The current president of Mexico has been putting nail after nail in the coffin of his political career, but his most recent blunder may actually bury him, argues The Washington Post’s Michael E. Miller in a recent piece. It’s no secret that the arrest of drug lord Joaquín Guzmán Loera, known as “El Chapo,” was a high point for Enrique Peña Nieto’s administration, followed by many, many low points.

Now, according to Miller, El Chapo’s escape from a Mexican prison through a tunnel dug by his henchmen “could end up undermining [Peña Nieto’s] entire presidency.” To make his point, Miller compares how the two men, each with the same “insatiable ambition,” rose to power in different ways; he also predicts the aftermath of the drug lord’s escape.

From The Washington Post

Peña Nieto’s promise to keep El Chapo under lock and key is now coming back to haunt him. What was the peak of his political career now could end up undermining his entire presidency. The arrest that lent gravitas to the boyishly handsome leader now threatens to make him look childish … El Chapo’s escape could lead to more bloodshed, undermining Peña Nieto’s claims to reducing violence while in office.

“If Chapo decides to retake the mantle — and push the Sinaloa cartel back into the east, where Los Zetas still control the turf — we’ll likely see more violence of the kind we saw when Chapo and the Sinaloa cartel first rose to national dominance, in the early 2000s,” said Malcolm Beith, author of “The Last Narco: Inside the Hunt for El Chapo, the World’s Most Wanted Drug Lord.”

[InSight Crime co-founder Jeremy] McDermott also said that El Chapo’s escape could lead to increased violence, but for another reason.

“If there is an increase in violence, I don’t think it will be initiated by Chapo Guzmán,” he said. “I think it will probably be the security forces that are going to start squeezing known Sinaloa operatives, going into known Sinaloa territory in the hunt for Chapo Guzmán, and they might get some push back from the Sinaloa armed wing.”

Either way, Peña Nieto’s promises of an incarcerated Chapo and a safer Mexico both appear to be in pieces.

Read more here.

—Posted by Natasha Hakimi Zapata

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