top drug lords, a fugitive for years, has given a clandestine interview
to a Mexican magazine in which he says he would contemplate suicide
rather than be taken alive.
being imprisoned but that if he is eliminated, there would be little
impact on the flourishing narcotics trade.
The report appears in Sunday’s editions of Proceso,
The interview did not reveal new or surprising
information but was remarkable for simply having taken place. What
Zambada’s motives were is unclear.
Scherer says he was summoned to the interview
through an anonymous note that set a time and place where he would be
picked up to be taken to the drug boss’ hide-out. He describes a series
of long drives with switching-off chase cars and hours of waiting in a
safe house. He finally ends up in a remote, mountainous location where
Zambada appears, flanked by well-armed bodyguards. The author and narco
then sit down to a lunch of orange juice, meat and beans.
Asked if he thinks he will ever be caught, Zambada says: “At any moment, or never.”
Despite suspicions among some Mexicans that the
government is not making a serious effort to capture Zambada, the
60-year-old trafficker claims in the interview the army has closed in
on him four times. He fled through the mountainous countryside that he
knows down to the stones, he says.
“I don’t know if I would have the guts to kill myself” if captured, he says. “I want to think that yes, I would kill myself.”
The Proceso article is accompanied by a photograph
of Scherer with Zambada, who had one of his bodyguards take it, the
writer said. The narco wears a big white hat and thick black mustache.
Scherer describes him as standing about 5 foot 9, built like a “fort”
with a small paunch and very well-pressed jeans.
Scherer attempted to draw out Zambada on the arrest
of his son Vicente, who was extradited to the U.S. in February. But he
declined to discuss the matter, saying it hurts too much. Scherer also
doesn’t have much luck in getting Zambada to talk about the scope of
his empire and wealth. The narco says the lists that put him or Guzman
in the ranks of the world’s top billionaires, as well as the tales of
their living the high life clandestinely, are “foolishness.”
Zambada criticizes the government’s military-led
offensive against his and other cartels, saying it’s too little, too
late if the goal is really to hurt the drug trade.
“The problem with the narco business is that it
involves millions. How do you dominate that?” Zambada said. “As for the
bosses, locked up, dead or extradited, their replacements are already
The government’s drug war, he says, is lost. Why
lost? asks Scherer. The narcotics trade and everything that goes along
with it, Zambada responds, are inside the society “as deeply rooted as
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