For a man who is everywhere and nowhere and on the Most Wanted list in at least two countries, today must be overwhelming.
Joaquin Guzman Loera, who passes himself off as a wealthy farmer, is surely grinning from ear to ear, trembling, and weeping tears of nervous, unbelieving joy. After being on the run for more than eight years, he has been found; right onForbes Magazine 2009 Wealthiest People in the World list, No. 701.
Mexico’s most wanted man, Joaquín Guzmán Loera, is one of 38 new billionaires. -Forbes Magazine
In January of 2001, with all the drama of a Mexican telenovela, the infamous Sinaloa cartel leader, Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán-Loera, escaped from Puente Grande, a Mexican maximum security prison in the state of Jalisco, where he was serving a twenty-year sentence and awaiting extradition to the U.S. for criminal association and bribery. It has been reported 78 people were involved in plotting his escape, using a prison laundry cart. He is currently on America’s and Mexico’s Most Wanted List, but as of yet authorities on both sides of the border have been unable to track him down. The U.S. government has offered a $5 million dollar reward for his capture. Forbes puts his net worth at approximately $1 billion dollars.
Recently, violence has ravaged Ciudad Juarez in drug wars taking place for strategic routes into the United States; Joaquin Guzman Loera is allegedly behind many of the killings that have taken place. The Sinaloa cartel has long been known to use deadly force against rivals who threaten their business of “shipping”, which is what Forbes lists Loera’s occupation as.
It’s a damn proud moment. As I type, I’m sure somewhere, in an unknown land, far, far away Guzman Loera is clearing a space on his mantle for his new Forbes crown; I’d almost bet it’ll be placed between his World’s Most Wanted Drug Trafficker and Most Powerful Cartel Kingpin trophies.
If I listen really hard, I can almost hear Shorty, from that same far, far away land, preparing his acceptance speech:
I’d like to thank my great state of Sinaloa, God, and my millions of fans and addicts across the United States of America; without you, I wouldn’t be here on Forbes today. I love you all, God Bless, and Keep Coking!