publicidad

Experts call Ted Cruz's plan to fund border wall with Chapo's drug money 'delusional'

Experts call Ted Cruz's plan to fund border wall with Chapo's drug money 'delusional'

Just when it seemed like Donald Trump's border wall plans couldn't get any more absurd, Texas Senator Ted Cruz found a way to take the farce to the next level with a payment scheme that analysts are calling "delusional."

El Chapo

On Tuesday a bill called the "EL CHAPO Act,” was introduced in Congress, proposing to earmark seized drug assets from incarcerated Mexican kingpin Joaquin ‘El Chapo’ Guzman to pay for President Donald Trump's unbudgeted border wall, which is estimated to cost upwards of $25 billion.

El Chapo, the former head of Mexico's monstrous Sinaloa Cartel, was extradited to the U.S. on Jan. 19 and awaits trial on 17 counts of international drug trafficking, weapons violations, and money-laundering.

"The estimates are that [El Chapo's] criminal fortune is roughly worth about $14 billion," Cruz said on Fox and Friends on Wednesday morning. "Coincidentally the estimates of the cost to build a wall range from $14 [billion] to $20 billion, so my legislation provides that if those assets are forfeited, those assets from El Chapo will go directly to building a wall and securing the border."

The couch crew at Fox and Friends gushed over Cruz's EL CHAPO Act, known formally as The Ensuring Lawful Collection of Hidden Assets to Provide Order Act. They called it "pure genius" and a great way to make Mexico "indirectly build the wall."

Wizened rocker and Trump cheerleader Ted Nugent also gave Cruz's plan an enthusiastic "celebrity" endorsement, calling it a "brilliant idea" that is "absolutely bulletproof."

But experts think Cruz's EL CHAPO Act is all acronym and no substance.

"It's complete b.s.," Mexican security analyst and former intelligence officer Alejandro Hope told Univision News. "It's just political grandstanding."

"It's incredibly ludicrous," adds Mike Vigil, former chief of international operations for the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and author of the book DEAL about the agency’s undercover operations.

publicidad

WATCH UNIVISION'S 'EL CHAPO' TV SERIES, SUNDAY NIGHTS AT 8PM


Though Cruz is clearly trying to help the president come up with a plan—ANY PLAN— to fund his wall, his ill-conceived EL CHAPO Act is a bad look for the United States. Together with Trump's bizarre Hokey Pokey on NAFTA, where he first looked to be stepping out of the free-trade pact but then jumped back in, Republican policy towards Mexico is starting to look a bit like a Cantiflas routine.

"Trump and Cruz are drinking from the same kool-aid," says Vigil, who worked on the El Chapo case during his 13 years with the DEA in Mexico.

"This proposal by Ted Cruz is delusional and it basically shows he has no clue about how much money Chapo Guzman is worth,” added Vigil. “He doesn't have an understanding of money-laundering. He doesn't understand how drug lords and drug traffickers hide their money. And apart from that, Chapo Guzman is not worth $14 billion—that's an extraordinary high estimate."

In Cruz's defense, the $14 million figure comes from the U.S. Department of Justice. The U.S.' indictment against El Chapo seeks "forfeiture of more than $14 billion in drug proceeds and other illegal profits."

But here's the rub. That number is— at very best— a wild "guesstimate that has nothing to do with reality," says Vigil.

"It's basically invented—made up," Hope agrees.

Relacionado
promo muro 3d
3D simulation of President Trump’s wall based on his own specifications
This 3D reconstruction, based on the design requirements published by the U.S. Border Patrol, allows us to see how the U.S.-Mexico border wall might look.

That's because Chapo's finances are all off-the-books. The drug lord's alleged fortune is based on back-of-the-napkin estimates pertaining to global drug trade calculations over the past 30 years, plus intelligence gathered from other narcos whose information can oftentimes be tinged with narco-culture myth and legend.

Chapo's actual savings are probably closer to $1 billion, according to Vigil's own guesstimate. Mexico's Hope estimates that Chapo's net worth is probably measured in the "tens or hundreds of millions—but certainly not billions."

In any event, it's phantom money. Narco revenue is dirty cash that gets laundered overseas, buried in the desert, squirreled away behind drywall, used to grease the palms of state corruption, and invested in real estate under third party names that are not easily traceable to the source.

publicidad

That's not even considering the sizeable daily expenditures of living as a narco—paying for henchmen, transportation logistics, tunneling equipment, Johnnie Walker Blue Label, mistresses, and entitled children (El Chapo had 18 kids).

Finally, none of El Chapo's illicit gains are sitting in a seized bank account or in blood-money escrow for Trump's border wall. Any of Chapo's assets that have been confiscated by the Mexican government aren't nearly enough to pay for even the first row of bricks in Trump's wall. Not that Mexico would be inclined to do so anyway.

So if Cruz is really serious about funding the wall with Mexican narco proceeds, he should buy a shovel and a plane ticket to Sinaloa and start digging in the desert.

