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El Chapo Guzmán: Down, But Not Out

Still on Forbes list of the world’s richest this year is Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán, with a net worth estimated at $1 Billion.

Guzmán fell 13 spots to 1153 (tied for last with several others) from last year’s list, where he was ranked as 1140th richest in the world. In 2009, his first year on the list, Guzmán was ranked at 701; in 2010, 937.

Originally, Forbes listed Guzmán’s source of wealth as “shipping.” It now reads: “drug trafficking, self-made.”

El Chapo has been in the news recently for more than just his net worth.

In late February, Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano was asked about El Chapo Guzmán while in Mexico City to meet Alejandro Poiré. Specifically, why he’s still in the loose and what’s being done to capture him.

“It took us 10 years to trap Osama Bin Laden; we found him and you know what happened. I don’t think the same thing will happen with Guzman, the only thing I am suggesting is that we are persistent when we are close to evil that harms both countries, yours and ours,” said Napolitano.

Napolitano Responds to Question on El Chapo:  

Napolitano would later clarify that the United States was not planning a Navy Seals attack on Guzmán similar to the one executed on the bin Laden compound in Pakistan this past May.

Nevertheless, the damage was done. Mexicans were not happy to hear any mention of US troops on Mexican soil, much less a special operation like the one that killed the former Al-Qaida head.

You may think that El Chapo Guzmán was happy to read of anti-American sentiments, but the reality is that he’s been working with US agencies since at least 2000.

This, according to several recent reports, notably The Daily Beast’s “Tinker Tailor Soldier Kingpin.” In it, Aram Roston reveals new details of how El Chapo Guzmán used high-level Sinaloa Cartel operatives to build trusted relationships with top United States law enforcement agencies, and how these relationships have served to make him the richest and most powerful drug-trafficker in the world.

The Sinoloa Cartel “is duping U.S. agencies into fighting its enemies,” said Dr. Tony Payan, professor of Political Science at the University of Texas at El Paso, when speaking with The Daily Beast. “Typical counterintelligence stuff. It’s smart. It’s so smart.”

Stay tuned for more on Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán Loera

The Daily Beast Report on El Chapo Duping the DEA: