In this edition of Gangster of the Week, we profile Mexican drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman. El Chapo is a criminal who makes his fortune illegally and violently has become a symbol of Mexico’s deadly drug wars. Mexico’s most wanted man, El Chapo (or Shorty) heads the Sinaloa cartel, one of the biggest suppliers of cocaine to the U.S.
As the war on drugs has erupted in Mexico leaving hundreds dead and a country in complete anguish, El Chapo has continued to be one of the most notoriously violent and powerful cartel leaders of modern times.
In 2011, against just the notorious Zetas cartel, Mexico ended the reign of 16 leaders who ran cartel operations at the state or national level. Even with this success, the infrastructure of Mexico continues to decline uncontrollably.
In 2008 Mexican and Colombian traffickers laundered between $18 billion and $39 billion in proceeds from wholesale shipments to the U.S. Shorty, an alleged tunnels and air logistics expert, is believed to have directed anywhere from a third to half the wholesale shipments since his 2001 prison escape. Drug scholars believe Shorty has made trafficking inroads to Europe. Apparently started out working with Miguel Angel Felix Gallardo, (El Padrino, or the Godfather), head of the most powerful drug-trafficking group in Mexico at that time.
The legacy of gangsters is that no matter how much success and noteriety they may see during their illustrious careers, they surely do all end in tragedy. When the violence is so rampant, the money so empowering, and the market so completely out of control El Chapo’s career will surely end in demise.
Began his career in the drug trade as an apprentice of “El Padrino” (Godfather) Miguel Angel Felix Gallardo, who once headed Mexico’s most powerful drug cartel. Guzman founded his own cartel in 1980, quickly establishing posts in 17 Mexican states. Sinaloa, his organization, takes its name from a Mexican state along the Pacific coast long known as a hotbed for drug trafficking. After Gallardo’s arrest in 1989, Guzman inherited some of his territory.
Billionaire Drug Lord
Although Forbes Magazine has been known to portray inaccurate wealth figures for drug lords — due to the fact that their books are not transparent — the publication has estimated El Chapo’s worth at $1 billion dollars in 2011.
Crime pays, literally, according to Forbes Magazine El Chapo Guzman is amongst the world’s most powerful men.
2009: 41st most powerful man in the world
2010: 60th most powerful man in the world
2011: 55th most powerful man in the world
2011: Forbes 10th richest man in Mexico
The Beautiful Women
El Chapo Guzman is married to the the beautiful former pageant queen, Emma Coronel. Guzman and his beautiful bride are the proud parents of newborn twins.
Guzman, who escaped from a Mexican prison in 2001 in a laundry truck and has a $7 million bounty on his head, has long been recognized as Mexico’s most powerful drug capo. Authorities say his Sinaloa cartel has recently been expanding abroad, building international operations in Central and South America and the Pacific.
The Positive Things?
Like late Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar, Guzman has a reputation as a protector of his heartland in Sinaloa, a rugged region that the state still struggles to penetrate, where news of approaching of strangers quickly reaches him and his followers.
“Second, he’s just about the only source of employment in parts of Sinaloa. And he has provided security of a sort. He’s been known to apprehend small-time crooks or thugs when they got out of hand. Lastly, the name Chapo pretty much puts the fear of God into people.”
Support from Mexico’s Influential
The fugitive Sinaloa cartel leader also got a boost from Mexican actress Kate Del Castillo, who said she believed in Guzman more than in the government.
Today I believe more in Chapo Guzmán that on the government that hide some painful truths, they hide the cure for cancer, AIDS, etc. For their own benefit and wealth.