Infamous drug lord Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán’s family plans to open a university for the indigenous community in Badiraguato, Sinaloa — the drug lord’s home state.
José Luis González Meza, a lawyer for Guzmán, said that Guzmán’s family will receive financial support from a range of foundations in order to open the university. In the 2015 Mexican Intercensal, 12.83 percent of the estimated two million Sinaloans considered themselves to have indigenous roots. In 2010, the census revealed that nearly half of the 23,841 indigenous language speakers three years of age or older spoke the Mayo language of an indigenous community from Northern Sinaloa, reported LatinoLA.
According to Mexico News Daily, it will be designed by painter Hugo Zúñiga from the neighboring state of Guerrero and have several different faculties. González-Meza stated that he’s hopeful that President Andrés Manuel López Obrador will travel to Badiraguato to be a part of the groundbreaking ceremony during his tour of Sinaloa though there’s been no confirmation.
“What we’re hoping for is that… he’ll go to Badiraguato and along with Chapo’s mom, María Consuelo, he’ll lay the first stone and the work to build the university will finally start,” González-Meza said. But all these plans rely on El Chapo’s billion-dollar fortune which may be seized by both the U.S. and Mexican governments. The U.S. is ordering for El Chapo’s $12.6 billion fortune to be forfeited, an amount representing the total amount of drugs he trafficked into the U.S.
However, Guzmán’s total fortune — estimated at around $14 billion — rightfully belongs to Mexico, according to González-Meza. In July of this year, he was sentenced to life in prison plus 30 years and is now in solitary confinement in Colorado’s Supermax prison in Florence, the nation’s most secure federal prison.
So while the money remains in limbo, González-Meza asserts that in addition to the university, the family also plans to establish a cooperative-run chain of stores and a pharmaceutical company. Meza said that the new stores would sell a variety of products, including “food, coffee, tequila, beer [and] mezcal” for up to 50 percent less than the usual retail price. The pharmaceutical company would also provide affordable medicine and they hope to be able to expand into Central America once production increases.
Both the cooperative store chain and the pharmacies would be led by management teams made up of Campesinos and indigenous people, González-Meza added.
“They’re going to be the future industrialists of this country,” he said, according to Mexico News Daily.
President López Obrador argued after Guzmán’s sentencing that his assets should be returned to Mexico. “I think that everything that is confiscated and that has to do with Mexico has to be returned to the Mexicans,” he said.