Entertainment

21 Things You Might Not Know About El Chapo

His real name is Joaquín Guzmán Loera, but he is known to the world as El Chapo. From his Mexican villas, he ran the biggest drug operation in the world. As the head of the Sinaloa Drug Cartel, El Chapo amassed unmatched wealth and power.

Guzman’s story is widely known to the public. The most recent version of his life story is featured on Netflix’s TV series “El Chapo.”

While there seems to be no shortage of information about El Chapo, there are a few things that might not be known to all. Who was El Chapo as a person? What was he like?

Here are 21 things you may not have known about El Chapo.

1. How he got his nickname

Twitter @DailyMirror

The phrase “El Chapo” is a slang term similar to “shorty.” With Guzman, it was used to describe his short stature, standing at only 5’6″ tall. This physical attribute became an advantage when he escaped prison, crawling into a small hole under his cell’s shower.

2. He’s a real-life Robin Hood

Twitter @NewsweekEspanol

Despite being a criminal, Guzman has the empathy and support of people from his town. Locals were reported as saying that Guzman has given the people money and jobs, which was more than what the Mexican government has done.

3. He escaped prison twice

Twitter @RT_com

Guzman first escaped Puente Grande prison in Jalisco, Mexico, with 78 people cited as conspirators. He was recaptured in 2014 but escaped again in 2015, this time through a tunnel dug under his cell’s shower room.

4. His birthday is unclear

Twitter @ABC7

There are two conflicting dates reported as Guzman’s birthday. One report says he was born on December 25, 1954, and another that says April 4, 1957.

5. He did not finish grade school

Twitter @elnacionalred

El Chapo is reportedly semi-illiterate. His highest educational attainment is the third grade.

6. He gave an interview with Sean Penn

Twitter @thenewsamed

While on the run, Guzman met Hollywood actor Sean Penn. Penn interviewed the Mexican kingpin and it was published in Rolling Stone magazine. Guzman was quoted as saying, “I supply more heroin, methamphetamine, cocaine, and marijuana than anybody else in the world.”

7. He married four times

Twitter @nypost

El Chapo is said to have married four times. The latest one happened in 2007 when he married Emma Coronel Aispuro, a former beauty queen.

8. He was on the Forbes Billionaires list

Twitter @ABC7

In 2009, Guzman made it to the Forbes Billionaires list. He ranked 701 with an estimated wealth of $1 billion. In Mexico, he was the 10th richest man in the country.

9. He has fathered 13 children

Twitter @abc13houston

Guzman’s Wikipedia page currently lists 13 children. Some of his children from his first marriage are also involved in the drug trade. One of his sons, Edgar, was shot and killed in a gunfight near Culiacan, Mexico.

10. He initially kidnapped his third wife

 Twitter @latimes

In 1977, a bank clerk from Nayarit by the name of Estela Peña caught Guzman’s eye. He captured her by force and had sexual relations with her. They eventually married shortly after.

11. He doesn’t speak English

Twitter @financeprnews

He is reported to have used translators in all of his court proceedings in the United States. It is known that El Chapo did not fully complete grade school, and entered the drug trade at an early age.

12. He was Chicago’s modern-day Al Capone

Twitter @marinamaral2

Bringing in over 4,000 pounds of cocaine in Chicago every month, Guzman was given the title “Public Enemy No. 1,” second to Al Capone. There was no evidence, however, that El Chapo was ever in Chicago.

13. He had a lover in jail

Twitter @LaNetaNoticias

Guzman met Zulema Hernandez in jail. She was imprisoned for aiding drug traffickers. Guzman and Hernandez were said to have a romantic relationship while in prison. A rival gang killed Hernandez after her release.

14.  The United States Treasury calls him the “most powerful drug trafficker in the world”

Twitter @TheSource

As the leader of the Sinaloa drug cartel, Guzman has moved illegal drugs in the US more than any other drug lord. He is reported to have brought 500,000 tons of cocaine in the United States using a fleet of vehicles that include jets, boats, and submarines.

15. He started his own marijuana plantation at 15 years old

Twitter @DrFrankLive

Guzman’s father mismanaged the money he made from growing and selling marijuana, so Guzman took it upon himself to start his own marijuana trade. Along with his younger brothers, Guzman sold marijuana and became the family’s breadwinner.

16. He uses Twitter to threaten enemies

 Twitter @elpesobueno

Guzman has maintained a Twitter account and has over 500,000 followers. Guzman has recently tweeted his disapproval of US President Trump. Trump has also replied to a few of his tweets.

