As pretty much everybody knows by now, Mexican drug lord, El Chapo (Joaquín Guzmán Loera), has once again broken out of a maximum security prison in his native Mexico.
According to reports, the prison break was the result of quite an elaborate plan which involved a tunnel, reported to be over a mile long, loads of bribes, and over 100 lorries of dirt.
The BBC reports that a house, over a mile from the prison, was used as a base camp for those building the tunnel and the tunnel itself lead directly to the shower room inside the prison. What’s more is that the ridiculously long tunnel is also apparently big enough for the drug lord to stand upright in and walk comfortably.
You might be thinking this all sounds quite far fetched but, the thing is, this isn’t even the first time he has made a jail break, he first broke out of a maximum security prison in a laundry truck, back in 2001, after a good few bribes to police officials.
So, once again, the Mexican government has been shown to be unable to stop the ‘modern day Al Capone’ and his empire will no doubt continue to grow, sounds like the perfect plot to a Scarface-esque film, right?
According to El Chapo’s Wikipedia page, and other sources, his net worth is estimated to be over $1billion (roughly £640million) and the Mexican government is offering $3.8million (around £2.4million) as a reward for his capture.
So who is El Chapo?
El Chapo or Shorty (real name Joaquín Guzmán Loera) is a Mexican drug lord who was either born on Christmas day 1954 or 4th April 1957 and came from a poor family in the rural community of La Tuna, Badiraguato, Sinaloa, Mexico.
He apparently was one of 9 children although three of his older brothers are rumoured to have died while he was very young. His father was either a cattle rancher or a gomero, a Sinaloan word for opium poppy farmer.
Few details are known about his upbringing although it is reported that he sold oranges as a child and left school in third grade to work with his father.
He was reportedly beaten as a child and often fled to his maternal grandmothers house to escape the harsh treatment and, when he was home, he tried to protect his younger sisters from receiving the same treatment he did as a child, which lead to incurring ‘his fathers wrath’. His mother being his emotional support.
With a limited number of jobs in the community and his school being over 50 miles away, El Chapo started to dabble in the cultivation of opium poppy, a common practice among local residents.
His father sold the resulting harvests to suppliers in Culiacán and Guamúchile and apparently sold marijuana at commercial centers near the area while accompanied by Guzmán, the money made often going on liquor and hookers.
At the age of just 15 Guzmán joined forces with four distant cousins, who lived locally, and started his own marijuana cultivation to support his family financially.
During his teen years his father kicked him out of the family home which forced him to live with his grandfather and soon after he received the nick name El Chapo (Shorty), then, in his 20’s, he left his hometown with his uncle Pedro (a pioneer of drug trafficking) and got involved with organised crime.
Once involved with organised crime, El Chapo became a pretty quick learner and rose through the ranks of drug lord Héctor “El Güero” Palma’s outfit by transporting their drugs and reportedly putting the bullet in the head of a smuggler whose had a late shipment.
Through his ruthlessness El Chapo was introduced to Félix Gallardo (The Godfather) of the Guadalajara Cartel and was quickly made his chauffeur in the 80s. Shortly after he was put in control of logistics and then began working for Félix Gallardo directly.
Once involved with the cartel, bloodshed, feuds with rival cartels and DEA attention obviously followed and he proceeded through the ranks to usurping his bosses and running his own operation.
That leads us to recent events where he was arrested, escaped, rearrested and then re-escaping. With him still at large there is plenty of time to fill in the ending of the story but, so far, it would make one hell of a film, definitely one I would watch anyway!
(This post was originally written before the release of Netflix’s web series)