Joaquin Guzman has been named the “Godfather of the Drug World” by Forbes Magazine and has been consistently listed from 2009-2011 to be among the most powerful people in the world. Carrying out his business of running his cartel Sinaloa in Mexico, Guzman is considered to be the 10th richest man in Mexico and has a net worth of about $1 billion which he has earned through big time drug peddling and defeating his rival Osiel Cardenas.
His main customer base for the illegal substances he produces is the United States, although his reach goes as far as Europe as well. In fact when he was arrested in 2014, he was known to have imported more drugs into the United States than anybody had ever done before. Having surpassed criminals such as Al Capone and Pablo Escobar, it is no surprise that Joaquin Guzman now holds the title of being one of the most powerful drug lords in the world.
The Chicago Crime Commission also named him as “Public Enemy Number One” for having influenced the crime scene in Chicago to the extent that it has reached today. Here are some other intriguing facts about Guzman that might not have come to your attention yet.
20 El Chapo Was Included In the Forbes List of Wealthiest People
Yes, it’s true, in 2009 Forbes magazine listed Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman as number 701 of the richest people in the world. This was not taken well around the world, especially in Mexico. When the Mexican government learned of this, they were furious with the publication for acknowledging a drug dealer in a list like this. Felipe Calderon, the president of Mexico at the time, accused the publication of lying and attacking the very serious situation in Mexico. He, along with the Attorney General, Eduardo Mora, shamed Forbes for trying to glorify the drug trade and gangs that have terrorized and killed so many innocent people.
19 He Did Not Resist His Most Recent Arrest
El Chapo was most recently arrested in a peaceful way that is relatively unheard of for people in his position with so much power and so many men backing him up. However, when the officials and police tracked him down, they found him in a small apartment making breakfast for his wife and two, two-year-old baby girls. He reportedly had a weapon on him at the time, but he did not even reach for it and went away with the officials quietly and without a fight, leaving his daughters in the care of his young wife. It is rumored that either he knew it was coming, and it was a planned set up or he just did not want to make a scene in front of his babies.
18 Guzman Married a Beauty Queen
Guzman married the gorgeous Emma Coronel immediately after she turned eighteen; he is older than her by a good thirty years. Her father had been an accomplice to Guzman for several years, being the director of operations for the Guzman Sinaloa Cartel along the Arizona border of the United States. The couple met when she was seventeen at a party that was organized by her father. She won a Beauty Queen prize at a festival in Sonora a few months later. They married within a year of having met and the couple now shares two little children.
17 He Lived Modestly
Although there have been some exceptions throughout his life, El Chapo has been known to lay low and be very underground with his actions. He even determined that his safe houses weren’t even safe and moved his family into a middle-class 4th-floor apartment in the middle of the city. Apparently this wasn’t safe either because he was eventually discovered there and taken to jail the most recent time. His number 2 guy and right-hand man were quoted saying that El Chapo’s style is not garish and elaborate, it is not normal when he attracts attention to himself.
16 He’s Momma’s Boy
El Chapo is known for being very close with his mother, Consuelo Loera. She has been interviewed and has expressed how he was very motivated as a child and determined to make money. He would make fake paper money, count it and wrap it up. She also stated that she thinks he is a scapegoat for anything that goes wrong on either side of the law. If something happens against the law, it’s his fault; if someone in the drug trade gets caught it’s also his fault. Although she sticks up for him in some ways, she has also asked her son to seek God and right his wrongs in the eyes of the Lord. You can tell she loves him very much, but is still a worried mom.
15 Marrying Beauty Queens Is a Thing
A tradition was apparently started back in 1800 for drug lords and cartel leaders to marry beauty queens. Although El Chapo didn’t initially marry one (none of his first three wives were beauty queens that we know of), his last wife was strategically so. Some even say that she is not legitimately a beauty queen because she had met him and started dating him before she even ran for the title. This fact, as well as him swooping in to throw a ridiculously huge party with a large amount of gunmen, gives people the idea that it was rigged.
14 He Has Been Married 4 Times
The famous gang leader is known for loving his time with the ladies. Not only is he rumored to enjoy plenty of prostitutes, but he has also been married four times (so far). Most people know about his most recent marriage to the young and very beautiful daughter of a fellow cartel leader. He married Emma Coronel in 2007 when she was only 17 years old. He is also known to have kept in close contact with his first wife and possibly another wife throughout everything, even up until his most recent arrest in 2014. However, these connections got him in trouble via wiretaps later on.
13 El Chapo Is a Twitter Gangster
The Mexican drug lord has been known to frequent social media sites such as Twitter to taunt and threaten people. Right after he escaped prison he took no caution with jumping back into the social media world and has been using his Twitter quite frequently lately. The drug lord now has quite a large following of over 566,000 people and has tweeted over 662 times since he joined in June. Lately, he has even been getting involved in the US political issues by insulting and threatening Donald Trump via Twitter. Trump has even tweeted him back - so weird.
12 El Chapo Has Anchor Babies
El Chapo ordered his wife to go to California to give birth to his children so that they could secure their citizenship. His wife, Emma Coronel, is a citizen of the U.S. and also an anchor baby from another drug lord in Mexico. Federal Agents were aware of this scheme to make sure the kingpin drug lord had a foothold in the U.S. and yet they were unable to stop it. Apparently they tried to stop Coronel from entering the U.S. and staying to have her babies but they were unsuccessful since they did not have formal charges to file. She had the twin daughters and left their last names blank. That made it even harder for the authorities to track them.
