By Oscar Montenegro 


Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman was the leader of the Sinaloa cartel in northern Mexico, one of the most powerful gangs in the world. As his trial continues in Downtown Brooklyn, an eerie but familiar sound is coming from the Mexican-American community: Silence.

Carlos Menchaca, the first Mexican-American elected into public office in New York City, did not have any comment on the El Chapo trial. Menchaca represents Sunset Park, a neighborhood with a large Mexican-American community.

I headed to Bushwick, Brooklyn, home also to a large Mexican-American community. Speaking to people in Bushwick, many had the same sentiments: This trial isn’t going to change anything.

“I’ve heard about the trial here and there,” one woman told me, “but it’s not going to change anything.” None of the people I spoke with was open to giving me their names.

I, a Mexican-American, have been following the trial. Many of my family members have not, because they feel, along with those I spoke with on the street, that nothing will change back home in Mexico.

“When El Chapo goes to jail, three more narcos come to power in Mexico,” my aunt, Francisca Montenegro, said. “The narco culture is a way of life in some parts of Mexico.”

According to a report from The Guardian, more than 29,000 people were killed in 2017 due to drug violence in Mexico. Many are predicting the numbers will be much higher this year, making it the most violent year in Mexico since 2011.

In July 2018, Mexican President, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador won the elections with 53 percent of the vote, and many hoped he would decrease drug violence in the country. He has promised to do so, but many are skeptical. They feel the same old corruption will continue in Mexico.