Most Dreaded Drug Lords In The World – It takes a certain kind of personality to be a true drug lord. Surely, it’s all about the money and the rivers of cash that flow into the pockets of major drug kingpins every single day. Yet, it’s also about having a certain kind of outsized personality, one that combines a hyper-entrepreneurial spirit with a dictatorial edge.
It’s about power, money, control, and living outside the edges of straight society. A drug lord has to be able to manage hundreds of henchmen and minions, control inventory everyone wants to steal, and a cash flow that has no paper trail, along with fighting off rival entrepreneurs that may emerge from any angle, to the death if necessary. In other words, it’s not so easy to be a drug lord.
Naturally, the kind of people who are attracted to this kind of lifestyle have to begin with at least one or two screws loose. The rewards are great, but the risks are pretty drastic, and longevity in the business isn’t a real option for most. To those who gravitate to the impossible challenge, it’s an adrenaline-fueled power trip for as long as they can make it last.
Since they’re in it for a good time and not necessarily for a long time, extravagance is the norm and not the exception. From luxury cars and properties to crocodiles in the swimming pool, no whim is too over the top or exorbitant as an indulgence. Check out our list of the 12 of the world’s most outrageous drug lords, and take a peek behind the curtain of their extravagant lives.
12. Joaquín Archivaldo Guzmán Loera, Known As El Chapo
Joaquín Archivaldo Guzmán Loera has become renowned the world over as El Chapo (or “Shorty Guzmán”), head of the Mexican Sinaloa Cartel. He is considered the king of the drug kingpins, having exported more drugs into the U.S. than anyone else.
First jailed in 1993 in Guatemala, he was serving his term in Mexico when he escaped by bribing prison guards, allegedly by hiding in a laundry cart. In 2014, he was recaptured and sent back to jail, but he broke out again in 2015 through an underground tunnel. Authorities believe that two of the prison guards were Sinaloa plants.
He was recaptured for a second time in January 2016 and through the fall of 2016, the United States pursued extradition of the Mexican drug lord to face charges on American soil. In 2009, El Chapo, along with other cartel heads, was indicted in a Brooklyn court on conspiracy charges related to the importation of more than 264,000 pounds of coke between 1990 and 2005.
He also faces charges in Arizona, California, Texas, Illinois, New York, Florida and New Hampshire. In late October 2016, Judge Vicente Bermudez, who presided over El Chapo’s appeals, was shot outside of his home.