Image credits: by Alejandro Castro
News Article

El Chapo 701 Takes to the Streets to Help in Times of COVID-19

By Alessa Flores | Fri, 04/17/2020 - 12:42

This week the media captured Alejandrina Guzmán, daughter of Joaquín "El Chapo" Guzmán giving away boxes with the name and image of the drug dealer to the elderly in the city of Guadalajara. It is estimated that at least 480 boxes of food and personal hygiene items have been distributed in the marginalized neighborhoods of the suburban area of ​​Guadalajara to help those who are quarantined at their homes to avoid COVID-19 contagion.

Alejandrina Guzmán is the first-born daughter of the drug dealer, who for some years separated from her father's steps to enter the world of medicine and fashion. Alejandrina graduated from the University of Guadalajara and in 2010 registered her father's nickname, image and logos to launch her most recent business, a clothing line under the name of El Chapo 701.

In an interview, Efe Julio Campos, President of the El Chapo 701 Company, explained that the reason they were giving groceries was to offer "a little help to the less fortunate in difficult times for Mexican society." Campos also explained that the delivery of groceries is intended to help people perceive Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán as more than a drug dealer, in an interview with El Universal. The face of El Chapo 701 is a character who has gone down in history as the drug lord of the Sinaloa cartel and who ranked 701 among the richest billionaires in the world as the head of the world's most powerful drug trafficking cartel. He is currently serving a life sentence in the US on drug trafficking charges.

According to Campos, the funds used to help come from a foundation created by Alejandrina Guzmán derived from the profits generated by her company. Among the items that are online for sale in the digital store of are sweatshirts, pants, shoes and other accessories that are around the between MX$200 (US$8.4) and MX$2,000 (US$84).

However, some are skeptical that actions taken on behalf of those in need have been selfless. According to Falko Ernst, an analyst at the International Crisis Group, explained the actions are a propaganda strategy for the cartel to distract the population from the ravages it has done and to take advantage of the state's absence to deepen its ties to the community, told in an article by Reuters. 

Mexico is a country where social mobility and the ability to progress when you come from a humble context is almost null, according to studies by COLMEX and UNAM. That is why communities find opportunities in drug trafficking that no one else gives them, not even the government. Joining drug cartels gives people an opportunity to earn money to have a decent life and even fall under the protection of drug dealers.

El Chapo’s hometown is known as Badiraguato, a city located in the north of Sinaloa. Inhabitants of Badiraguato affirmed that “El Chapo Guzmán has been one of the most important benefactors of the municipality” and that when they found out that he would spend the rest of his days in a jail in the US, they ”felt unprotected and annoyed.” The community explained that El Chapo was the one who “helped them when they needed it and made it possible for the community to survive,” according to an article by RadioFórmula

The data used in this article was sourced from:  
El Universal, El Heraldo, Forbes, Chapo 701, Forbes
Photo by:   by Alejandro Castro
Alessa Flores Alessa Flores Senior Journalist and Industry Analyst