On Tuesday, the United States Treasury Department labeled the infamous Mexican drug trafficker Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman the “world’s most powerful drug trafficker.”
Guzman is an infamous drug kingpin and also the world's most wanted man. He inherited the title after the U.S. killed Osama bin Laden this past May in a Pakistan raid.
Both Mexican and U.S. authorities have been on the hunt for Guzman after the fugitive escaped from a maximum-security prison in 2001 in a laundry truck.
Mexico’s Defense Secretary has said that Guzman is wanted by the Mexican state for “clandestine burials, kidnappings, extortion and the burning of businesses and houses.”
The U.S. has a $7 million bounty on Guzman’s head.
Guzman, who is reported to be 53, has been estimated to harbor a fortune of $1 billion, according to Forbes magazine. If the estimates are correct, Guzman is one of the richest people in the world.
Guzman has been instrumental in waging the Mexican drug war that has been raging since 2006 and has claimed the lives of more than 40,000 people.
His role in the drug war has led Mexican actress Kate Del Castillo to say that she had more faith in the drug kingpin than the Mexican government.
Although the U.S. has been using some of its most sophisticated spying technology, including drones, Guzman has yet to be located. He is believed to reside in Mexico's isolated mountain regions in Sinaloa, Durango and Chihuahua states.
This past December, Mexican officials captured and arrested Guzman’s top security chief, Felipe Cabrera Sarabia.
Sarabia was captured in the city of Culiacan in the northern state of Sinaloa. Computer files and data were seized upon Sarabia’s capture. Officials said that Guzman’s security leader was captured without a shot fired.
Mexican officials did not give details about how the capture of Sarabia could lead to Guzman.
The Sinaloa drug cartel is Mexico’s oldest drug cartel and serves as one of the country’s most dangerous and powerful drug cartels. Sinaloa operates in the United States, Europe, and Asia.