17. He disguised drugs as chili peppers

Twitter @keegan_hamilton

Of the many creative ways Guzman used to smuggle drugs, the most interesting is probably packaging them in chili pepper cans. A sample of the exact can used was entered into evidence for his ongoing trial.

18. There are ballads written about him

Twitter @mattdanzico

Guzman, revered by his fellow townsmen, is the subject of many “drug ballads” called narcocorridos in Spanish. The is more proof that he is considered to be a town hero worthy of admiration. The ballads openly express support for the drug kingpin, especially when he is recaptured by authorities.

19. He escaped an assassination attempt

Twitter @RicardoAlemanMx

Assassins wrongly identified Guzman in a car in Guadalajara airport. Thinking Guzman was in the vehicle, the assassins fired shots at the vehicle. Guzman, however, was nowhere near the area. Six people were killed in the shooting, one of them was the car’s passenger, Cardinal and Archbishop of Guadalajara Juan Jesús Posadas, who was said to be mistaken as Guzman.

20. He has his own shipping line

Twitter @THEBLKDMNDS

To ensure total autonomy in his drug smuggling trade, Guzman built a shipping empire. He uses the business to transport drugs without having to deal with third-party shippers. A recent report claimed that he used 747 jets and submarines to move drugs from Mexico to the US.

21. He used a catapult to “deliver” marijuana to the US

Twitter @NewstalkFM

A DEA official revealed that one of Guzman’s smuggling technique was a simple catapult. They would load bales of marijuana on it and “throw it” over the Arizona-Mexico border.

At this point, Guzman is awaiting trial in a United States court. He has pleaded not guilty to all 17 charges that include drug smuggling, murder, and money laundering. Guzman was arrested in 2016 in Los Mochis, Mexico. If found guilty, El Chapo faces life in prison.

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America Ferrera Celebrates 20th Anniversary Of Working On ‘Gotta Kick It Up’ With Sweet IG Post

Entertainment

America Ferrera Celebrates 20th Anniversary Of Working On ‘Gotta Kick It Up’ With Sweet IG Post

It has been 20 years since America Ferrera’s dream of becoming an actor back true. She took to Instagram to reflect on the moment that her dream started to come true and it is a sweet reminder that anyone can chase their dreams.

America Ferrera shared a sweet post reflecting on the 20th anniversary of working on “Gotta Kick It Up!”

“Gotta Kick It Up!” was one of the earliest examples of Latino representation so many of us remember. The movie follows a school dance team trying to be the very best they could possibly be. The team was down on their luck but a new teacher introduces them to a different kind of music to get them going again.

After being introduced to Latin beats, the dance team is renewed. It taps into a cultural moment for the Latinas on the team and the authenticity of the music makes their performances some of the best.

While the movie meant so much to Latino children seeing their culture represented for the first time, the work was a major moment for Ferrera. In the Instagram post, she gushes over the celebrities she saw on the lot she was working on. Of course, anyone would be excited to see Jennifer Aniston and Brad Pitt hanging out. Yet, what stands out the most is Ferrera’s own excitement to realize that she can make money doing what she loves most.

“I wish I could go back and tell this little baby America that the next 20 years of her life will be filled with unbelievable opportunity to express her talent and plenty of challenges that will allow her to grow into a person, actress, producer, director, activist that she is very proud and grateful to be. We did it baby girl. I’m proud of us,” Ferrera reflects.

Watch the trailer for “Gotta Kick It Up!” here.

READ: America Ferrera’s “Superstore” Is Going To Get A Spanish-Language Adaptation In A Win For Inclusion

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This Artist Has Been Breaking Barriers As A Non-Traditional Mariachi

Entertainment

This Artist Has Been Breaking Barriers As A Non-Traditional Mariachi

On a recent episode of ABC’s game show To Tell The Truth, three celebrity panelists were tasked to uncover the identity of a real mariachi singer.

Each contender embodied “non-traditional” attributes of mariachi culture either through physical appearance or language barriers, leaving the panelists stumped.

When it came time for the big reveal, with a humble smile 53-year-old Timoteo “El Charro Negro” stood up wowing everyone. Marveled by his talents, Timoteo was asked to perform unveiling his smooth baritone voice.

While not a household name in the U.S., his career spans over 25 years thriving on the catharsis of music.

Timoteo “El Charro Negro” performing “Chiquilla Linda” on Dante Night Show in 2017.

Originally from Dallas, Texas, Timoteo, born Timothy Pollard, moved to Long Beach, California with his family when he was eight years old. The move to California exposed Pollard to Latin culture, as the only Black family in a Mexican neighborhood.

