El Chapo is on the run again.
Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman has one hell of a legacy. From being one of the most wanted men in the US, one of the largest crime bosses in Mexico, a suspected billionaire, and a Robin Hood figure in his home state, and the subject of many Narcocorrido Songs, Guzman's story is interesting and bizarre.
It's only become more infamous in the wake of his stunning escape from a maximum-security prison west of Mexico City this weekend, his second time escaping prison.
"The leader of the Sinaloa cartel stepped into a shower Saturday night, crawled through a hole and vanished through a mile-long tunnel apparently built just for him," this CNN article explained.
Mexico's government is offering a reward of up to 60 million pesos ($3.8 million) for information leading to his capture and he is once again topping the list of most wanted men.
Guzmán grew up in poverty in a rugged mountainous region with a tradition of marijuana and opium poppy farming stretching back nearly a century.
"The area is famed as the birthplace of many of Mexico’s biggest traffickers," according to the Guardian.
He became a mid-level trafficker in the 1980s, but began his current legacy after a May 1993 shootout with another cartel in the car park of an airport in Guadalajara, in which a cardinal sitting in his car was killed. He also quickly moved up the ladder of the crime world by being inventive and likely starting the first drug tunnels which run under the U.S/Mexico Border.
I'm by no means condoning his violence, but when it comes to characters and notorious crime bosses well Guzman is likely the most prominent living legend.
As US and Mexican authorities continue their search for the escapee, it is 100 per cent worth it to read this thrilling New Yorker piece about the last time El Chapo escaped and was captured. You will certainly get a sense for the challenge authorities are up against. I think this feature piece really grasps the legacy, the infamy, but also the cost of this type of crime in Mexico. Although El Chapo's home city may have shot fireworks after getting word of his escape, rampant poverty continues and Guzman's checkbook is certainly not empty. So the Robin Hood idea may be nice but this piece shows all the cracks in the mirror reflecting Guzman's real life story.
SIDE NOTE: At the same time, El Chapo's big statement in the wake of his escape was threatening Donald Trump.
Kelly Geraldine Malone is a freelance journalist, podcaster, and radio producer based out of Manitoba, Canada