Ask El Chapo About the Wall

Ideas and Issues

New Orleans   There seems little question that El Chapo, also known as Joaquin Guzman Loera, the infamous Mexican drug lord and leader of the Sinaloa cartel, would have to be classified in President Trump’s words as a “bad hombre.” He is alleged to have ordered the killing of thousands in Mexico’s bloody drug wars of recent years, but he is perhaps more famous in the United States as a serial prison escapee having broken out twice from high-security prison facilities in Mexico, once in a laundry cart and then again after he was recaptured his gang members were able to dig a tunnel a mile long that ended up in the shower of his prison cell to bust him loose. After his last capture, he was extradited to the US and has more recently been calling home, a 17 by 18 foot prison cell in the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Lower Manhattan which is also know as 10 South, where he is held in solitary for about 23 hours per day.

El Chapo is not a happy camper wearing an “I Love New York” button these days. A report in the New York Times says he has had his public defenders file numerous petitions with the court demanding reforms in his imprisonment. As a putative prison reformer, he has asked that Amnesty International investigate conditions in the prison, which unsurprisingly prosecutors have resisted in their pleadings. He has complained about the quality of the tap water, which might be a comment on the New York City infrastructure, in his request for bottled water. He also has raised a beef about the inability in the exercise area to see the television because it is placed at a bad angle to the stationary bike and the treadmill preventing a twofer experience in his break from solitary.

Perhaps El Chapo does have a small contribution to make as an adviser of sorts to the President about the construction of the wall between Mexico and the United States. He does have a research staff it turns out. Lawyers and others visit with him 21-hours per week preparing his defense. Undoubtedly, his ability to dedicate this kind of time would exceed the time that President Trump has really spent thinking about the problem of the wall from financing to security.

In the “Ask El Chapo” prison news column, if prisoners were allowed such, it’s easy to imagine the questions that might come flying about the wall. Would a wall be enough to keep anyone out who wanted to come to El Norte or is the wall just a giant construction and employment project, sort of a big real estate deal which Trump would understand best? Would the wall be able to stop this whole tunneling thing? What should we do about the hundreds and hundreds of miles of gaps that the generals running Homeland Security think would still exist along the border, would this be a deterrence for El Chapo and his crew or anyone else? El Chapo clearly knows a lot about getting out, maybe the White House needs to take advantage of his free time now to ask him more questions about getting “in?” All of his years of moving drugs across the border could help make El Chapo the Answer Man for the President about whether or not this is wall is worth the $60 billion or so that some experts are estimating it would cost. Maybe some hard facts from El Chapo might convince President Trump that this whole wall thing is just a waste of time and money.

El Chapo is now a New Yorker, just like the President, and god knows he probably is a gazillionaire as well, if he could get his hands on his stash, and certainly his tax returns are as unavailable and invisible as the President’s as well. El Chapo seems just the kind of guy who Trump would be able to identify with so that they could have a heart-to-heart about the wall and really make some sense of this nonsense. Let’s “Ask El Chapo!”