As a child, he recalled watching Cantinflas because he reminded him of comedian Jerry Lewis, but musically he “got exposed to the legends by chance.”

“I was bombarded by all the 1960s, ’70s, and ’50s ranchera music,” Timoteo recalls to mitú.

The unequivocal passion mariachi artists like Javier Solis and Vicente Fernandez possessed heavily resonated with him.

“[The neighbors] always played nostalgic music, oldies but goodies, and that’s one thing I noticed about Mexicans,” Timoteo says. “They can be in their 20s but because they’ve grown up listening to the oldies it’s still very dear to them. That’s how they party.”

For as long as he can remember, Pollard “was born with the genetic disposition to love music,” knowing that his future would align with the arts.

After hearing Vicente Fernandez sing “Lástima Que Seas Ajena,” an awakening occurred in Pollard. While genres like hip-hop and rap were on the rise, Pollard’s passion for ranchera music grew. It was a moment when he realized that this genre best suited his big voice.

Enamored, Pollard began to pursue a career as a Spanish-language vocalist.

El Charro Negro
Photo courtesy of Timothy Pollard.

At 28, Timoteo began learning Spanish by listening and singing along to those artists he adored in his youth.

“When I decided that I wanted to be a mariachi, I didn’t think it was fair to exploit the culture and not understand the language,” he says. “If I’m going to sing, I need to be able to communicate with my audience and engage with them. I need to understand what I’m saying because it was about honor and respect.”

Pollard began performing local gigs after picking up the language in a matter of months. He soon attracted the attention of “Big Boy” Radio that adorned him the name Timoteo “El Charro Negro.”

Embellishing his sound to highlight his Black heritage, Pollard included African instruments like congas and bongos in his orchestra. Faintly putting his own spin on a niche genre, Pollard avoided over-saturating the genre’s sound early in his career.

Embraced by his community as a beloved mariachi, “El Charro Negro” still encountered race-related obstacles as a Black man in the genre.

“There are those [in the industry] who are not in the least bit thrilled to this day. They won’t answer my phone calls, my emails, my text messages I’ve sent,” he says. “The public at large hasn’t a problem with it, but a lot of the time it’s those at the helm of decision making who want to keep [the genre] exclusively Mexican.”

“El Charro Negro” persisted, slowly attracting fans worldwide while promoting a message of harmony through his music.

In 2007, 12 years into his career, Pollard received a golden ticket opportunity.

El Charro Negro
Pollard (left) seen with legendary Mexican artist Vicente Fernandez (right) in 2007. Photo courtesy of Timothy Pollard.

In a by-chance encounter with a stagehand working on Fernandez’s tour, Pollard was offered the chance to perform onstage. The singer was skeptical that the offer was legit. After all, what are the chances?

The next day Pollard went to his day job at the time and said, “a voice in my head, which I believe was God said, ‘wear your blue velvet traje tonight.'”

That evening Pollard went to a sold-out Stockton Area where he met his idol. As he walked on the stage, Pollard recalls Fernandez insisting that he use his personal mic and band to perform “De Que Manera Te Olvido.”

“[Fernandez] said he did not even want to join me,” he recollects about the show. “He just was kind and generous enough to let me sing that song on his stage with his audience.”

The crowd applauded thunderously, which for Pollard was a sign of good things to come.

El Charro Negro
Timoteo “El Charro Negro” with Don Francisco on Don Francisco Presenta in 2011. Photo courtesy of Timothy Pollard.

In 2010, he released his debut album “Me Regalo Contigo.” In perfect Spanish, Pollard sings with great conviction replicating the soft tones of old-school boleros.

Unraveling the rollercoaster of relationships, heart-wrenchingly beautiful ballads like “Me Regalo Contigo” and “Celos” are his most streamed songs. One hidden gem that has caught the listener’s attention is “El Medio Morir.”

As soon as the track begins it is unlike the others. Timoteo delivers a ’90s R&B love ballad in Spanish, singing with gumption as his riffs and belts encapsulate his unique sound and story.

Having appeared on shows like Sabado Gigante, Don Francisco Presenta, and Caso Cerrado in 2011, Timoteo’s career prospered.

Timoteo hasn’t released an album since 2010 but he keeps his passion alive. The singer has continued to perform, even during the Covid pandemic. He has high hopes for future success and original releases, choosing to not slow down from his destined musical journey.

“If God is with me, who can be against me? It may not happen in a quick period of time, but God will make my enemies my footstool,” he said.

“I’ve continued to be successful and do some of the things I want to do; maybe not in a particular way or in particular events, but I live in a very happy and fulfilled existence.”

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