MEXICO CITY, Nov. 5 (UPI) -- One of Mexico's growing and most dangerous drug cartels has apparently allied with notorious drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman's Sinaloa Cartel by helping in his escape.
Guzman and his lawyer, Oscar Manuel Gomez, kept inconstant communication with the Jalisco New Generation drug cartel about the legal situation of those involved in Guzman's escape, Excelsior reported.
The trifecta also communicated in order to manage the payments for compensation to Guzman's legal team. Although the extent of cooperation between Guzman's Sinaloa Cartel and the Jalisco New Generation cartel is unknown, any cooperation between the two drug-peddling giants is seen as troubling.
Guzman escaped from a Mexican prison for the second time in July by using a mile-long tunnel, which could have taken a year to build. Manuel Gomez, the alleged mastermind behind Guzman's escape, paid about $400,000 to buy the land where the tunnel was built, Mexican officials have said.
On Tuesday, Chuck Rosenberg, acting administrator of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, said Mexican drug cartels have overtaken Colombian cartels in the introduction of drugs to the United States, particularly heroin.
"There has been a change and now Mexicans are manufacturing heroin, instead of transporting that which was given to them by Colombians," Rosenberg said at a press conference, El Universal reported.
The DEA said that Jalisco New Generation is "quickly becoming one of the most powerful transnational criminal organizations in Mexico and competes with the Sinaloa Cartel in Asia, Europe and Oceania," also adding that Mexican cartels are leaders in the trafficking of heroin, methamphetamine, cocaine and marijuana to the United States.
Jalisco New Generation, which traffics drugs along the Pacific Coast on a large scale, was named responsible in the shooting down of a Mexican military helicopter earlier this year, killing at least three soldiers. The cartel also retaliated violently to a government effort to curb the its influence.
In 2013, about 46,000 Americans died in drug overdoses -- more than half of which was caused by opioid analgesics prescribed by doctors and heroin.
"El Chapo" -- meaning "The Short One" or "shorty" -- so dubbed because of his 5-foot-6-inch frame, was captured in Guatemala in 1993 and then extradited to Mexico to face murder and drug trafficking charges. He escaped from prison in 2001 by hiding in a laundry cart after bribing prison guards, and was re-captured in February 2014. Guzman's previous escape cost him about $2.5 million.