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The former right hand of ‘El Chapo’ Guzmán says he is “sorry” and apologizes to the people of Mexico.
Dámaso López speaks from prison. The compadre of Joaquín El Chapo Guzmán, the right hand of the leader of the Sinaloa cartel for much of the last decade and a half and one of the central architects in the construction of the most powerful criminal empire that Mexico has seen, warns:
“I want to dedicate my heart to save victims of drug trafficking”. And he adds: “the most serious problem in the country is the increase in corruption.
Those are two of several messages sent to MILENIO from a state prison in Virginia where “El Lic” waits to finish his negotiations with the Department of Justice regarding the possible reduction of his life sentence for drug trafficking for having given testimony against Guzmán Loera in his trial.
This is López Núñez’s first contact with a Mexican or foreign media outlet since his arrest in Mexico City in May 2017. At the end of last week, this newspaper sent him a questionnaire with about twenty questions on topics such as his criminal past, the future of the Sinaloa cartel, corruption of authorities and the future of drug trafficking in Mexico.
The list of questions was given personally by his family after the court hearing before the Eastern Court of Virginia, in which the Washington and Virginia prosecutors recommended Judge Thomas Ellis III substantially reduce his sentence for services rendered to Washington. López Núñez, who was close to inheriting the leadership of the Sinaloa cartel after the capture of Chapo, agreed to answer only part of the questionnaire; He declined to answer several questions so as not to hinder his negotiation with Washington.
Despite this, he agreed to talk about his personal future and at the same time, took the opportunity to send a message to President Andrés Manuel López Obrador: “You can be a hero.”
In addition, he reflected on his passage through the world of organized crime and admitted having responsibility for drug violence that has shaken Mexico for years, with the Sinaloa cartel at ground zero.
About that, he made it clear: “I regret it.” He added: “I apologize to the people of Mexico.”
Here are some of the questions that “El Lic” agreed to answer.
Questions not answered remained for example; if there was protection from the government of Felipe Calderón to the Sinaloa cartel or if there were figures in the government of Enrique Peña Nieto who collaborated with organized crime.
–Do you regret the past? Yes. I regret the decisions I made. I am paying for my mistakes and for the damage I did to my family. That (drug trafficking) was not for me. Unfortunately, I couldn’t get out.
-Today, who is Dámaso López Núñez? Can the drug business dissociate itself from its most dire effects, such as violence? I am a person who has left behind the worst experience of my life.
-What would you like to happen for you personally? Recover my family, my friends. And I want with all my heart to contribute experiences to save new generations that could be victims of this problem (drug trafficking). On corruption and the role of drug trafficking in the country, he warned:
“The real problem of Mexico— is the increase in corruption and because of it, there is no hope to govern and those who suffer the consequences are not only citizens of good, but people who have been trapped by drug trafficking actions. Mexico really needs to fight corruption with facts and not only with political speeches, because corruption is the mother of all the problems Mexico suffers.
”-Who would you like to apologize to? To the people of Mexico, I apologize for the damage I may have caused them, especially for my family.
President López Obrador sent the following message: “You have the opportunity to be the hero that Mexico was waiting for.
To achieve this you have to do it with actions that bother many and forget for a while the applause and change them for the firm hand in background strategies that help solve the country’s problems. I think it is worth sowing the seed to build the Mexico we want for our families. ”
Dámaso López will return to the eastern court of Virginia towards autumn, to define the reduction of his sentence and if he collaborates in the trial against Genaro García Luna.