Joaquin Guzman, “El Chapo,” head of Mexico’s Sinaloa cartel, has been recognized by Forbes as one of this years new billionaires.
El Chapo (Shorty) narrowly escaped an assassination attempt by a rival cartel in 1993. A few weeks later he was nabbed by officials in Guatemala and extradited to Mexico where he began a twenty year sentence for bribery and criminal association. In January of 2001, shortly before he was to be extradited to the US, he (bit of irony here) bribed prison guards and escaped via the prison laundry.
Crime has certainly paid for Shorty but I doubt he’s rubbing elbows with his fellow billionaires on some swank golf course. He’s got a $5 million DEA bounty on his head and has made Interpol’s short list. Forbes, last year, put him second behind Osama bin Laden on their top ten most wanted fugitives list. He’s reported to have undergone plastic surgery (sadly, not the deadly sort previous Mexican drug lords have suffered) to alter his appearance, changes cell phones on a daily basis and travels in a subterranean fashion via tunnels whenever possible.