After a thirteen-year-long manhant, drug kingpin Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman was apprehended in a joint Mexican and American operation this morning. The key figure in a drug empire that emanated from Mexico and stretched as far as Australia, El Chapo is a modern legend. So vast was El Chapo's reach and wealth, he made Pablo Escobar look like a total punk.
For perspective, Guzman was ranked 67 out of 72 on Forbes' list of the World’s Most Powerful People. That's a higher ranking than the premiers of France and Venezuela.
"His Sinaloa cartel is easily the most powerful in Mexico, responsible for an estimated 25% of all illegal drugs that enter the U.S. via Mexico. Drug enforcement experts estimate, conservatively, that the cartel’s annual revenues may exceed $3 billion."
Other fascinating El Chapo facts:
- He had a $7 million bounty on his head.
- He escaped prison in 2001 after being carted away in a laundry truck. He bribed officials as much as $2 million to get his release.
- Nobody knows his date of birth. Some say it was 1954, others say 1957.
- His son Edgar was killed in a shootout in 2008.
- His nickname means "Shorty," a surprisingly sweet diminutive.
- Just over a year ago, the Chicago Crime Commission named El Chapo "Public Enemy No. 1." He's the first person to hold that infamous honorific since Al Capone.