Relacionado
El Chapo extradition, Jan 19 2017
'El Chapo' learns English in prison, struggles with 'harsh' conditions
Attorneys for the Sinaloa drug lord say that their client's lack of English is among many problems he faces since entering a U.S. maximum security prison. The local tap water doesn't agree with him, and he is being tortured - by imaginary Mexican music.
In photos: The rise and fall of El Chapo Guzmán
publicidad
Contenidos Relacionados
19 oct, 2017 | 02:49 PM
Mexico rises
publicidad
Latino millennials account for almost half the 27.3 million eligible Latino voters in this election. But Latino turn out is traditionally far lower than black and Anglo voters. J.P. Dominguez asks “when are we going to wake up?”
A study by the Institute on Taxation and Economic policy found that undocumented immigrants pay $11.64 billion a year in state and local taxes. The undocumented pay on average 8% of their income on taxes while the wealthiest 1% pay only 5.4%. J.P Dominguez says that's "trumped up."
During the first presidential debate, the candidates took a chance to bring up each others past mistakes to affect their performance.
After the "Taco trucks on every corner" comment from the co-founder of Latinos for Trump, part of his immigration past emerged. This is JP Domínguez's take on the issue.
Donald Trump's wife and aspiring First Lady is an immigrant who says she always "went by the law" - but her story is a little 'SUS'.
El 93% de los mexicanos no confía en su presidente, Enrique Peña Nieto: Pew Research Center
La encuesta de esta organización ubica al mandatario debajo de su homólogo venezolano, Nicolás Maduro, y lo deja en el último lugar entre 38 países. El estudio, en el que participaron 42,000 personas, también revela que Peña Nieto tiene el nivel más bajo de aprobación de la más reciente década en México.
Al menos 21,000 dreamers no renovaron DACA, según el Departamento de Seguridad Nacional
La organización informó que 133,000 beneficiarios llevaron a cabo los trámites de renovación, de los 154,000 elegibles. Janet Napolitano, presidenta de la Universidad de California y exsecretaria del Departamento de Seguridad Nacional, manifestó que la demanda del plantel educativo contra el gobierno Trump se instauró porque creen que el fin de la Acción Diferida viola la Constitución.
Rescatan a 84 menores y detienen a 120 sospechosos de tráfico humano en operación liderada por el FBI
En el operativo Cross Country XI, que duró dos días, participaron 50 agencias con 500 policías. Entre las víctimas encontraron a un bebé de 6 meses y a su hermana de 5 años, quienes fueron vendidos por 600 dólares a un agente encubierto. El tráfico humano en Estados Unidos, centrado en California, Florida y Nueva York, se vincula a la acción de cárteles de México.
publicidad
La policía busca a un sospechoso de agresión sexual en un autobús de la MTA en El Bronx
El sujeto es acusado de frotar su cuerpo con el de una mujer dentro del autobús y mostrarle los genitales, a plena luz del día. Autoridades piden comunicarse en caso de tener alguna información.
Puerto Rico: un mes de angustia (y esperanza) tras el huracán María
Este viernes se cumple un mes desde que la tormenta destruyó gran parte de la isla, volcó su economía y dejó a millones sin luz. Quienes pueden se han ido y de los que se quedan, muchos aún necesitan ayuda para levantarse.
Jueza no borra el veredicto de culpabilidad de Arpaio pese a haber sido perdonado por Trump
La jueza de distrito Susan Bolton argumentó en su decisión que Trump solo ejerció su poder de clemencia, por lo que los delitos por los que fue hallado culpable el exalguacil no desaparecen.
Reportan aumento en detenciones a indocumentados por parte de ICE en sitios de empleo
Una detención de un inmigrante indocumentado en Portland, Oregón, que fue denunciada como ilegal, fue analizada por una abogada experta en inmigración, quien entregó consejos para tener en cuenta a la hora de un encuentro con agentes del Servicio de Inmigración y Control de Aduanas.
Los Dodgers regresan a la Serie Mundial luego de 29 años y en Los Ángeles se desata la 'locura'
Los aficionados de la novena californiana se tomaron las calles de la ciudad para festejar la victoria 11-1 de su equipo frente a los Cubs de Chicago, lo que significó el campeonato de la Liga Nacional y la superioridad en la serie que terminó 4-1.
"Esto es algo que nunca voy a olvidar": Kike Hernández tras guiar a los Dodgers a la Serie Mundial
El puertorriqueño conectó tres jonrones para aportar en la victoria de la novena angelina por 11 carreras a 1 frente a los Chicago Cubs, actuales defensores del título.
Se enciende la luz verde para que Lewis Hamilton gane su cuarto título de Fórmula 1
Aunque hasta hace cuatro carreras la pelea por el primer puesto era cerrada con Sebastian Vettel, el piloto de Ferrari se rezagó en la clasificación y le dejó todo servido al hombre de Mercedes.
Ninel Conde presentó la canción de ‘Sábados Futboleros’ e hipnotizó con su belleza al ‘Perro’ Bermúdez
La hermosa cantante y actriz mexicana visitó a nuestros analistas de Fútbol Club para promocionar el nuevo tema musical en el que varios jugadores de la Liga MX son protagonistas. Aquí un adelanto.