Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman

Joaquin Archivaldo Guzman Loera is a drug lord of Mexico who was the head of the Sinaloa Cartel. This is a criminal organization that has been named after the Pacific coast state of Sinaloa in Mexico which is the place of the formation of the group. He is also known as the “El Chapo Guzman” as he has a height of 5 feet 6 inch (168 cm). He went on to become the top drug mafia of Mexico in 2003. This happened after his rival named Osiel Cardenas was arrested in Gulf Cartel. The United States Department of the Treasury has declared him to be the strongest and the most influential trafficker of the drug in the world.

Forbes magazine has ranked Guzman from the duration of 2009 and 2011 as the most powerful person in the world. He has ranked as 41st, 60th and also as 55th rank in the world each consecutive year. He is considered to be the 2nd most powerful man in Mexico. This rank has been given to him after Carlos Slim. In addition to this, he has also been referred to as the tenth richest man in Mexico. He had a net worth of around $1 billion US dollars. The Forbes magazine has referred him as the “biggest drug leader of all the time”. Joaquin Guzman has also been regarded as one of the most ruthless, feared and dangerous man in the world by the United States Federal Government. Even DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration) of the United States has estimated that Guzman has reached the position and influence of Pablo Escobar. He even considers himself as the godfather of the entire world of the drug. It was in 2013 that the Chicago Crime Commission has termed Guzman as the top enemy of the public for his influential crime network in Chicago. However, there is no proper evidence of Guzman ever being present in the city of Chicago. Al Capone had received this honor last time in 1930.

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The Sinaloa Cartel of Guzman is used to transport several tons of cocaine from Colombia to the United States through Mexico. The United States is the largest consumer of cocaine in the world. His organization has also been involved in the manufacturing, smuggling, and the distribution of marijuana, methamphetamine, heroin and MDMA (ecstasy) of Mexico across both Europe and North America. By the time he was arrested in 2014, Guzman had done the exports of a greater amount of drugs to the US than any other person in the world. The measure of the exports by Guzman to the United States alone is considered to be more than 450,000 kg (500 tons).

Guzman was arrested for the first time in Guatemala in 1993. He was then sentenced to around twenty years of prison in Mexico for drug trafficking and murder. After he had bribed the guards of prison, he had escaped from the federal maximum-security prison in 2001. He was the most desired person by the governments of the countries like Mexico, by INTERPOL and the United States. The United States had offered around $5 million US dollars reward for any information that would lead to his arrest. In addition to this, the Mexican Government too had declared a reward of around $3.8 million US dollars. Guzman was arrested for the second time by the authorities of Mexico on 22nd February 2014. He was discovered inside a 4th-floor condominium in Sinaloa. However, Guzman had escaped from prison again on 11th July in 2015. He made his escape through a 1.5 km tunnel that opened into a construction site. However, he was again captured by the marines of Mexico and by the Federal Police that involved a shootout on 8th January 2016.

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On 19th January 2017, Guzman had been extradited with the help of an aircraft to the US for facing criminal charges. These charges were related to his leadership of the cartel in Sinaloa.

Initial Stages of Organized Crime

It was at the time of the 1980s that the leading name in the crime syndicate was Guadalajara Cartel in Mexico. This was headed by Rafael Caro Quintero, Miguel Angel Felix Gallardo, Juan Jose Esparragoza Moreno, Ernesto Fonseca Carrillo and several others. It was in the 1970s, Guzman had first worked for the drug lord named Hector “EI Guero” Palma by the transportation of the drugs and then guiding the shipments from the region of Sierra Madre to the urban areas near the border of United States-Mexico by aircraft. Since the initial steps of the Guzman had involved organized crime, Guzman was quite ambitious and had regularly pressed on his seniors for allowing him to increase the share of the narcotics that were used to smuggle across the border. The drug leaders had also favored a serious and violent approach while doing business. If any of the drug shipments were not delivered on time, Guzman simply killed the smuggler by shooting the smuggler in the head. Those who were around Guzman realized that if they were cheated him or went with the other competitors, it was considered to be quite inconvenient even when they were offered better prices. Those who were the leaders of Guadalajara Cartel liked the business acumen of Guzman. It was in the early 1980s, that they had introduced him to Felix Gallardo –one of the greatest drug leaders in Mexico. Guzman first worked as a chauffeur for Gallardo before he was put a charge of the logistics. In this department, the responsibility of Guzman was to coordinate the drug shipments to Mexico from Colombia through means of air, land, and even sea. On the other hand, Palma ensured that the deliveries arrived at the consumers in the US. Guzman soon earned the respect and then began to work for Gallardo directly.

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Would you like to read more about this topic? This book might interest you: Greatest Criminals in the History.