Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Joaquín Guzmán Loera

Joaquín Archivaldo Guzmán Loera (born April 4, 1957), nicknamed El Chapo ("Shorty") for his 1.68 m (5 ft 6 in) stature, is a Mexican drug lord who heads Mexico's and the world's largest and most powerful drug trafficking organization, the Sinaloa Cartel, named after the Mexican Pacific coast state of Sinaloa where it was initially formed. He became Mexico's top drug kingpin in 2003 after the arrest of his rival Osiel Cárdenas of the Gulf Cartel, and is now considered, "The most powerful drug trafficker in the world," by the United States Department of the Treasury. Guzmán has been ranked by Forbes magazine as one of the most powerful people in the world every year since 2009; ranking 41st, 60th and 55th respectively. He was also listed by Forbes as the 10th richest man in Mexico (1,140th in the world) in 2011.

Guzman Loera's Sinaloa Cartel smuggles multi-ton cocaine shipments from Colombia through Mexico to the United States, and has distribution cells throughout the U.S. The organization has also been involved in the production, smuggling and distribution of Mexican methamphetamine, marijuana, and heroin.

In addition, Forbes considers Guzmán the "biggest druglord of all time" and the DEA strongly believes he has surpassed the influence and reach of Pablo Escobar, and now considers him "the godfather of the drug world." The U.S. offers a $5 million USD reward for information leading to his capture. The Government of Mexico offers a reward of $30 million pesos for such information.

Guzmán was born on April 4, 1957 to a poor family in the rancho of La Tuna near Badiraguato, where he sold oranges as a child. He had two sisters: Armida and Bernarda; and had 4 brothers: Miguel Ángel, Aureliano, Arturo and Emilio. Little is known about Guzmán's early years. His father was supposedly a cattle rancher, as were most in the area; it is believed, however, that he also grew opium poppy. Guzmán's father had connections to higher-ups in the Sinaloan capital of Culiacán through Pedro Avilés Pérez. Avilés was a key player in the Sinaloa drug business, seen as a pioneer for finding new methods of transporting the rural produce to urban areas for shipment by way of airplanes. He is reportedly the first to use airplanes to smuggle cocaine to the United States. By the time Guzmán was in his 20s, his connection to Avilés would be his window of opportunity to start in the drug business and make his fortune. In the late 1970s, Héctor "El Güero" Luis Palma Salazar gave Guzmán his first big break. El Güero placed him in charge of transporting drugs from the Sierra to the cities and border and overseeing shipments. He was ambitious and pressed his bosses to increase the quantities of drugs being moved north.

In the early 1980s, Guzmán was introduced to Miguel "El Padrino" Ángel Félix Gallardo. Gallardo put him in charge of logistics – effectively coordinating airplane flights, boat arrivals and trucks coming from Colombia into Mexico. El Güero still controlled deliveries to clients in the United States, but Guzmán would soon work directly for El Padrino himself. Although early on Guzmán lived in Guadalajara, as did Gallardo, his command and control center was actually located in Agua Prieta, Sonora. After Félix Gallardo's capture, Guzmán took control of the entire Sinaloa Cartel. Guzmán is wanted by the governments of Mexico and the United States and by INTERPOL; so far he has evaded operations to capture him.

From : www.wikipedia.org