Moose Lake Star Gazette - Serving Carlton and Pine Counties Since 1895

By Willow River School
Moose Lake Star Gazette 

El Chapo of Los Mochis

Wick's World


El Chapo could no more escape the Mexican Marines than Adrian Peterson could escape the clutches of Seattle’s icemen of defense in Sunday’s NFL playoff match; or could he hold onto the ball for that matter. Neither could the place kick holder get the football in the correct position (laces forward) so Blair Walsh could kick a Vikings winning field goal.

Just like the Mexican government’s dealings with El Chapo, the Vikings as a team had several opportunities to put the game away. Kicker Blair Walsh will shoulder the blame even as he accepted full responsibility for the loss. He courageously faced the media like the real man he is before he broke down sobbing uncontrollably. Adrian Peterson will walk away as if it’s the other guy’s fault; just like he always does. To the Vikings and their fans, sorry you lost, guys. Get over it; better yet, get used to it. As in life, savor the victories, learn from defeat.

I’m not sorry Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman suffered a devastating defeat last week. In a story even Hollywood will have a hard time accepting, the reality is that he was brought down by his own ego. In an effort to have a narcissistic version of his life as a treacherous murderer made into a Hollywood movie, El Chapo inadvertently gave actor and part-time journalist, Sean Penn, the ammo to gun down one of the richest and most notorious drug dealers the world has known. It was the fallout from the face to face interview between Penn and Guzman that led Mexican authorities to El Chapo’s hideout in Los Mochis, a coastal city on the Pacific Ocean in northern Mexico’s state of Sinaloa. This is the home state of El Chapo and the origin of the name of the world’s richest and most brutal drug empire, the Sinaloa Cartel.

Sean Penn has been deeply criticized, mostly by jealous journalists, who claim his interview with El Chapo was simply an exercise in ego massage. I say baloney. This interview led directly to the capture of the most wanted man in the world. This is something law enforcement in Mexico, with a ton of aid from the United States government, could not accomplish. For that, Sean Penn gets the scorn of the other journalists who failed to get the “biggest scoop of the decade”?

Sean Penn now has a target painted all over his chest and faces the wrath of the same Sinaloa Cartel’s Death Squads that are responsible for the execution of a thousand journalists who dared to speak out. If that is assuaging one’s ego, then Penn must place a rather small value on his own life, which is now in jeopardy.

Why was El Chapo captured in Los Mochis, a place most Americans haven’t even heard of? I can shed some light on this subject having been to Los Mochis several times. Incredibly, this city of a quarter million people was built in 1893 by a group of American socialists who wanted to begin a utopian society. That is a whole other story as is the city’s reputation as Mexico’s Boxing Capitol. Los Mochis has produced many undefeated boxers in Mexico, including several who became world champions.

I got to know Los Mochis as the gateway to Mexico’s famous Copper Canyon. The most inexpensive and adventurous way to get to this wonder of nature was via the Copper Canyon Train. A cheap $200 flight to Mazatlan followed by a $10 two-hour bus ride up the coast landed you in Los Mochis. Although the city was located on the Pacific Coast, I found it very drab and un-Mexican like. This probably had something to do with its American origins as it was never meant to be a Mexican city, but an American port that promoted a socialist sort of world-wide commerce.

Despite its socialist roots, I can attest to the fact that Los Mochis likes money as much as the rest of the world and embraces capitalism. The last time I attempted a trip to Copper Canyon, like other Americans, I could only purchase tickets through a local consulate. I bought three round-trip tickets to Creel, Chihuahua, which included several days lodging at one of the few hotels available in the area. The night before departure I was visited by a Mexican local who preys on American tourists. Actually his name is Tourista. He can cause considerable abdominal distress to one’s intestinal tract and leave you completely a slave of your bed and bathroom until his yearned for departure.

I called the consulate to cancel the trip and get my pesos refunded. I just as well called El Chapo and asked for him to recant his interview with Sean Penn and give me the real scoop. I just as well called the NFL and asked for another chance for Blair Walsh to kick that field goal because it was too cold in Minnesota. I just as well called Bud Grant and tell him to quit acting like an ego-infested macho man and put a coat on his 88-year-old body. In other words, to make a long story short, I never did get any of the refund which was always said to be "in the mail."

Life has very few certainties. Like El Chapo, I will probably never again return to Los Mochis, Sinaloa, Mexico. Like El Chapo, I will spend the next several years chillin’ out in America — him in an isolated maximum security cell and me in Minnesota. Another certainty — El Chapo will be a free man and the Minnesota Vikings will win the Super Bowl only when hell freezes over!


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