Joaquin Guzman, also known as El Chapo, was captured Saturday after escaping prison in Mexico back in 2001. Joaquin Guzman, who had been in hiding for 13 years, somehow was still reportedly listed as one of the most powerful billionaires in Forbes ranking him above presidents of France and Venezuela. He allegedly shipped over eight tons of cocaine a year into America, 1,500 kilo of cocaine into Chicago, Illinois a month, and expanded his empire into Europe, Africa, and Australia while “in hiding.” Much of the public is wondering how Guzman accomplished building such a mastermind empire for 13 years without anyone tipping off the government as to his whereabouts. Authorities did not want to report the capture until his identity was confirmed. Many might say Joaquin Guzman became a true to life Keyser Soze, the infamous legendary character who could not be captured in the hit film The Usual Suspects. Many believe it is only a matter of time before those on Joaquin Guzman’s payroll will help the legend to escape yet again.
Joaquin Guzman, reported to be in his 50s (birthdate unknown), was born as well as captured in Sinaloa, Mexico. According to CNN, Joaquin was mentored at a young age by a drug lord name Miguel Angel Felix Gallardo. He grew up in a time period when the drug cartel was on the rise. Gallardo allegedly gave Joaquin Guzman parts of his territory to teach him the drug game. By 1980, Joaquin Guzman reportedly was running his own cartel pushing marijuana, Thai opium, and Colombian cocaine as his products.
With a mind like Rockefeller combined with the ruthlessness of Tony Montana, Joaquin Guzman’s enterprise brought him into power when he took over the Tijuana territory from his rivals the Arellano brothers by allegedly creating a drug smuggling tunnel leading directly into San Diego, California.
He reportedly was detained in 1993 after Guadalajara cardinal Juan Jesus Posadas Ocampo was tragically gunned down in an airport. Many of the people of Mexico became fed up with the machine gun attacks and massive blood shed between the warring rivals over territory, they demanded the government act immediately. After his escape from prison in 2001 in an alleged laundry truck, according to the Los Angeles Times, Joaquin Guzman became a legendary myth.
The United States government set up a $5 million reward to anyone to locate the legend. The Mexican government offered $2.3 million for his whereabouts. Tales of the billionaire taking the cell phones from every patron in fine restaurants he dined in and then returning the cell phones along with paying for everyone’s dinner became legendary. Many believe, much like Keyser Soze, he relied on fear and loyalty of those he encountered and those who worked for him.
Much of the public questions why anyone would protect a man who allegedly made millions from trafficking drugs into countries to poison neighborhoods. According to ABC 7 Chicago, Guzman was named “Public Enemy Number One” by the Chicago Crime Commission for a two-count indictment of cocaine and heroin smuggling and possibly the force behind the alarming rise in massive murders that have taken place in the city of Chicago over the past several years.
The only other person to ever receive such an infamous title by the city of Chicago was Al Capone. The report goes on to state the city of New York has charged him with drug trafficking, kidnapping, and murder. His list of charges in the United States continues. An inside tip leading to a luxury condo in Mazatlan was what the United States and Mexican government had been hoping for. His reign over his own country and possibly receiving assistance from political figures and law enforcement, Mexico reportedly wants to extradite Guzman to the United States to avoid another escape. Many are hoping to bring an end to the Keyser Soze myth.
Joaquin Guzman’s biography has been written, but the man’s story is far from over. So much grief looming over countries, families, and neighborhoods devastated by this alleged infamous figure. Though his life mirrors the masterminds from such films as Scarface and the Godfather, Joaquin Guzman is possibly a real life tragedy. It baffles many how the brilliance of a man with the talent to be as powerful and respected as a Vanderbilt who became the king of the railroads, or a Rockefeller who took over the oil refinery industry, or a Carnegie who cornered the steel market would choose to build an empire created to kill and destroy. It took 13 years to capture what was becoming a legendary myth. As the fictitious character Keyser Soze said, “The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was to convince the world he didn’t exist.” Joaquin Guzman allegedly wreaked havoc, reigned terror onto the world, and almost had many… convinced he was just a myth. Almost…
Editorial by Meleika Gardner