The world’s most powerful drug lord may have breathed his last breath after a gun standoff with rival gangs reportedly cost him his life in Guatemala. According to Sky News, Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman is presumed dead after residents told authorities that one of two bodies resembled the infamous and filthy rich head of the Sinaloa Cartel. Here are some quick facts on El Chapo’s road to his probable death.
1. Guzman Was Reportedly Involved in a Gun Fight with Other Drug Gangs
The gun battle between El Chapo and other rival drug gangs took place at the Petan province of Guatemala. Residents say that they saw the battle take place and Guzman is probably among the bodies left after the shootout was over. Petan was the place where 27 ranch workers were killed in 2011 by Guzman’s rival gang, the Zetas.
2. Police Haven’t Confirmed His Death
Interior Minister Mauricio Lopez Bonilla told reporters that the police would start searching the area both on land and in the skies Friday. Officials are going on reports from locals, so it’s still unclear whether Guzman was actually in the fight. Government spokesman Francisco Cuevas told Guatevision Television that there were reports that two drug gangs were fighting in Peten. “We have to wait for all the technical information in order to determine if, in fact, one of the dead is of Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman,” Cuevas said.
Authorities have asked the Mexican government to send Guzman’s fingerprints to compare them with the man found dead inside a vehicle, who residents say resembled the 58-year-old drug lord.
3. He Was Labeled Public Enemy No. 1 in Chicago
Just last week, El Chapo was named Chicago’s Public Enemy No. 1. Chicago has been a key drug-distribution hub for the Sinaloa Cartel in the U.S. El Chapo earned the same title last used in the era of legendary mobster Al Capone. Read more here:
4. El Chapo Has Been on the Run Since 2001
Back in 1993, Guzman was captured in Guatemala and was transferred to Almoloya de Juarez, a jailhouse on the outskirts of Mexico. It wasn’t until 2001 that Guzman formulated an escape plan with a prison guard. The prison guard, Francisco “El Chito” Camberos Rivera, opened Guzman’s cell door; Guzman got into a laundry cart that Camberos rolled through several doors and eventually out the front door. Camberos then put Guzman in the trunk of his car and drove out of the town. Camberos stopped at a gas station, allowing Guzman to leave the car after Camberous went inside. Officials say that 78 people may have been a part of his escape plan.
5. He Was Even Bigger than Pablo Escobar
The DEA believed that El Chapo may have surpassed the infamous drug lord Pablo Escobar, due to his reputation and his influence on the drug world. Pablo Escobar was known for his influence in the cocaine trafficking business and his role in the Medellin Cartel.