All in the Family

Some time ago, all eyes were on Colombian drug lord Joaquín Guzmán, better known as  «El Chapo» (which, I think, means “the Chapstick”), but how much do we really know about the criminal kingpin? Or, more to the point of this article, his family?

Did you know, for example, that Señior Guzmán has a younger brother named Miguel? And, typical of younger brothers everywhere, Miguel wants to be just like Joaquín.

Nature has supported Miguel’s sibling-similarity objective in one respect: he shares with his older brother the family trait of being short in stature. While big-brother Joaquin’s height is reportedly 168 cm — which, if my metric translation is accurate, is about 23 inches — Miguel boasts that he is even shorter, making it easier for him to duck under desks, even behind small desk accessories, at the first sign of trouble.

But the younger Guzmán cannot afford to be too much like his brother. To differentiate himself from JoaquÍn, Miguel has chosen as his nombre de guerra “El Cheapo.” Miguel doesn’t understand a whit of English, so when a particularly prankish member of his posse suggested the appellation, Miguel enthusiastically embraced it, thinking it meant “big spender.”

And when it came to his choice of career, Miguel had to be very careful to stake out territory in which his brother had little or no interest .While Joaquín specializes in drug trafficking, Miguel is a gum dealer. (He was going for gun dealer, but his finger slipped when he was stamping out one of those metal name tags in one of those vending machines, and, being true to his nickname, he was loathe to spend the extra 20 pesos — which, if my currency conversion is accurate, is about $150 — to get a new one.)

So, instead of the glamorous life of crime he had envisioned for himself, Miguel has been relegated to dispensing Chiclets from behind the counter of a Juarez Walmart (or, en español, «un Juarez Jualmart»).

Miguel is so disappointed about having fallen short (so to speak) of his brother’s notoriety that he has failed to recognize the advantage of the career path that the fickle finger of fate (or of the name tag machine) has thrust upon him: if and when the federales bring him up on charges, about the best they can do is conspiracy to commit cavity.

CC BY-ND 4.0 All in the Family by Jay Mitchell is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

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2 Responses

  1. David Gerety says:

    I thought Miguel became a gumshoe.

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