World over, there have been many drug lords from men like Pablo Escobar to women like Griselda Blanco, but hardly was there any as infamous as El Chapo who has become some sort of a legend already. A former leader of the Sinaloa Cartel, El Chapo has been caught twice in the past for various drug-related crimes but he escaped prison twice only to be captured again and is now facing trial which could see him spend the rest of his life behind bars.
El Chapo Biography
A large part of the world know him as El Chapo, but his real name is actually Joaquín Archivaldo Guzmán Loera. The drug kingpin was born on 4 April 1957 in La Tuna, Badiraguato Municipality, Sinaloa, Mexico. Also referred to as The Last Godfather, Guzmán was raised in a very poor family. His mother was María Consuelo Loera Pérez and his father was Emilio Guzmán Bustillos, a cattle rancher.
He was brought up alongside two younger sisters and four younger brothers. He also had three elder brothers who were said to have died when he was still young of natural causes. As a child, he dropped out of school before he was thrown out of the house for trying to protect his younger siblings when his father was beating them.
After he was thrown out, he went on to live with his grandfather before he went to work for his uncle, Pedro Avilés Pérez who was known as one of the first drug lords in Mexico. This was the start of the journey for Guzmán who would later be described as one of the most prolific, violent, and powerful drug cartel leader ever.
His first work, however, was for Héctor “El Güero” Palma who was a drug lord, El Chapo transported drugs for him, supervising their shipment to areas near the US-Mexico border. Soon he would be known for his violent way of handling business which helped him to rise in the ranks.
In the 1980s, following an internal crisis in the cartel, Joaquín Archivaldo Guzmán Loera took advantage of the situation to take over some more drug operations. Controlling a large part of the market, he got involved in the cartel conflict from 1989 to 1993 which saw many deaths including that of Juan Jesús Posadas Ocampo who was the Cardinal and Archbishop of Guadalajara who got caught in the crossfire.
Following the conflict, he was captured in Guatemala in 1993 and extradited to Mexico where he was handed a 20-year sentence but he escaped in 2001. By that time, his drug empire was the biggest. The next time he would be caught again was in 2014 in Mexico but then he would escape for the second time in 2015. But this time around, he was captured again in 2016.
His Trial (Where is he now?)
Following his drug crimes which saw him having an empire of over $10 billion and becoming a drug lord even worse than Pablo Escobar to the notoriety of Al Capone, he has 10 charges against him in his country of Mexico and also federal charges in the United States in Arizona, California, Florida, Illinois, New York, and New Hampshire.
He is charged on the US soil for things like facilitating organized crime against health, money laundering, homicide, conspiracy to import and possess with intent to distribute cocaine, and possession of firearms. Following his third arrest, he was extradited to the United States on the condition that even if he is found guilty, he will not face the death penalty.
He was finally extradited to the United States on 9th of January 2017, and during his first court appearance, he pleaded not guilty to the charges brought against him. His trial was supposed to start on 5 September 2018 but was then postponed to 5 November 2018. It is expected that the trial will last four months.
With that said, El Chapo is now in the United States where he is facing trial.
El Chapo’s Wife, Son and other Children)
Guzmán has been married more than once in the past. The first woman he married was Alejandrina María Salazar Hernández in 1977. His next wife was Griselda Lopez Perez whom he married only 3 years after his first marriage. At the age of 57, he married beauty queen Emma Coronel Aispuro who at the time was only 18.
Estela Pena is another woman that he was said to have married. Although she rejected him, he abducted her before she allegedly became his wife. Then there was also Zulema Hernandez who although did not marry him, but got into a relationship with him before she was later killed by people suspected to be Guzmán’s rivals.
El Chapo had three children with his first wife including a son, Cesar who was later killed. The drug lord also had four children with his second wife. Most members of his family are also into the drug business. With Emma Coronel Aispuro, he has twin daughters, Maria Joaquina and Emali Guadalupe.
El Chapo is not the tallest man that you will get to meet. In fact, it was because of his height or lack of it that he was given the nickname, El Chapo which means “Shorty” in Spanish. He has a height of 168 cm (5 ft 6 in) and a body weight of 91 kg (201 lb).