So El Chapo is on the run again, and the Mexican government has become the laughing stock of global politics. Again.
As usual, in the total absence of a convincing explanation for his epic jailbreak, conspiracy theories have started to bubble up from all over. Was it a cynical spectacle cooked up by Peña Nieto’s cronies to distract from the privatization of social security? Was the DEA somehow involved? Or did PBS plan the whole thing in the lead-up to their broadcast of the documentary Drug Lord: The Legend of Shorty?
Okay, if you think that last one sounds a little far-fetched, consider the fact that El Chapo supposedly escaped from a maximum security prison on a motorcycle through a mile-long ventilated tunnel. So really, anything goes at this point. But whether or not you buy the theory, the truth is that PBS will be bringing viewers a very well-timed broadcast premiere of Angus McQueen and Guillermo Galdos’ nail-biter of a feature documentary. It first screened last year at SXSW, before its theatrical run in New York theaters in the fall.
Drug Lord’s premise is just about as nutty as El Chapo’s Houdini-esque vanishing act: two gonzo documentarians take on hell, high water, and armed cartel soldiers in an attempt to track down and interview El Chapo. Remember – at the time, El Chapo had been in hiding for 13 years since his first prison break in 2001 and was considered the most powerful drug lord of all time.
Unsurprisingly, it seems McQueen and Galdos didn’t find El Chapo in the end – although he was ultimately arrested by Mexican authorities only a month before the film’s premiere – but the documentary does promise to be an entertaining plunge into the rabbit hole of Sinaloa drug trafficking.
Maybe it’s a good time for a sequel?
Drug Lord: The Legend of Shorty airs on PBS July 21, 2015.