Locked In a Garage with One of “El Chapo” Guzmán’s Meth Traffickers

Share:

July 21, 2015

In 2012, when filmmakers Guillermo Galdos and Angus Macqueen set out to find and interview Joaquín Guzmán Loera, the drug kingpin known as “El Chapo” (Shorty) had been on the run from U.S. and Mexican authorities for more than a decade.

It would be another two years until Guzman was recaptured, and another three until his second escape from prison earlier this month. But at the time, Galdos and Macqueen believed Guzmán — whose Sinaloa cartel is Mexico’s largest trafficker of cocaine, heroin and marijuana — was essentially hiding in plain sight.

In their quest to track down the notorious fugitive, Galdos and Macqueen immersed themselves in Guzmán’s bloody and brutal empire — speaking with key U.S. and Mexican officials tasked with finding Guzmán, landing a rare interview with his mother, and coming face to face with senior members of his Sinaloa cartel.

At one point in their search, they found themselves locked up in a garage with one of the cartel’s drug traffickers — and lots and lots of methamphetamine.

In this excerpt from Galdos and Macqueen’s documentary Drug Lord: The Legend of Shorty, filmed less than a mile from the California border, a drug smuggler known as “El Flaco” shows Galdos and Macqueen how he operates.

“We seal it to stop the smell,” says “El Flaco” as he prepares a pound of meth he says is worth $5,500 for transportation across the border and into the U.S.

“This car’s been lucky,” he says, showing Galdos and Macqueen the lead plate installed in his truck that keeps drugs from being detected by X-rays at border crossings. “Had it for six years. Done lots of crossings … Around 300 kilos per year make it to the other side.”

Watch the excerpt from Drug Lord: The Legend of Shorty, here:

For more on the operations and reach of Guzmán’s Sinaloa cartel — which is believed to be the largest trafficker of illegal narcotics into the U.S. each year — watch Drug Lord: The Legend of Shorty. The documentary premieres on FRONTLINE on Tuesday, July 21, starting at 10 p.m. EST both on-air (check your local PBS listings) and online.


Patrice Taddonio

Patrice Taddonio, Digital Writer & Audience Development Strategist, FRONTLINE

Twitter:

@ptaddonio

In order to foster a civil and literate discussion that respects all participants, FRONTLINE has the following guidelines for commentary. By submitting comments here, you are consenting to these rules:

Readers' comments that include profanity, obscenity, personal attacks, harassment, or are defamatory, sexist, racist, violate a third party's right to privacy, or are otherwise inappropriate, will be removed. Entries that are unsigned or are "signed" by someone other than the actual author will be removed. We reserve the right to not post comments that are more than 400 words. We will take steps to block users who repeatedly violate our commenting rules, terms of use, or privacy policies. You are fully responsible for your comments.

blog comments powered by Disqus

More Stories

Of the 5 States with the Most Farmworkers, Only 3 Are Prioritizing Vaccines — and Not All Means of Prioritizing Are Equal, per the CDC
Months after the July 2020 film "COVID's Hidden Toll," FRONTLINE checked in with farmworkers in California and four other big agricultural states and found vaccine rollouts have been uneven.
April 16, 2021
The War in Afghanistan: As Biden Sets U.S. Withdrawal Date, 13 Documentaries Explore the Conflict and Its Impact
Explore nearly two decades of reporting from FRONTLINE on America’s longest war.
April 15, 2021
After Jan. 6, Investigating the Contours of a “Broad Fascist Movement” in the U.S.
In a scene from the new documentary “American Insurrection,” correspondent A.C. Thompson talks with sociologist Pete Simi about the state of domestic extremism in the U.S.
April 14, 2021
“I Felt Hate More Than Anything”: How an Active Duty Airman Tried to Start a Civil War
Steven Carrillo’s path to the Boogaloo Bois shows the hate group is far more organized and dangerous than previously known.
April 13, 2021