el chapo


Univision spoke with hundreds of people to do this work on El Chapo Guzman. The following testimonies collected explore aspects of his personality and his life of crime.

The Economic Empire of El Chapo Guzman

Bruce Bagley

Expert from the University of Miami

“El Chapo is the principal cartel. El Chapo’s income could reach $10B a year. The expenses are outstanding. He has to protect himself, he must permit the secondary organizations to make money, for his deputies to make money. Then expenses get really extraordinary. But, at the very least, he makes around $1B, possibly more, a year.”

Chicago’s Public Enemy Number-One

John Riley

DEA agent in Chicago

“We face here in Chicago approximately 100,000 documented street gang members who not only cause havoc in terms of violence in the city. They are really El Chapo's unwitting subcontractors if you will. There are the ones that make their living putting El Chapo's dope on the street. They do all of the dirty work for El Chapo.”

The Rise of El Chapo Guzman


Witness protected by the U.S.

“Since he started in Mexico, he was what was called a weed-dealer. He was in the marijuana business. When he arrived here, he was brought by the marijuana business, and later he takes a leap when he meets the men who belong to the Medellin cartel, or someone who presents him there. That is when he truly begins in the cocaine business.”

The Most-Dangerous Drug Lord in the World

Ioan Grillo

British journalist, author of El Narco

"To speak about El Chapo Guzman is not to refer to drug traffickers of the eighties, we’re talking about the lords of war (…) It is a war for territory, and during this El Chapo Guzman, who represents the oldest and richest cartel in Mexico, becomes the most emblematic symbol of drug trafficking in Mexico."

El Chapo and Cardinal Posadas

Jose Antonio Ortega

Attorney for the Archdiocese of Guadalajara

“The one who gathers them together there [in the airport of Guadalajara] is Rodolfo Leon Aragon, director of the Policia Judicial Federal, in order to provoke a confrontation among them, so that in the middle of the face-off a third group of gunmen could enter and assassinate Cardinal Posadas Ocampo.”

The Death That Put El Chapo Guzman on the Map

Hector Moreno Valencia

Author of a book on the death of Cardinal Posadas

“It is after the death of Cardinal Posadas that authorities begin to tell us there are powerful kingpins. That there are large figures. And they tell us one of them is named Joaquin Guzman Loera, alias El Chapo Guzman. And that others are the Arellano Felix brothers. That did not exist before. We did not have that reference point.”

How El Chapo Guzman Was Captured

General Jorge Carrillo Olea

Former Mexican anti-drug czar

“He leaves to do something outside the hotel, and the military gets him, and with great speed they contact us, saying, 'He’s been arrested.'' We then asked them to take it easy, not to worry too much, and to be careful to protect physical and moral integrity.”

The Luxury of the Drug Traffickers of Culiacan

Alejandro Almazan

Mexican journalist, author of a novel about El Chapo

“A member of my family went to a dealership looking to buy a little car on credit, which would not exceed $15,000. The people were attending to him with a certain amount of annoyance, when suddenly there arrives someone with his bag of dollars. They left my relative sitting there, and within the hour the guy had walked out with a great truck.”

El Chapo Guzman in Spain

Alfredo Perdiguero

Anti-drug expert with Madrid police

“We have knowledge that El Chapo Guzman, or the Sinaloa cartel, has functioned in Spain since 2007–09. That is when we have the first arrests of people from the Sinaloa cartel, who come to Spain to practice as businessmen, looking for small enterprises, small companies, illegal signers, people of like mind.”

Why Does No One Capture El Chapo?

Anabel Hernandez

Mexican journalist, author of Los Señores del Narco

“During all this time, and further back, when he was part of the Amado Carrillo Fuentes clan, he had a ring of protection, of businessmen, of police, of military, and of governing leaders that have protected him during may years. He hasn’t been caught because in reality they don’t want to catch him.”