As a teenage GuzmÃ¡n attends a barbecue thrown by the local drug lord, an older, wiser head informs him about some of the groups present: “The guys standing over there are the politicians. Be careful with them – they’re the real assholes.” Like Bodie in The Wire, El Chapo realises early that the game is rigged. His tunnel may be an engineering marvel, but it is the bridges he builds with the state that aid his land grabs and purges, securing his entrance into the criminal hall of fame.
In The Wire, no one got the better of Stringer Bell until he came up against state senate grifter Clay Davis and his magical money faucet. It’s the same message in the Franklin Terrace projects or the Sinaloa poppy fields; even mass-murdering sociopaths must concede you can’t fight city hall. It’s a lesson every would-be Escobar must learn.