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How Mexican authorities managed to obtain video of the heir of ‘El Chapo’

April 24, 2017  |  Posted by: JammedUp Staff
How Mexican authorities managed to obtain video of the heir of ‘El Chapo’ Dámaso López Nuñez

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Intelligence sources have shared a tantalizing video of Dámaso López Nuñez, the purported successor to Joaquin ‘El Chapo’ Guzman’s Sinaloa Cartel, who is considered a central figure in the world of drug trafficking in Mexico.

López Nuñez, also known as ‘El Licenciado’ or The Graduate, a reference to his degree he earned in law school, has remained an enigma to authorities in the United States and Mexico. The former law enforcement official helped Guzman first escape from a prison in Puente Grande, Jalisco in 2001.

For the better part of a decade, the only photo authorities had of Lopez has been a grainy image showing a man with small eyes and smooth forehead sporting a goatee.

However, after 15 years, a more recent image showing the face of the man officials believe is the new head of the Sinaloa Cartel has been updated to law enforcement databases on both sides of the border thanks in part to a cooperating informant.

Until recently, authorities in Mexico only had this grainy picture of the purported drug lord

Federal authorities told El Universal how they managed to retrieve recent footage of the capo why the audio and video quality is relatively good and explained why Dámaso López turns to the camera on several occasions.

Following Guzman’s escape, he went to work for the powerful drug lord, becoming his top lieutenant and eventually established his own criminal structure within the Sinaloa Cartel, known as Los Damaso.

However, following Guzman’s extradition to the United States in June, the 49-year-old drug lord has been in the midst of an internal war for control of the Sinaloa Cartel against Ivan Archivaldo and Jesus Alfredo Guzman Salazar, the sons of ‘El Chapo.’

Dámaso López Nuñez was reportedly behind an attempt to assassinate both of Guzman’s sons and his longtime partner Ismael ‘El Mayo’ Zambada at a meeting in the mountains of Sinaloa back in February.

That same week, the capo reportedly ordered the execution of Romelia Salazar-Gonzalez, the former sister-in-law of ‘El Chapo,’ in Zapopan.

The fight for control of the criminal organization has since unleashed a spiraling wave of violence in the state of Sinaloa, which is the primary cause for the surge in Mexico’s homicide rate in the first three months of 2017. The state recorded an astonishing 2,152 murders in January alone.

In the midst of the struggle for control of the cartel, sources indicate Dámaso López and his son, Damaso Lopez Serrano nicknamed El Mini-Lic, have sought out computer professionals to wage a digital campaign through social networks, in an effort to blame the children of ‘El Chapo’ for the violence unleashed in Sinaloa, a move he hoped would motivate authorities to act against Guzman’s kin.

In doing so, the drug lord’s underlings recruited a hacker to oversee their online campaign against the children of El Chapo.

Video shows Damaso Lopez Nunez eating during a meeting at a restaurant in Mexico City

However, the law enforcement source assured El Universal that in that period authorities managed to establish a line of communication with this hacker and co-opted him to work as an undercover government informant.

The informant managed to gain the trust of the people of Los Damaso by offering inside information on what U.S. authorities allegedly had about the cartel, which they believed was obtained through an illegal hack.

The hacker even sent a photo of the security chief of Lopez Nuñez, known as El 15. Clearly interested in what the US government supposedly knew about him, Damaso Lopez wanted to meet personally with the hacker and traveled discreetly to a seafood restaurant south of Mexico City.

According to an official report, when the appointment was agreed upon, no one in the cartel told the hacker who he would be meeting. Not even during the meeting at the restaurant did the hacker, who does not have knowledge of the drug trade, know the men at the meeting.

Mexican authorities obtained footage of Lopez-Nunez through an undercover informant

After delivering the video, officials were shocked.

Unbeknownst to Dámaso López Nuñez, authorities had installed an application on the computer hacker’s phone, which enabled him to record video and audio of the gathering from inside the restaurant.

During the meeting, the hacker appears to show the drug lord surveillance photos of members of his cartel on his phone, which is why ‘El Licenciado’ appears facing the camera of the telephone.

Intelligence work would have made it possible to detect later that night Dámaso López Nuñez had slept at the Camino Real hotel in southern Mexico City,

The cartel later discovered that the hacker was an informant and he was immediately placed in the United States witness protection program.

Lopez Nunez currently remains one of the most wanted men in Mexico and is sought by U.S. federal authorities for a federal drug trafficking and money laundering indictment out of the Federal Court for the District of Columbia.

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