El Chapo Is Rumored To Have A Billion Dollar Fortune And Now His Family Wants To Use It To Fund A University For Indigenous Students
El Chapo may have just been sentenced to multiple life sentences for crimes committed by his drug empire. His alleged billion dollar fortune is being fought over by both the US and Mexican governments. But the former drug lord’s family is hoping to use a large portion of El Chapo’s fortune to fund a university in his home state of Sinaloa.
The drug lord’s family announced that they would launch a university in the drug lord’s home state of Sinaloa.
José Luis González Meza, a lawyer for Joaquin Guzman, revealed in September that “El Chapo” wants his money to go Mexico’s indigenous communities. In an interview, he also said that Guzmán’s family will receive financial support from a range of foundations in order to open the university in the ex-narco’s birthplace.
It will be designed by Guerrero painter Hugo Zúñiga and have several different faculties, he said.
It looks like Mexico’s President is also supportive of the initiative.
González said that he was hopeful that President López Obrador would make the time to travel to Badiraguato and preside over a groundbreaking ceremony during his tour of Sinaloa this weekend.
“What we’re hoping for is that . . . he’ll go to Badiraguato and along with Chapo’s mom, María Consuelo, he’ll lay the first stone and the work to build the university will finally start,” he said.
The president said in February that his government was committed to the establishment of a new public university in the town that will specialize in forestry, while this week he pledged to extend the agroforestry employment program Sembrando Vida (Sowing Life) to parts of the country where illicit crops are grown, including Badiraguato.
But the university is just one of several projects the family wants to develop to benefit the country’s marginalized communities.
Another project will involve the family overseeing the revival of a chain of affordable food markets that will sell meals at 50 percent below cost.
The stores will sell cheap food, coffee, tequila, beer and mezcal. Similar stores had existed during the days Joaquín Hernández Galicia ruled over the powerful oil workers union.
El Chapo’s family want the Mexican government to finance the project through two trusts allegedly left behind by Hernández Galicia. He died in 2013 after spending nine years in prison after troops stormed his home and arrested him on manslaughter and weapons charges in 1989 in what the government described as a crackdown on corruption.
The last plan will develop a pharmaceutical industry which will provide affordable medicine to Mexico before expanding its service throughout Central America.
González Meza claims the family is wanting to ‘provide low-cost food and medicine for Mexicans’ and is not concerned with making money for themselves. Both the association and pharmaceutical company will be headed by farmers and indigenous people.
All of this depends though on when, if, and how much of El Chapo’s fortune is seized by the US and Mexican governments.
El Chapo wants his entire fortune, which is estimated in the billions of dollars, to go to Indigenous communities across Mexico. However, his wishes aren’t likely to be granted according to government officials.
Prosecutors will not disclose how and where they will seek this fortune, but the former head of anti-money laundering for the Manhattan district attorney’s office, Duncan Levin, gave the Observer an insight into how they might proceed.
“Forfeiture is part of a sentence,” says Levin. “If there are assets in the US, they can go right after those assets.” He adds that a US law from 1957 provides for any asset partly funded by criminal money to be seized in its entirety. “The way they did business was very pervasive,” he says. So that any business in which the Sinaloa cartel is found to have invested is fair game.
But, according to Levin, “the vast bulk of assets are likely in Mexico” and the search for them “would be greatly helped by working with the Mexican government”, despite current political tensions.
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