Things That Matter

Federal Jury Finds Drug Lord ‘El Chapo’ Guilty On All 10 Counts, Faces Life In Prison

A federal jury on Tuesday found Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzmán Loera guilty after a three-month trial that exposed the crime-ridden inner workings of the Mexican drug lord. Guzman, 61, now faces the possibility of life in prison after jurors in New York convicted the former leader of Mexico’s Sinaloa cartel of drug trafficking, weapons charges and operating a criminal organization. The verdict is a culmination of decades in being regarded as a folk hero in Mexico that was notorious for his prison escapes and murder operations against competitors.

As the jury read out the verdict, there was no visible reaction from El Chapo who now faces life in prison.

A panel of eight women and four men, who served in anonymity, delivered the verdict on the sixth day of deliberations. Judge Brian M. Cogan read the jury’s charge list in an open court with 10 straight guilty verdicts on all 10 counts of the indictment. As the verdict was being read, the courtroom fell silent as Guzman showed no emotions to hearing the jury’s decision. Guzman, who escaped a Mexican prison twice, is due to be sentenced on June 25. U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York Richard Donoghue told reporters the significance of the verdict.

“It is a sentence from which there is no escape, and no return,” Donoghue said during a press conference. “This conviction is a victory for the American people, who have suffered so long and so much while Guzman made billions pouring poison over our southern border.”

The trial shed light on one of the world’s most notorious crime lords.

The trial wasn’t only stunning in who was being put on trial but the circumstances were attention-grabbing. From the start, there was high media scrutiny and extensive security measures for the trial. Prosecutors called upon 56 witnesses, 14 of them who were former associates of Guzman, who cooperated with government officials in hope of gaining leniency on their own crimes. Allegations of bribery with the former Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto, accusations of underage rape and revealing testimonies only heightened the attention of the trial.

The trial revealed the truly shocking nature and the rise of what quickly became on the world’s most dangerous drug organizations, the Sinaloa cartel. The cartel would make millions of dollars by smuggling cocaine and heroin to cities across the U.S from the late 1980s into the 2000s. Guzman would rise to fame overnight for his peculiar ways of transporting drugs through cars, planes, and tunnels under the U.S.-Mexican border.

Even if El Chapo is behind bars, the Sinaloa Cartel is still a force in the deadly drug wars in Mexico.

The drug war in Mexico, which killed about 100,000 people over more than a decade, has pitted the cartels against each other. The long fighting has led to countless deaths of innocent civilians and tourists in Mexico. While the verdict of Guzman is a pivotal moment in the longstanding fight against the U.S and drug trafficking, the Sinaloa Cartel still has the biggest U.S. distribution presence.

According to Reuters, drug seizures at the U.S. southern border have only increased to more than nine times in volume, to at least 82,000 pounds this past year. This highlights the growing dangers and reality of the ongoing drug war happening in Mexico even without Guzman at the helm. Next at the helm of the Sinaloa Cartel is Ismael “El Mayo” Zambada, Guzman’s long-standing partner who is believed to have taken over operations since Guzman’s capture in 2016.

Yet, there is solace and progress in having what was one of the most sought after criminals in the world finally behind bars. For many families whose loved one were killed, this day brings some justice and closure.

“Today is a historic day for American justice,” Ángel Meléndez, special agent in charge for Homeland Security Investigations, told the New York Times. “Today we say American justice has been served, ending his days of evading authorities, ending his violent acts all in support of his efforts to conduct drug trafficking in the United States.”


READ: 21 Interesting Things You Didn’t Know About El Chapo

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Daughter Shares Video Of Her Mom Handing Out Sandwiches To The Poor And People Love It

Culture

Daughter Shares Video Of Her Mom Handing Out Sandwiches To The Poor And People Love It

@guera_trizz / Twitter

A video of a woman passing out sandwiches to the poor in Cancún, Mexico has gone viral, and Twitter has raised over $2,000 to keep her going. Twitter user Beatriz Mages knew her mom made sandwiches to pass out every week, but she had never seen the footage before. Last week, she tweeted the video and captioned it, “My Mom makes HUNDREDS of sandwiches and tortas weekly for the poor where she lives in Mexico and I am just now seeing this footage! I am crying 😭😭 what a good soul 😭.” It has since been viewed by over 2.2 million people and retweeted over 53k times at the time of publication.