11 Nobody Really Knows His Birthday
Part of what comes with being an outlaw almost his entire life is that he mainly kept his life and happenings off the records. Much of his life is untracked since he spent at least 13 years of his existence as a very wanted man. So now officials cannot agree on his birth date, and this is not just a matter of a few days or even a few months' confusion, these dates are different by over two years. The authorities mainly say that his birthday is April 4, 1957, while many official documents and statements attest to him being born on December 25, 1954. We may never know!
10 There Are Ballads Dedicated To Him
Many folk songs and ballads have been inspired by legends of all kinds, and El Chapo is not excluded. In the tradition of singing Narcocorrido, which are a form of folk ballads that originated in Northern Mexico, there are numerous songs that have been written based on the inspiration of Guzman and his exploits. While Corridos were traditionally meant to relay the stories of revolutionary heroes, the Narcotic-version of these Corridos is dedicated to Guzman and others like him. Gerardo Ortiz, who is considered to be the kind of Corridos, also made one about him. Most of these glorify Guzman’s life rather than condemn him.
9 Guzman Built His Own Plantation At 15
Although not very much is definitely confirmed about Guzman’s upbringing, it is reported that his father wasn’t the greatest person to grow up around. He was an alcoholic, was abusive towards his family and was deeply involved in the drug trade. Initially, he had tried to work with his father and some relatives in harvesting opium poppy, which his father would then sell. However, when Guzman realized that his father mismanaged the business and gave very little of the money to his family, he started a marijuana plantation himself. He was only fifteen and used the help of some of his cousins.
8 He Had an Ex-Policeman Lover in Jail
While He was in jail between 1993 and 2001, Guzman was allowed time with a fellow inmate named Zulema Hernandez. Hernandez was a former police officer who had gotten caught participating and aiding the drug trade and was imprisoned for it. She later described her relationship with El Chapo to a Mexican writer in an oddly romantic way. She felt they identified with each other because of similar backgrounds and rough pasts, and he didn’t always just want to have sex, he would just want to lay with her for comfort. She was later murdered brutally by a rival cartel when she was released from prison.
7 Guzman’s Prison Cell Was More like a Luxurious Hotel
It has been reported that during the time that Guzman spent in a Mexican jail, when he was sentenced to prison in 1993, he had used his powers of bribing authorities and of course his God-given knack for intimidation to convert his cell into a luxurious room which resembled more of a 5-star hotel suite than a prison cell - what a good deal! He was even allowed to have prostitutes and female visitors to his cell along with access to cocaine and other drugs. It has been termed to be more like a “party” than serving jail time.
6 Guzman is Considered a Folk Hero
Despite the international notoriety that Guzman has gained being on the most wanted list for several countries and organizations, in his country and especially in Sinaloa (where he runs his business from), his reputation differs greatly. It is mostly the impoverished residents of this area who consider him to be a “folk hero” of sorts, their main source of income has been through the trade of drug trafficking which flourishes under his reign. Not only that but he allegedly invests money into the development of the area and keeps the residents safe from the violence of other drug gangs.
5 Strange Public Appearances
Guzman was known for his strange public appearances and behavior, most of these actions are believed to have been orchestrated and planned in a way such that would establish his power and authority. One of these incidents includes an evening in 2005 when Guzman surrounded by his security members swept into a busy restaurant to the frightened surprise of everyone present. He ordered for all the doors to be shut and did not allow anybody to enter or leave the restaurant; he even asked people to shut down their cell phones and leave them aside while he proceeded to enjoy a quiet meal. Eventually, he paid for everybody’s meal at the restaurant before leaving.
4 40 Gunmen Shot His Son
Guzman at one point might have appeared to very nearly been invincible, but this doesn’t mean that his rivals didn’t target others to get at him. Of course, his family was involved in his drug business as well. This included his twenty-two-year-old son, Edgar. Edgar, who used to work for his father in the “waste management” front that Guzman operated was outside a shopping complex in Sinaloa when he was tracked and shot down by forty gunmen from a rival gang. Guzman is believed to have raised the level of violence in his own dealings as an open retaliation in memory of his son.
3 A Cardinal Was Mistaken To Be Guzman
In a sad turn of events, Cardinal Posadas, who served as a Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church, was mistaken to be Guzman. He was traveling at the time and was seen at the Guadalajara International Airport in May 1993. The Cardinal was supposedly caught between the gunfire of two opposing drug cartels. It is believed that the shots (which were a total of fourteen) were fired at him while he was inside his car because he was mistaken to be Guzman by an opposing drug gang. This was not only an embarrassing mistake on both sides but a tragic one as well.
2 Some Seriously Creative Smuggling Methods
Perhaps one of the main reasons why Guzman has been so successful in his drug trafficking business has to do with the creativity that he put into smuggling the drugs. For starters, he had gotten an air conditioned tunnel built underground that connected his base in Mexico right beyond the American border. This allowed his gang to quickly and quietly smuggle drugs out of Mexico. Another method he used was to hide cocaine inside fire extinguishers. This was then labeled as Chili Powder as a double security measure to ensure that they would not get probed by officials at the border.
1 Escaped From Prison Twice
Guzman was first arrested in 1993 in Guatemala on charges of drug trafficking and murder. Although he was sentenced to twenty years in prison in Mexico, he managed to escape in eight years by bribing the guards, even though it was a maximum security prison. Post escaping, he was on the most wanted list of the INTERPOL, United States, and Mexican government and they were advertising large sums of money as a reward for any information about him. Eventually, he was arrested again in 2014 in his apartment in Sinaloa (Mexico). He was arrested without any resistance from his end, but he managed to escape again within a year (2015) and is currently at large.