Wednesday, January 11, 2012

U.S. confirms: El Chapo Guzmán is world's biggest drug trafficker - and # 1 target

The U.S. confirmed yesterday -- as if it were needed -- that Sinaloa Cartel boss Joaquín "El Chapo" Guzmán ("Shorty") is the most powerful narcotics trafficker in the world. He and his business associates are prime targets of several federal law enforcement agencies, and he's on Interpol's most wanted list.

The U.S. Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), a division of the Treasury Dept., has frozen the property of three men it alleges are business associates of Guzmán. Two of them are Mexicans, said to be relatives of El Chapo, and the third is a Colombian drug boss. The press announcement did not indicate where the men are, or the nature or amount of the frozen assets. OFAC said in a released statement that Guzmán, who escaped from a Mexican prison in January 2001 and has been on the lam for over 11 years, is more powerful even than was Pablo Escobar, the infamous Colombian drug lord killed in 1993. The three men named yesterday were targets of the Narcotics Kingpin Act, which focuses on identifying associates and operatives of international drug traffickers.

In October 2011 the U.S. Dept. of Justice reported that Guzmán's Sinaloa Cartel totally dominates the U.S. drug trade. But the question on both sides of the border remains: just where is Shorty?

Last summer El Chapo's wife (one of them, anyway) showed up at a Los Angeles area hospital where she delivered twins. Although she was tailed all the way from Mexico by DEA agents, there was nothing they could do. The woman, who has dual Mexican-U.S. citizenship, headed south within a few days, babies in tow. Of course, the children are now U.S. citizens as well. That story is here:

In September 2011 Mexican president Felipe Calderón raised eyebrows when he told the New York Times during an interview that he believes that Guzmán is in the United States. In October, the Washington Post reported that Calderón is "desperate" to nail Guzmán before his term ends later this year.

For the last three years, Guzmán has made Forbes magazine's list of the World's Most Powerful People. He was # 55 out of 70 in 2011, with an estimated personal fortune of over $1 billion USD.. On December 23, a key aid and personal body guard to El Chapo was arrested in Sinaloa state (, the heart of the monolithic cartel's far flung drug trafficking operations, but there was no sign of the boss. Perhaps, as Calderón suggests, he was relaxing north of the border.

Carlos Slim, El Chapo Guzmán both make 2012 Forbes richest list again:

1 comment:

  1. El Chapo Guzman may be protected by both the USA and Mexican governments.