The Huffington Post reported in 2009 that billionaire Mexican drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman Loera — kingpin of the Sinaloa Cartel, the world’s most powerful drug trafficking organization — officially thanked U.S. lawmakers for policies that have benefited his drug empire and fortune.
The article — which resurfaced on social networks, the blogosphere and message boards in recent days — is, however, a satire, The Daily Caller has learned.
The piece claimed sources close to El Chapo heard the drug lord say, “I couldn’t have gotten so stinking rich without George Bush, George Bush Jr., Ronald Reagan, even El Presidente Obama, none of them have the cajones to stand up to all the big money that wants to keep this stuff illegal. … From the bottom of my heart, I want to say, ‘Gracias amigos, I owe my whole empire to you,’” El Chapo said, according to the report.
The report, however, reads like a joke piece. When asked by The Daily Caller about the report, the article’s author, David Henry Sterry, said, “Absolutely it’s satire, it’s comedy that strives to make a point by bending the truth in ridiculous ways.”
Sterry’s piece was meant to draw attention to the controversial War on Drugs, a decades-long campaign by the United States and partner countries to reduce the illegal drug trade through foreign aid, military intervention and public awareness legislation. Domestic drug laws in the U.S. are part of that campaign as well. Opponents of the War on Drugs view the effort as counterproductive to its aims, and liken it to Prohibition in the United States during the early 20th Century.
When asked why The Huffington Post didn’t label the article as satire, Sterry wrote in a private Twitter chat with TheDC, “The Huffington Post is the modern equivalent of a 600 pound gorilla. The gorilla sits where it wants to sit.”
“Applying reason & logic to the 600 lb gorilla is futile. I posted under comedy, they put it in World News,” Sterry wrote. “Such is the nature of the gorilla.”
The Huffington Post did not return TheDC’s request for comment.