Notorious drug kingpin Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman Loera is currently a fugitive as Mexican authorities hunt for him after he broke out of Altiplano Federal Prison on Saturday. Authorities believe he escaped through a hole in his cell that led to a lighted and ventilated tunnel that was about a mile long.
This is Guzman’s second escape from a high-security prison, in 2001 he escaped in a laundry cart and was not apprehended until 2014 when he was arrested at a Mexican beach resort.
Guzman Loera is the kingpin of one of Mexico’s biggest cartels, the Sinaloa Cartel. Between 2003 and 2014, the United States Department of Treasury considered him to be one of the most powerful drug traffickers in the world, and in 2009 he was in the top fifty of the Forbes list as one of the most powerful people in the world. Supposedly, Guzman Loera was even more influential and his reach of drugs surpassed that of the legendary Pablo Escobar.
Guzman Loera’s cartel is notorious for smuggling cocaine from Colombia through Mexico to the United States. Additionally, it also produces, smuggles and distributed Mexican methamphetamine, marijuana, heroin and MDMA in North American and European markets. His first stint in prison was in 1993 when he was arrested in Guatemala, extradited to Mexico and sentenced to twenty years for murder and drug trafficking. After his escape in 2001, he was arrested in 2014 in Mazatlan, Sinaloa. He is still considered one of the most powerful and dangerous men in the world, so while authorities race to find him, it should be interesting to see if he is again successful in gaining his freedom.