Twitter is giving Mama Mages lots of love, and have even raised thousands of dollars to help her keep feeding the hungry line of people that rely on her act of kindness each week.

A long line of folks are seen waiting for their weekly torta, and Mama Mages is passing out smiles to go with them.

Credit: @guera_trizz / Twitter

“Buena!” you hear the folks in the line saying as she starts passing the tortas out. Latino Twitter has come out in full force to bestow all their “Que Dios la bendiga”‘s on this “angelita.”

I’m sorry ma’am. But she is OUR mother now. We are all adopting her and we’re all proud and you’re just gonna have to deal with it,” one user tells Beatriz. 

Someone else asked Beatriz, “Would it be weird if I said I love your mom?” Beatriz’s response? “No, she loves u too.”  😭

The people asked for more angelic content and Beatriz happily obliged.

Credit: @guera_trizz / Twitter

“Look! Seriously amazing,” Beatriz shared along with more photos of her mom making sandwiches, and the line of people cheering for her.

Your mom is proof good kind caring people still exist. Heroes get remembered but legends never die. One day someone will tell their child or grandchild about the kind women who helped feed hundreds of hungry people on her own,” one touched Twitter user replied. 

“Just look at everyone’s faces,” tweeted one Armando.

Credit: @guera_trizz / Twitter

“She is a god,” “She is an angel,” “A Saint,” read the comments pouring in for Mama Mages. Dozens of people started asking Beatriz if there was a way they could help. One person offered her time to help make sandwiches and pass them out next time she was in the area. Most folks asked if there was a GoFundMe they could donate to keep Mama Mages going.

After people asked how they can donate to her mom’s cause, Mages set up a GoFundMe, which raised $2,185 in just five days.

Credit: @guera_trizz / Twitter

“My mom makes hundreds of sandwiches and tortas for the poor In Mexico, she doesn’t have much money her self but she continues to donate to those less fortunate regardless,” Mages writes in the GoFundMe. “She is always donating clothing and other useful items and never asks for help. Please feel free to donate anything so that she can keep on giving.”

In the comments, folks are asking her to create a PayPal account so that they can donate to the cause monthly.

Beatriz also told folks that they can help by staying at her mom’s Airbnb in Cancún.

Credit: Joy / Airbnb

By the way my mom has a beautiful air bnb at her home in Cancun,” tweeted Beatriz. “This is her only source of income and she uses her earnings and donations to give to the poor!” We have a feeling this incredible villa is about to booked by all the buena gente who support the cause because it’s been retweeted hundreds of times. By the looks of Airbnb, it seems like her mom’s name is, in fact, “Joy.”

Joy’s reaction to her new status as Latino Twitter’s New Mom? “That’s cool.”

Credit: @guera_trizz / Twitter

My mom is actually visiting me in the US right now and look at her reaction 😂😂😂 SO PURE,” tweeted Beatriz, alongside a video of her mom. “Ma, you’re famous. What do you think?” she asks her mom. Her mom awkwardly gives a thumbs up, then a peace sign, then another thumbs up and says, “That’s cool.” She’s clearly not in it for the fans, and that makes us love her even more. 

Latino Twitter has sanctified Joy Mages, who shall forever be known as Twitter’s Mom of the Year, or just San Joy. You can donate to her GoFundMe here.

