Awaken, My Child

The world’s most notorious and powerful drug lord, Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman Loera, has reportedly been captured in Mexico.

According to the Associated Press, Chapo or “Shorty,” the head of the Sinaloa Cartel, was captured last night at a hotel in the resort town of Mazatlan. The operation to grab the kingpin was a joint operation between U.S. and Mexican authorities. According to reports, Guzman was attending a party when he was apprehended, and there were no shots fired during the operation. A picture of a shirtless, mustachioed man, his hands behind his back, has been circulating today that bears resemblance to the well known pictures of a younger Guzman.

There was a $5 million bounty on Guzman’s head.

Guzman, 56, has escaped from custody before, getting rolled out of prison in a laundry cart in 2001, reportedly with the help of guards. If the authorities manage to hold on to him this time, it could spell the end of the most powerful drug runner in history.

Forbes ranked Guzman 67 out of 72 on our most recent list of the World’s Most Powerful People. His Sinaloa cartel is easily the most powerful in Mexico, responsible for an estimated 25% of all illegal drugs that enter the U.S. via Mexico. Drug enforcement experts estimate, conservatively, that the cartel’s annual revenues may exceed $3 billion.

Since his escape in 2001 Guzman consolidated his power and continued to operate brazenly, even digging massive tunnels under the U.S. border to move cocaine. In 2011 he even sent his beauty queen wife Emma Coronel (an American citizen) to a hospital north of Los Angeles to deliver twin girls. U.S. law enforcement could only watch as she returned to Mexico with her babies. (You can expect that episode to be dramatized in a new TV series based on Guzman’s exploits.)

Mexico’s drug war has claimed more than 70,000 lives in recent years. We can only hope that the capture of Guzman helps bring it to an end rather than ignite a battle among the second tier of bosses over who gets to step into los zapatos de Chapo’s.

A bid by regional leaders loyal to President Viktor Yanukovich to challenge the legitimacy of the national parliament appeared to founder on Saturday, after thousands of protesters rallied in eastern Ukraine in support of the political changes in Kiev.

The meeting of governors of mainly Russian-speaking regions in the northeastern city of Kharkiv had raised the possibility of a split in the vast former Soviet republic of 46 million. The leaders denied that this was their intention.

In Kiev, the parliament has passed a series of measures that would reduce the president’s powers and pave the way to the formation of a national unity government and early presidential elections.

Mikhaylo Dobkin, Governor of Kharkiv region in northeast Ukraine, told regional leaders meeting in the city: “We’re not preparing to break up the country. We want to preserve it.”

But a resolution adopted at the meeting questioned the legality of the parliament’s measures and assumed responsibility for safeguarding regional law and order because central powers were “paralyzed”.

These sentiments were not echoed by many of Kharkiv’s residents however.
Around 3,000 protesters gathered in the city center on Saturday, proclaiming their support for the new status quo.

A female student and a young supermarket worker were the latest fatalities from Venezuela’s political unrest as the death toll from 10 days of violence rose on Saturday to at least eight.

Both sides are mourning supporters killed in the worst turmoil since President Nicolas Maduro narrowly won an election in April 2013 to replace the late socialist leader Hugo Chavez.

The government blames “fascist groups” seeking a coup like the one that briefly ousted Chavez 12 years ago, while the opposition is accusing troops and pro-Maduro militants of attacking peaceful demonstrators.

Opposition officials and local media in central Carabobo state said a 23-year-old student, Geraldine Moreno, died in hospital on Saturday after being shot in the face with rubber bullets as security forces broke up a protest there on February 19.

In the Interesting Timing Dept., WhatsApp — the messaging app acquired this week by Facebook for the eye-popping sum of $19 billion — is in the midst of an outage, after also reportedly experiencing a short run of downtime Friday night.

The service became unavailable to a large number of users starting at about 11 a.m. PT Saturday, after a 20 minute outage Friday night, BNO News reported.

Revolutions are happening around the world. Things are rapidly changing. Moments in time affect the entire face of the world and any one of these things could have major repercussions, except for Facebook. Just like these moments changing, we put most of our focus on Facebook. Focus on the news too, its important and you know why.

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