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Monday, February 24, 2014 - 8:29pm
El Paso, TX (KDBC) — One of the world's most dangerous drug cartel leaders is behind bars -- and there are fears that could lead to escalated violence here in the Borderland. While the former border patrol sector chief believes there may not be a spike in violence he told us he believes the real change will happen within the Sinoloa Cartel.
"The arrest of Chapo Guzman is a big deal.” Victor Manjarrez helped secure the El Paso border for years. Now retired, he now spends his day’s teaching at UTEP, and Monday he weighs in on El Chapo's arrest “Make no mistake, the war on drugs or the flow on that is not going to stop just because of the mere arrest of Chapo,” the now Associate Director of the National Center for Border Security and Immigration said.
Manjarrez believes the arrest may lead to a spike in violence, although brief, "There'll be someone that will actually come in and I expect a play for power that someone will try to fill that vacuum,” Manjarrez explained, "You could see more violence but I think at this point it would not flow at a higher rate that we've seen previously."
In the Borderland, Manjarrez says only time can tell what El Chapo's arrest will bring. "We'll see that in the future. I think what would be really telling, though, is what actually happens with this process of the arrest of Chapo Guzman."
He says the immediate impact may be felt more within the Sinaloa cartel who has watched, like the rest of the world, as their leader was captured by authorities over the weekend. "They were very close to him the last month, month and a half and that's really set that cartel in a… kind of in a tizzy."
Meanwhile, one of the agents who continues in Manjarrez's former line of work says whatever danger may be lurking at the border's cusp, they'll continue to do what they've done for years. "We're there to do exactly that - to prevent any bad things or bad people from coming into the United States,” Ramiro Cordero, an El Paso Border Patrol Agent said.
El Chapo was formally charged over the weekend. His legal team has filed an appeal that may prevent him from being extradited to the US.