” in Al-Qaida that kept being captured or killed by the U.S. during the Iraq Invasion every time there was domestic criticism of the Bush Administration.

While it’s perfectly possible that El Jalabí is of some importance to Guzman and Associates, and that his information is correct, it’s equally plausible that either Chapo decided to get rid of a guy who really doesn’t have any trade secrets to spill, or that the Federal government is over-stating his importance.   Given the growing criticism here in Sinaloa (and elsewhere in Mexico) that Chapo is an untouchable, I wouldn’t be surprised if a couple more #2s won’t be doing a perp walk (or laid out on a slab) for the media over the next few months.

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