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Chapo’s Saint Status in Mexico Made Him Elusive Prey

Alfonso Lara says the only person who could keep him safe from crime was the most notorious drug lord in the world.

Masked men robbed Lara, a 38-year-old grocer, at gunpoint three times, hijacking his farm truck laden with brooms and toilet paper for his store in Badiraguato, the scorched-brown Sierra Madre hometown he shared with Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, the alleged head of the Sinaloa Cartel. Lara said Guzman ordered the bandits rounded up, a gesture that earned him the kind of loyalty on display yesterday when as many as 2,000 residents marched to demand his release.