Friday, February 28, 2014

Joaquín 'El Chapo' Guzman's supporters march through Mexican city

More than a thousand people have marched through the streets of the Mexican city of Culiacán to calling for the release of the captured drug lord Joaquín "El Chapo" Guzman.

The largely young crowd, many dressed in white, carried bore signs saying "We want Chapo Freed" as they filed through the center of the city, in the north-western state of Sinaloa.

Demonstrators also said they opposed any attempt to extradite Guzman to the US, where he faces several drug-trafficking charges in different states. Many said he provides employment in poor mountain areas.

"The government doesn't give any job opportunities," said Daniel Garcia, an unemployed 20-year-old. "The situation is, honestly, really difficult and he helps out the young people, giving them jobs."

"We support 'Chapo' Guzman because he is the one who gives us jobs and helps out in the mountains," said Pedro Ramirez, who was part of a group of 300 who had travelled from Badiraguato, a town in the Sierra Madre where Guzman was born 56 years ago.

Guzman, who rose from humble origins to become one of the most powerful drug barons in history, was captured on Saturday in a raid in the beachside resort and fishing centre of Mazatlan, 125 miles (200km) south-east of Culiacán.

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