Little Village or La Villita on Chicago's west side is called "Mexico of the Midwest" by its immigrant residents which the Sinaloa cartel long ago turned into narcoland, and in his twenty years of representing the district Congressman Luis Gutierrez curiously has said nada about the drug trade that operates right under his proverbial nose.
Eighty percent of the illicit drugs -- heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine and marijuana -- in Chicago, IL are supplied from Mexico by the Sinaloa cartel which was headed by Forbes-listed billionaire Joaqin "El Chapo" Guzman until his recent arrest, and the Windy City is used as its hub for further distribution throughout the Midwest and country as reported last year by Jason McGahon for Chicago Magazine. Little Village and neighboring Pilsen are the main sections in Chicago from which where the Sinaloa cartel conducts its trafficking operations, and McGahon writes:
The Chicago metro area has a large Hispanic immigrant population, making it easy for Mexican cartel operatives to blend in. (Only Los Angeles, San Antonio, and Houston have more residents of Mexican descent, according to the 2010 census.) Because many of these immigrants -- especially those who are here illegally -- are poor or underemployed, the area provides a fertile recruiting ground for cartel operatives. According to a Cook County law enforcement officer familiar with the local drug trade, the Pilsen and Little Village neighborhoods, which are more than 80 percent Hispanic, are el eje (the axis) of drug distribution in the city. They’re conveniently located near the Stevenson, Dan Ryan, and Eisenhower Expressways, Metra’s Burlington Northern Santa Fe line, and a major industrial corridor off Blue Island Avenue. (With 1.3 billion square feet of warehouse property, Chicago has one of the largest concentrations of industrial space in the nation, offering plenty of room for cartels to hide contraband.)
Earlier this month federal authorities announced that twin brothers Pedro and Margarito Flores, one-time Little Village residents who were major distributors for the Sinalo cartel until their 2009 bust, had become cooperating witnesses who disclosed that they invested $600,000 "to open a furniture exporting company that would act as a front to ship cocaine by rail" as reported by Jason Meisner for the Chicago Tribune.
Last February Mexican authorities apprehended Guzman -- dubbed by the Chicago Crime Commission as Public Enemy No. 1 -- through DEA intelligence but not everyone was celebrating in Little Village and Pilsen as reported by Crain's Chicago Business:
Maria Martinez, 20, who sells traditional fried Mexican snacks and corn from a family-owned stand, said Guzman's arrest is unlikely to dent Little Village's street crime, as someone will simply take his place. She said many community residents don't like to talk about the drug trade because some see it helping immigrants who lack better opportunities. "For them, he's a hero because it's his merchandise they're distributing," Martinez said. In Chicago's other major Mexican-American neighborhood, Pilsen, statues of Mexican heroes adorned an ice-covered courtyard outside Benito Juarez Community Academy high school. Adrian Magna, 19, waited at a bus stop in front of images of Emiliano Zapata, the Mexican revolutionary, and Aztec ruler Cuauhtemoc, each of them gifts from Mexican officials to the community. Teenagers in Pilsen know Guzman better than those iconic figures, Magna said. "They see him as an idol," Magna said.
Luis Gutierrez has represented the 4th Congressional District in Illinois which includes Little Village and Pilsen since 1993, and even then the Sinaloa cartel had a dominating hold through those two neighborhoods on the nation's drug trade. However, for two decades Congressman Gutierrez has remained silent about the Sinaloa cartel in his district which has inflicted so much suffering on his innocent constituents.
How about it, Congressman Gutierrez: get a pair of cojones and call out the Sinaloa boys who are moving drugs and laundering money in your district which has become ground zero for the narco trade in the United States.
Talk about the dog that didn't bark.