February 26, 2014
The weekend capture of top drug lord Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán is being hailed as a major victory for Mexico, but some are cautioning that his arrest could unleash a wave of violence, particularly along the US-Mexico border.
Mr. Guzmán had control of, among other areas, the state of Sonora, which shares the international boundary with Arizona. Sonora is no stranger to violence triggered by disturbance to drug cartel leadership: In December 2009, when Mexican security forces killed Arturo Beltrán Leyva, a former Guzmán ally-turned-rival, the death ushered in a battle between factions in the city of Nogales, which shares its name with its US neighbor, and surrounding communities.
In one instance, a shootout left at least 21 people dead.
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