El Chapo got ‘pleasure’ from killing rival
Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman once bragged that the greatest pleasure he'd ever experienced was having his longtime enemy slaughtered as he was detained by corrupt police, according to a former cartel associate.
Jurors in El Chapo's US trial heard on Thursday the chilling anecdote from former Sinaloa Cartel accountant Jesus Zambada, as he recounted the murder of Tijuana Cartel leader and longtime rival Ramon Arellano Felix in 2002 in Mazatlan, Mexico, the New York Post reports.
Zambada recalled hearing the cartel kingpin revel in the fatal shooting three years later, allegedly saying "that if anything had ever given him pleasure it was to have killed Ramon Arellano."
"Ramon had killed many of Chapo's friends," Zambada said through a Spanish interpreter. "He was very dangerous."
Zambada said he learned that Guzman had been trying to kill Arellano through his older brother and Chapo's business partner, Ismael "El Mayo" Zambada.
The Sinaloa cartel had allegedly been attempting to murder Arellano since 1992, when hitmen shot up a popular nightclub in Puerto Vallarta in a failed attempt to kill Arellano and his brother, Benjamin Arellano Felix.
At the time, the drug trafficker's death was blamed on a gang war shootout, and it was reported Arellano died in his car.
Yet Zambada, 57, said Guzman and others had him surrounded by cops on the cartel dole, and he was fatally shot trying to run to safety in a hotel.
"They had him stopped with the police, but he didn't stop, he tried to get away," he said. "They shot him, they put a bullet in his neck. He fell down dead."
It wasn't clear from the testimony if Arellano was killed by the crooked cops or by hitmen with the cartel.
The testimony came after Zambada told jurors he personally drove Chapo through Mexico City to a safe house - with a paid police escort - following his 2001 prison break.
Guzman faces up to life behind bars if convicted on drug trafficking charges.
This article originally appeared on the New York Post and has been republished with permission.