The arrest of Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman this weekend was remarkable not only for its images of a long-sought drug kingpin finally captured, but also for its display of close U.S.-Mexican security cooperation.
Only last week, the Washington Post was reporting on an apparent pause in the relationship. After Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto was elected, Joshua Partlow wrote, “diplomats lost access to Mexican ministries, working groups stopped meeting and U.S.-funded training programs were put on hold.”
But behind the scenes wheels were moving, with American agencies working closely with Mexican counterparts in pursuit of Guzman, the head of the Sinaloa cartel. It was the Americans who pushed for the operation that led to Guzman’s arrest: The New York Times’ Damien Cave reported that the Drug Enforcement Agency “presented a body of intelligence information to Mexican navy officials, including calls and contacts from cellphones used over the last few months.”