How he made his pile: Joaquin Guzman, Drugs Baron

Who is he? One of the world's most wanted men, the 52-year-old Mexican, aka 'El Chapo', has made it onto Forbes' rich list. As head of the Sinaloa drugs cartel, his ill-gotten gains have netted him about $1bn.

by
Last Updated: 09 Oct 2013

How did he make his millions? Presumably via the usual 'street pharmaceuticals' business model of ruling through fear and getting lots of people hooked on his merchandise. He learned from the master, Miguel Angel Felix Gallardo, known inevitably as 'The Godfather' and the world's most powerful cocaine smuggler even after his arrest in 1989. El Chapo ('Shorty') is better at avoiding jail: despite a $5m bounty on his head, he's still at large in Mexico. Basil Fawlty may have been an inspiration: Guzman escaped a maximum-security prison in 2001 by hiding in a laundry basket.

The secret of his success? Innovation and hard work. He is believed to have built an elaborate network of tunnels under the Mexican-US border, ensuring his drug-runners remain literally under the American authorities' radar.

Find this article useful?

Get more great articles like this in your inbox every lunchtime

A simple cure for impostor syndrome

Opinion: It's time to stop hero-worshipping and start figuring out what greatness looks like to...

I was hired to fix Uber’s toxic culture - and I did. Here’s ...

Harvard’s Frances Frei reveals how you know when your values have gone rotten, and what...

Social responsibility may no longer be a choice

Editorial: Having securitised businesses’ loans and paid their wage bills, it’s not inconceivable the government...

What went wrong at Wirecard

And how to stop it happening to you.

Leadership lessons from Jürgen Klopp

The Liverpool manager exemplifies ‘the long win’, based not on results but on clarity of...

How to get a grip on stress

Once a zebra escapes the lion's jaws, it goes back to grazing peacefully. There's a...