Former DEA chief: 'The ethnicity of Chicago lends itself to the drug trade'
Former DEA Chief of International Operations Michael Vigil speaks to CNN's Fredricka Whitfield (CNN/screen grab)

Former DEA Chief of International Operations Michael Vigil asserted on Tuesday that the "ethnicity of Chicago lends itself to the drug trade."


Following Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman's escape from a Mexican prison, CNN's Fredricka Whitfield asked Vigil why the cartel leader had made Chicago his primary U.S. hub.

"Chicago is a very strategic location," Vigil explained. "It's a transportation hub. You know, the ethnicity of Chicago lends itself to a lot of the drug trade."

"Chicago is one of the cities in the United States that has a huge Mexican or Hispanic population, which makes it very easy for cartel operatives to blend in to the population," he added. "You have a number of ethnic gangs that the Sinaloa cartel uses to distribute drugs throughout the city."

However, a 2013 Bloomberg Business investigation determined that Guzman had made Chicago his hub for the same reason many other businesses had.

"It’s a transportation hub where highways and rail lines converge and then fan across the Midwest," Bloomberg's John Lippert wrote. "The disappearance of factory jobs and the struggle of public schools on the city’s South and West sides also give Guzman tens of thousands of willing salesmen who are jobless and poorly educated."

Watch the video below from CNN, broadcast July 14, 2015.