MEXICO CITY – A singer running for mayor of the western city of Bahia de Banderas who shares the nickname “El Chapo” (Shorty) with notorious drug lord Joaquin Guzman insists that he has nothing to do with Mexico’s perennial Public Enemy No. 1.
“The truth is that nobody is confused about anything,” Ernesto Perez told EFE. “Nowhere in the world has anybody confused one with the other.”
The singer says that he has been known since childhood as “El Chapo de Sinaloa,” a state bordering his native Nayarit.
Guzman, meanwhile, is a son of Sinaloa and erstwhile boss of the Sinaloa cartel, Mexico’s most powerful drug-trafficking outfit.
In January, Mexico handed over Guzman to the United States and he is now behind bars in New York awaiting trial on a long list of federal charges.
Perez said that the only people making an issue of his sharing a nickname with Guzman are a handful of political rivals seeking to “overturn” his candidacy for mayor of his hometown.
“It’s not fair that for having a name that a drug trafficker uses I should be labeled as one,” he said.
The singer, who presented more than 18,000 signatures to get his name on the ballot for the June 4 election, said that becoming mayor of Bahia de Banderas represents “a perfect opportunity to help in a different way all the people who have supported my career over the years.”
Before achieving success in popular music, Perez was a construction worker and a waiter, among other things.