Thursday, Apr. 30, 2009

Joaquín Guzmán

Mexican druglord Joaquín Guzmán, 52, is the new Pablo Escobar, a kingpin testing the ability of a nascent democracy to control organized crime. In 2001, Guzmán, a.k.a. Chapo, or Shorty, escaped from a prison near Guadalajara in a laundry van and sparked a ghastly drug war responsible for the murders of almost 15,000 traffickers, cops, soldiers and civilians — violence that respects no border. Mexican President Felipe Calderón has sent his army after Guzmán, who heads the powerful Sinaloa drug cartel, but the man who tops Mexico's list of most-wanted criminals also made Forbes magazine's billionaires list this year. Scratching him off both rolls is now a U.S. as well as a Mexican priority.

Fast Fact: The U.S. is offering a $5 million reward for Guzmán's capture