Many readers do not realize that the Chapo Guzman trial is ongoing in New York. The trial has now had 23 days of testimony. This is because the government shutdown and the “border security” noise has overwhelmed the news cycles. El Paso has always played a crucial role for the success of the narcos. The Chapo trial gives us further proof of this.

So far, the testimony has shown that Chapo’s cartel had a “payroll” of about one million dollars for bribing officials. Obviously, violence is central to the drug trade. The testimony bears this out. The court testimony has also demonstrated how the U.S. government has made dubious deals with certain high-ranking cartel members, including killers, to secure information about the cartels and court testimony. Among the “deals” includes U.S. citizenship to the cooperators including their families. In at least one case, the family could bring hundreds of thousands of illicit dollars to support herself in their children.

Massive weapons caches and sicarios, or killers, are what allows the narcos to use violence to keep people in line. The violence results in many innocent victims, many of which are Mexican, losing their lives.

El Paso provided many of the sicarios in the form of the Barrio Aztecas. It is this army of killers that made Cd. Juárez the murder capital of the world between 2006 and 2008.

It is indisputable that without guns, the numerous murders and violence would not exist. In addition to the numerous warehouses in El Paso used to divide the drugs up before they are sent on towards the big American drug markets, El Paso also acts as a distribution center for the weapons used to kill Mexicans.

Last week, Vicente Zambada testified “that 99 percent of the Sinaloa cartel’s weapons come from the United States.” Zambada is testifying against Chapo Guzman under a plea agreement with the U.S. government. Vicente Zambada is the son of a drug cartel leader and was in the cartel business since he was a child.

“El Mayo,” a cartel killer also testified about where the guns came from. One day in December, the prosecutors wanted to show the jury how the massive the gun trade is. To do so they wheeled in an evidence cart filled with dozens of AK-47s and a rocket propelled grenade launcher.

The massive weapons cache, which included bullet proof vests, was seized in El Paso in 2010.

The weapons were managed by a cartel Sicario named “Jaguar,” who has a “blood-thirsty” reputation.

The testimony has shown that tunnels going into El Paso from Juárez end in El Paso properties. From there, the drugs are divided and sent to the users across the country. Other ways that drugs come through El Paso are via tractor trailers and private cars with hidden compartments.

I have long argued that the Juárez Plaza is not about Cd. Juárez, but rather El Paso, Texas. The testimony has provided more proof of this.

Martin Paredes

Martín Paredes is a Mexican immigrant who built his business on the U.S.-Mexican border. As an immigrant, Martín brings the perspective of someone who sees México as a native through the experience...