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El Chapo: a most wanted man

Photo: mack2happy

The KONY 2012 campaign, created by the San Diego-based non-profit organization, Invisible Children, took the social media sphere by storm this week. The campaign is a documentary named after Joseph Kony, the leader of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), a guerilla group originally based in Uganda, Africa that is said to have abducted at least 60,000 children. It aims to raise awareness of the various human rights violations committed by the LRA, which was established in the late 1980s. While there has been some criticism of the documentary’s take on the issue, as well as criticism of the funding of the non-profit itself, there is no doubt that the KONY 2012 campaign is viral marketing at its best. The video already has over 21 million views on YouTube and raising awareness of human rights violations is a commendable attribute for any organization.

However, if the millions of Americans now inspired by the social activism movement truly believe the KONY 2012 message that, “where you live shouldn’t determine if you live,” then I’m curious to see how many could recognize the name: “El Chapo.”

Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman is the Mexican drug kingpin of an alliance between powerful drug traffickers known as the Sinaloa Cartel and is the most wanted man in the western hemisphere. Guzman and his cartel are responsible for numerous human rights violations that include kidnapping, torture, and public massacres of innocent civilians, all in the name of establishing dominance over other cartels as the major supplier of the illicit drug market. Additionally, in a desperate attempt to curb the violence between the drug cartels, the Mexican government and its military and police forces have been accused of human rights violations as well.

Communities in various regions of Mexico, especially in northern states nearer to the border, live in fear of losing loved ones to the chaos. Many are either enticed by the financial promise of the drug market not afforded to them through the regular job market or fall victim to the random acts of violence in the country.

With hopes of raising American awareness of the human rights violations in Juarez, Mexico, photographer Dominic Bracco II shot a documentary focusing on conditions there. REUTERS has also contributed to raising awareness with a visual documentation of life in Juarez. And in 201o, Ni Una Mas sought to raise awareness of the murders in Juarez as well as to remember all of the women who were victims of these crimes.

If Americans are serious about having a vested interest in raising awareness of human rights violations around the world, then they should first look in their country’s own back yard. While no one is arguing what is, or is not, newsworthy, or which crimes merit more attention from the international community; Americans supporting the KONY 2012 campaign should also take the time to consider and raise awareness of the human rights violations occurring in Mexico, and in other regions of the world, partially as a direct result of some of their government’s own policies.

 

 

About Felipe Diaz

Felipe Diaz is a first generation Mexican-American born and raised in Greeley, Colorado. He currently studies at the University of Denver for a B.A. in journalism and political science where he also served as the President of the Latino Student Alliance and Vice-President of the Undergraduate Student Government. He has maintained a personal blog since 2010 where he enjoys writing and discussing topics ranging from politics and communication to culture and entertainment.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author and should not be understood to be shared by Being Latino, Inc.

Comments

  1. Felipe Diaz says:

    While it may be true that the atrocities in Juarez are a result of the drug war between two entirely separate cartels, conditions in the country are still, in part, due to some of the political and economic policies of the U.S. government. Corporate exploitation of Mexican workers and weapons sales in the U.S. are just some examples of the systemic contribution to the violence in Mexico. While these two cartels may have a stronghold on Juarez, Guzman remains the single most powerful drug trafficker in the region and ALL cartels, including the Sinaloa Cartel, are guilty of gruesome violence and using teenage boys and local gangs as leverage over other cartels.

    The article is not arguing which drug lord, cartel, or government is to blame for the current conditions in Mexico. It’s a simple comparison to Joseph Kony. Americans in support of the KONY 2012 campaign should be just as concerned about the human rights violations in Mexico as they are about those in Africa. If the War on Drugs and its relation to Guzman are, indeed, a more “political issue,” then Americans have more resources for helping people in Mexico than they do in Africa. What’s more feasible – changing social policy to protect the human rights of those in our neighboring countries, or convincing Congress of military intervention in another third world country halfway around the world and possibly escalating yet another war?

  2. Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman Loera is a drug kingpin heads the world’s largest and most powerful drug trafficking organization, the Sinaloa Cartel, he became Mexico’s top drug kingpin in 2003 after the arrest of his rival Osiel Cárdenas of the Gulf Cartel, and is now considered “The most powerful drug trafficker in the world,” by the United States Department of the Treasury.

  3. The author makes an excellent point.

  4. He is an Evil man who is right up there w/Osama Bin Laden, in being Most Wanted. Once a good man, fighting for his country….let the “taste” of money & drugs, Ruin him & Mexico. I HATE him w/the Passion. I myself an American Citizen, but I have plenty of familia in Mexico, it’d be really naïve to say, that my family has not gotten affected one way or another….they need to catch this Bastard, & throw away the key….better yet, HANG him from the Highest Bridge in Mexico!!!!

  5. the Al Capone of Mexico…

  6. El Chapo is a product of the failed War on Drugs…

  7. I don’t like using the work hate, but he just one of them

  8. word*

  9. Very scary!

  10. Don’t for some reason I see it different as the kony campaign drug lords could be scum but at the level of el chapo it could be political issues it’s a different feel

  11. El Chapo is in cahoots with the U.S. government, when they don’t need him anymore (remember Noriega) they will suddenly find him…the atrocities in Juarez comes from the war between the Gulf Cartel and the Zeta…need accurate reporting

  12. One issue at a time. Rome was ‘t built in 1day.

  13. Chuy my friend, so far you are the only person with an accurate comment on the subject at hand. Thank you!

  14. Isn’t he the kid that lives in a barrel?

    Jokes aside, it’s very difficult to fight drug kingpins when they have so much money and power.

  15. Supply=DEMAND! STOP THE DEMAND! The rest is History.

  16. While it may be true that the atrocities in Juarez are a result of the drug war between two entirely separate cartels, conditions in the country are still, in part, due to some of the political and economic policies of the U.S. government. Corporate exploitation of Mexican workers and weapons sales in the U.S. are just some examples of the systemic contribution to the violence in Mexico. While these two cartels may have a stronghold on Juarez, Guzman remains the single most powerful drug trafficker in the region and ALL cartels, including the Sinaloa Cartel, are guilty of gruesome violence and using teenage boys and local gangs as leverage over other cartels.

    The article is not arguing which drug lord, cartel, or government is to blame for the current conditions in Mexico. It’s a simple comparison to Joseph Kony. Americans in support of the KONY 2012 campaign should be just as concerned about the human rights violations in Mexico as they are about those in Africa. If the War on Drugs and its relation to Guzman are, indeed, a more “political issue,” then Americans have more resources for helping people in Mexico than they do in Africa. What’s more feasible – changing social policy to protect the human rights of those in our neighboring countries, or convincing Congress of military intervention in another third world country halfway around the world and possibly escalating yet another war?

  17. http://www.hulu.com/watch/339128/the-daily-show-with-jon-stewart-my-little-kony-youth-activism#s-p1-sr-i1

    Also, The Daily Show’s Al Madrigal had a good bit on the KONY 2012 campaign pointing out the same similarity.

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