Joaquin Guzmán, also known as El Chapo or “Shorty,” was the leader of the Sinaloa drug cartel, one of the most prominent criminal organizations in Mexico in the late 20th century. His full name is Joaqun Archivaldo Guzmán Loera. Guzmán was grown up in the rural, impoverished Badiraguato municipality of Sinaloa state in northwest Mexico, which was also the birthplace of other infamous drug lords.
How El Chapo Became a Drug Kingpin?
As a member of Miguel ngel Félix Gallardo’s Guadalajara drug cartel in the 1980s, he started his criminal career. Guzmán advanced quickly at the company’s levels. He rose to prominence in the Sinaloa cartel after it split in the late 1980s. He led the Sinaloa cartel in the development of innovative smuggling methods and schemes, such as the construction of air-conditioned tunnels beneath the Mexico-U.S. border, the concealment of drugs in chili pepper cans and fire extinguishers, and the catapulting of drugs across the border. Cannabis, heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine, and other illicit narcotics were produced and trafficked by his group.
Early in the twenty-first century, Guzmán was said to be in charge of the majority of the marijuana and cocaine trafficking from Mexico and Colombia to the United States as well as the main methamphetamine smuggler in the Asia-Mexico-U.S. triangle (in which methamphetamine was produced in Mexico with Asian-made chemicals and then smuggled to the United States.
Is El Chapo Still Alive?
The United States Penitentiary Maximum Facility, ADX Florence, is where Guzman is currently incarcerated and serving his sentence. El Chapo, who earned the moniker “the Alcatraz of the Rockies,” was confined to a high-security prison to put an end to his plans for an escape after he successfully carried off two risky breakouts in Mexico in 2001 and 2014. A prisoner has never escaped from ADX Florence, claims USA Today.
Razor-wire barriers, gun towers, heavily armed patrols, attack dogs, and snipers on guard in gun towers surround the isolated prison. He entered the prison on June 19, two days after being given a life sentence, and joined notorious characters from organized crime including Kaboni Savage and Luis Felipe.
El Chapo spends 23 hours a day in isolation in a 7 by 12-foot concrete cell with double doors. He is allowed one hour outside each day to catch some fresh air. Although “he still retains mental clarity,” his attorney Mariel Colon had earlier stated that the severe conditions at the supermax jail had negatively impacted his physical health.
After 23 hours a day of confinement in 2011, 11 detainees filed a federal class-action lawsuit against ADX Florence, alleging chronic abuse and a failure to diagnose mental health concerns. According to a report by Amnesty International, inmates can spend days “with only a few words addressed to them” and spend years in solitary confinement.
Human connection is essentially nonexistent, and meals are consumed alone in one’s cell, just steps away from the bathroom.
How Many Times El Chapo Escaped Prison?
El Chapo made his first daring get out in 2001 when he used bribery to get out of Puente Grande, a high-security jail in the Mexican state of Jalisco, by hiding in a laundry cart. After being jailed in 1993 for murder and drug trafficking, he was facing a 20-year sentence and worried he would be transferred to the United States.
On January 19, 2001, Guzman’s electronically locked cell was opened, and prison guards led him through unguarded halls while pulling a cart of filthy laundry until they arrived at the car park, where he leaped into the trunk of a Chevrolet Monte Carlo. El Chapo was apprehended by the Mexican Navy on February 22, 2014, after successfully eluding law enforcement and the $7.5 million joint US-Mexican bounty. He had been hiding in tunnels for days.
Guzman increased his antics and staged a second breakout from the Altiplano prison in Almoloya de Juarez on July 11, 2015, following his subsequent re-incarceration. With a motorbike on rails to facilitate his quick escape, he escaped through a hole under the shower in his cell and continued down a mile-long, ventilated, and lit tunnel to a construction site.
El Chapo wore a GPS watch that his contacts smuggled into him and used to track his whereabouts for the gang. He claims that his wife Coronel and other cartel members planned their escape.
El Chapo’s Net Worth
In 2009, Forbes magazine estimated his net wealth to be $1 billion, and according to other estimates, his cartel generates $3 billion in annual earnings. Guzmán’s notoriety in Mexico reached the status of folklore; numerous well-known narcocorridos (also known as “drug songs”) set his life story to music and praised him as a hero of the people.
He is one of the wealthiest people in Mexico and is rumored to own a private zoo, private aircraft, and opulent seaside homes. The cartel is currently run by El Chapo’s kids, known as “Los Chapitos” or “the little Chapos,” after it was discovered that the previous boss Ismael Zambaba was “ill with diabetes.”
Emma, his wife, is thought to be worth $4 billion.
El Chapo’s Son -A Prominent Leader of Cartel Arrested?
The arrest of Ovidio Guzman, the incarcerated drug lord’s son, has provoked a rash of violence in the city of Culiacan in northwest Mexico, which is being directed by members of his Sinaloa drug cartel. A day after Ovidio Guzmán, the suspected drug cartel leader, was apprehended in a bloody operation in northern Mexico that claimed the lives of 29 people—including 10 troops and 19 criminal suspects—a federal judge in Mexico City stopped his extradition to the United States.