Updated 07:01 AM EST, Wed, Jan 20, 2021

Joaquín 'El Chapo' Guzmán Latest News: Drug Lord's Lieutenant Killed in Mexico

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An alleged lieutenant of Joaquín "El Chapo" Guzmán was reportedly killed in Mexico, according to U.S. prosecutors.

Fox News Latino reported from The Associated Press that the news came on Wednesday at a Chicago hearing for Hector Miguel Valencia Ortega's brother, Edgar Manuel. Ortega and Guzmán are among the dozen Sinaloa cartel leaders currently indicted in the Chicago trafficking case.

Prosecutors didn't provide \more details about the purported lieutenant of Guzmán, including whether the individual died accidentally, the news outlet added.

A total of 20 officials have now been terminated from the El Altiplano Federal Prison and arrested in the belief that they are privy to Guzmán's escape on July 11, Yahoo! News reported. The drug lord's prison break was done through a hole in his shower cell that leads to an elaborate underground tunnel.

Mexican officials believe that Guzmán had help and support from prison officers, as well as inside information that made his jailbreak easier, Yahoo! News noted. He is said to have spent £32 million in bribes to get away from the prison without fuss.

Despite an intense manhunt and a multimillion-dollar bounty, authorities are still finding it hard to pin down Guzmán. Business Insider wrote that this could be because of the kingpin's popularity among residents of his hometown Sinaloa, where people are open to welcome his return.

Francisco Villa Gurrola, a pastor in Guzmán's home municipality of Badiraguato, told Vice that the drug lord is "not a person who threatens, intimidates," but "knows how to converse, knows how to speak." Gurrola added, "As an individual, I recognize him as a good person."

A store owner in Guzmán's municipality described him as "a normal guy, very good with people," and when somebody needs assistance, "he helps them," Washington Post reported.

The support for Guzmán is not entirely unexpected, given that this was also witnessed in other drug lords such as Pablo Escobar. These kingpins used their huge wealth and power to aid charities located in local and poverty-stricken communities. Ioan Grillo said in his book "El Narco: Inside Mexico's Criminal Insurgency" that this results to a kind of "narcocultura" or narco culture, Business Insider wrote.

"At the heart of narcocultura is the figure of the mafia godfather," Grillo wrote, as quoted by the news outlet. "The personage is celebrated in mythological terms as the ragged peasant who rose to riches; the great outlaw who defies the Mexican army and the DEA; the benefactor who hands out dollar bills to hungry mothers; the scarlet pimpernel who disappears in a puff of smoke."

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