READ: Studies Say Latina Moms Struggle With Pregnancies In Ways That Are Unique To Themselves In Early Stages

Mexico Grants Bolivia’s Former President Asylum Allowing Him To Flee Growing Unrest

Things That Matter

Mexico Grants Bolivia’s Former President Asylum Allowing Him To Flee Growing Unrest

Latin America is in chaos. People are protesting in Chile over the economic disparity between classes. Colombians are also fighting for their demand for a fair educational system. Mexico’s violence is surging once again after Mexico’s new government has taken over. The Amazon rainforest is still on fire, and Brazil’s president refuses to acknowledge the environmental ramifications. Nicolas Maduro, Venezuela’s president, is still in office despite his people demanding otherwise. Now we can add Bolivia to that list

On Monday, Evo Morales resigned as president of Bolivia after the public renounced the presidential elections there in October. 

Credit: @ajplus / Twitter

Back in October, Morales ran against former President Carlos Mesa (he was president of Bolivia between 2003 and 2005). Morales had been Bolivia’s leader since 2006, but it looks as if perhaps the people had enough of his presidency. During the elections last month, CNN reports that Morales won by a small margin

So a recount was in order. However, 24 hours after the counting had begun, Morales ordered to end it and declared himself president. The fact that Morales said he had won himself wasn’t that farfetched, because he sort of did that in the past. 

Jim Shultz, Founder and Executive Director of the Democracy Center, who’s lived in Bolivia and understands the situation there, wrote, “One was what seemed like Morales’ desire to serve as President for Life. When his political party, MAS, wrote a new constitution in 2009, they lifted the long-standing one-term limit on presidents and paved the way for Evo to run for a second term. In 2014 he broke a long-standing pledge not to seek a third term, claiming that his first term didn’t count because it was served under the old constitution. He won once more.”

The election results, and Morales handling of it, resulted in massive protests and violence. 

Credit: @evagolinger / Twitter

“Bolivians are upset over fraud, and we will not be silent in the face of injustice,” 26-year-old Diego Tamayo, a student at a university, told the New York Times. “Never in my life have I seen a mobilization of this scale.”

The mobilization seemed to work. Bolivian Armed Forces, Commander Williams Kaliman, told Morales to step down, and he did. 

Morales tweeted, “I denounce to the world and the Bolivian people that a police officer publicly announced that he is instructed to execute an illegal arrest warrant against me; likewise, violent groups assaulted my home. A coup destroys the rule of law.” He added, “After looting and trying to set fire to my house in Villa Victoria, vandalism groups of the Mesa and Camacho coup docked my home in the Magisterio neighborhood of Cochabamba. I am very grateful to my neighbors, who stopped those raids. A coup destroys peace.”

Now Mexico has opened the doors to the former leader where he has sought asylum. 

He said this is where he spent his first night as the former president of Bolivia. 

Credit: @evoespueblo / Twitter

“This was my first night after leaving the presidency, forced by the coup of Mesa and Camacho with the help of the Police. There I remembered my times as a leader. Very grateful to my brothers from the federations of the Tropic of Cochabamba for providing security and care.”

Now that he is in the hands of the Mexican government, Morales doesn’t seem all that upset about getting ousted.

Credit: @evoespueblo / Twitter

Morales tweeted, “Very grateful to brother Manuel López Obrador and the government and people of Mexico for saving my life. We arrived safe and sound with our brothers Álvaro and Gabriela. The coup plotters offered $ 50,000 to a security member to deliver me before my resignation.” 

Wow, sounds kind of dramatic, almost like it could be a movie or series on TV. Weirdly enough, the Bolivia drama sounds just like season two of “Jack Ryan.” We won’t spoil it for you if you haven’t seen it. Just know that it’s about a Venezuelan president that will go to great lengths to not lose his presidency. It sounds like real life to us. Speaking of Venezuelan president, Maduro was not pleased at all about Morales getting ousted. He also blamed President Donald Trump. 

“There went Donald Trump to applaud and celebrate what he thinks is his victory … the look on Donald Trump’s face was one of vengeance, of hatred, and he gave the order to overthrow and finish off the Indian,” Maduro said, according to Asi Somos

But now the real work begins. Who will lead Bolivia now?

READ: Bolivia’s President Wants To Be Reelected For A Fourth Time But He Could Send His Country Into A Political Crisis