Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman is Chicago's Public Enemy Number One

Public Enemy Number One is Joaquin Guzman Loera, aka El Chapo (Shorty). Photo: CCC Screenshot

CHICAGO, February 15, 2011 — Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman is Chicago’s Public Enemy number one.

The Chicago Crime Commission (CCC) created the term Public Enemy in the 1930s. It was a device to indentify major gangsters as more than a threat to society. Al Capone was the CCC’s first and last Public Enemy Number One.

Enemy is a much stronger term than gangster, racketeer, thug, or murderer. It has a much better emotional response. 

On the anniversary of the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre and in the midst of Chicago’s bloody violence the Chicago Crime Commission has named a new Public Enemy Number One. 

Public Enemy Number One is not a leader of one of the major organized street gangs. It is not a member of what is left of the decimated Chicago crime syndicate known as the Outfit. It is not a major local drug distributor.

Public Enemy Number One is not a Chicago politician either. 

Like former Chicago Alderman Sandi Jackson, Chicago’s Public Enemy Number One does not reside in the city of Chicago and probably never set foot on our blood soaked streets. Chicago’s Public Enemy Number One does not even live in the United States.   

Joaquin Guzman Loera, aka El Chapo, is a Mexican drug lord and leader of the Sinaloa Cartel and Chicago’s Public Enemy Number One.

El Chapo means “Shorty” in Spanish. The Sinaloa Cartel is described as the largest, most powerful, and dangerous drug organization in North America. The cartel is responsible for a majority of illicit dangerous drugs distributed and sold on the streets of Chicago by gangs and other dealers. They are also indirectly responsible for the gang and drug violence creating havoc and handwringing in Chicago political circles. 


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Chapo is wanted in Chicago on charges for participating in international drug trafficking conspiracies in collaboration with 35 other defendants.  He is the leader of the notorious Sinaloa drug cartel and is accused of having used Chicago as his drug trafficking hub for the Midwest, allegedly having trafficked 1,500 to 2,000 kilograms of cocaine through Chicago per month.  The Northern District of Illinois seeks the forfeiture of more than $1.8 billion in cash proceeds in the indictments against him.  El Chapo is believed to be evading capture in Mexico with the help of the members of the Sinaloa Cartel. 

CCC first designated the title to Al Capone in 1930, and up until now had yet to witness a criminal worthy of the same moniker.  El Chapo has easily surpassed the carnage and social destruction that was caused by Capone.  We are confident that with our effort to raise public attention, along with the arduous work of collaborating law enforcement agencies, that this man will finally face justice for his heinous crimes. (Chicago Crime Commission

El Chapo escaped from a Mexican prison and is supposedly hiding on a mountaintop, guarded by a personal army in the western part of the country. Jack Riley, special agent in charge of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s Chicago office considers him the most ruthless and dangerous criminal in the world. According to Riley, Chicago is the Sinaloa Cartel’s most important city. Aside from local distribution and sales, Chicago is the cartel’s hub to distribute drugs throughout the Midwest. 

El Chapo is also one of the wealthiest criminals in the world. Forbes Magazine estimates he is personally worth one billion dollars. Our government is offering a five million dollar reward for the capture of “Shorty”. 

All this is fine and well. It makes the politicians feel better about them selves, as self-esteem is very important. According to Art Bilek, head of the Chicago Crime Commission, the Public Enemy label “should inspire public support to go after El Chapo”. 

As a member of the public I support this. I believe we should get Shorty. Take him down. How hard could it be to find a mountain hide away in Mexico inhabited by a private army? The United States has the human and technological intelligence resources to accomplish this. The rest is relatively simple. Either send in a large contingent of special operatives to capture El Chapo or deploy a drone to take out the mountaintop. 

What do you mean we can’t invade Mexico? America invaded Pakistan, a supposed ally without their knowledge or consent, to take out Osama bin Laden. Sending in armed force, whether it is one soldier with a rifle, a specialized team, a division, or an armed drone is an invasion. So, let’s invade Mexico and get El Chapo. He is just as bad, if not worse, than bin Laden. 

This is a common sense solution. It may temporarily stem the bloody violence in the murder capital of America. The local politicians will breathe easier for a while. They can get back to business as usual. The media can focus on real major stories that impact society like the Kardasians, one of the talent or reality shows, or some other critical issue of the moment. 

Get Shorty” should become the new rallying cry in America and motto in Chicago. Shorty is sitting on his mountaintop, surrounded by his private army, counting his money and laughing at us. Shorty is probably thumping his chest in pride over being named Public Enemy Number One. 

We do not need another international billionaire criminal thumbing his nose at America. So, America, “Get Shorty”. 


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Peter V. Bella is a retired Chicago Police Officer, freelance journalist and photojournalist, cook, and raconteur.  He likes to be the irreverent sharp stick that pokes, prods, and annoys. 

His opinions are his and his alone. Mr. Bella is a member of the National Press Photographers Association, Online News Association, Chicago Headline Club, and the Society for Professional Journalists. 

pvbella@gmail.com  * Facebook  * Twitter  * Website


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Peter Bella

Peter Bella is a retired Chicago Police Officer, freelance photographer, freelance writer, budding videographer, and passionate cook.  He aims to be the sharp stick that pokes and annoys.  The Middle Class Guy is a political column written from a center-right point of view.  While concentrating mainly on politics he will stray into culture, entertainment, sports, cooking, and humor from time to time, along with Memories of things Pabst.  All from a middle class perspective.

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