The Passionate Eye: Mexico’s Drug War


He’s America’s most wanted fugitive, with a $5 million bounty on his head. He’s pursued by the FBI, the DEA and tens of thousands of Mexican troops and Federal Police. But Joaquin Chapo (Shorty) Guzman is not without resources of his own. He has an estimated personal fortune of $1 billion. Not since Pablo Escobar dominated the worlds cocaine supply in the 1990s has one narco-trafficker become so notorious.

Violence is running out of control in Mexico as rival drug cartels battle over the marijuana, cocaine and methamphetamine smuggling routes to America. Mexico’s president declared war on gangsters like Guzman in 2006 but the drug violence has only escalated.

A database released by the Mexican government shows that between 2006 and 2010, more than 34,000 people were killed in gang-related violence. 2010 was the deadliest year to date, with more than 15,000 drug-related murders.

While most of the killing has been just south of the U.S. border, the level of violence worries the U.S. government, foreign investors and tourists. Ciudad Juarez, on the U.S. border, and the state of Sinaloa, on a lucrative Pacific coast smuggling route north and dominated by a smuggling alliance led by Guzman, are the main hot spots in the drug war. While few foreign tourists would venture near Ciudad Juarez, the Pacific resort of Mazatlan is lined with luxury hotels that attract vacationers and wealthy drug barons.

Katya Adler journeys deep into the heart of a shocking conflict, uncovering the human stories behind the seemingly random and disturbing violence. She charts the rise of Guzman, the quest to arrest him, and the bloody drug war that is threatening to turn Mexico into a failed state on the southern border of the United States. And she asks whether the continuing freedom of the world’s most powerful drug runner, Joaquin ‘Chapo’ Guzman, is evidence that the government’s war is toothless.

Watch it HERE via CBC