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21 Things You Didn’t Know About El Chapo

Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán has been part of the popular imagination in Mexico and all over the world for decades. The supposed leader of the powerful Sinaloa Cartel has become a celebrity due to his extravagant prison brakes, the network of tunnels he allegedly built to smuggle drugs to the United States.

El Chapo is currently undergoing a highly publicized trial in Brooklyn, as he was extradited to the United States. With this trial, as well as the release of the highly anticipated Netflix show Narcos: Mexico, where his character is expected to make a cameo, El Chapo is as relevant as ever. Here are some facts and possible facts about this elusive and mythical figure.

1. First things first, Chapo means “Shorty”

Credit: El Chapo. Netflix/Univision.

Wonder where the famous moniker came from? Guzmán stands 5 ‘6″ tall. El Chapo is quite short, so his nickname is basically Sinaloa slang for “shorty”. El Chapo is a small but commanding figure, sort of a Napoleon of the criminal underbelly.

2. He is considered by some to be a modern Robin Hood

Credit: Drug Lords: El Chapo. Netflix.

El Chapo has always been vocal about his humble origin and his despise of government corruption. He has built roads and schools in his native state of Sinaloa, which is why some consider him a working-class hero.

3. According to some sources, he began selling marihuana as a minor

Credit: Giphy. @homeofhiphop

He lived in a rural area and by 15 he was supporting his family by selling oranges, cheese and, some claim, pot. Very early on he started understanding the mechanisms of illegal narcotic trade. A self-made dealer who became one of the richest people in the planet.

4. You can buy El Chapo piñatas in Mexico

Credit: pinata. Digital image. New York Post.

Yes, you read that right. El Chapo has become a mythical figure in his home country, and popular culture manifestations like piñatas often depict political figures. After his second escape from a maximum security prison numerous piñata makers made a killing. When he was finally captured for good the piñatas were quickly updated.

5. He had a girlfriend while in prison

Credit: zulemahernandez. Digital image. Proceso.

When he was first in prison before escaping in 2001, Chapo had a girlfriend. Her name was Zulema and she was a former police officer. She was murdered upon her release from jail, possibly because of her relationship with the kingpin.

6. Chapo masks are now common for Halloween and Día de Muertos

Credit: 9d8c1960e867aa18ebf8d1237a2ea7ce57f09597. Digital image. Digital Journal.

Just like some scare kids wearing Trump masks on Halloween, Mexicans wear masks of hated politicians and other public figures. El Chapo masks are a common feature at Halloween parties and other events.

7. He once lined the road leading to his house with human bodies

Credit: Apocalypse Now. Zoetrope Studios.

According to the documentary TV show Drug Lords: El Chapo (Netflix), El Chapo liked to make quite a statement when anyone visited his property. He lined up cadavers in his driveway just to show who is boss. Sounds very Apocalypse Now to us to be honest.

8. His current wife is an Instagram celebrity

Credit: Instagram. @emmacoronela

Emma Coronel is a famous Instagramer and former beauty queen. She often posts snapshots of her daily life, messages to her imprisoned husband and even photos of her twin daughter’s lavish Barbie-themed party.

9. He expanded his cartel globally

Credit: Giphy. @netflixlat

The Sinaloa Cartel has been described as the biggest and most complex criminal organization in the planet. Part of El Chapo’s success is due to directly enter faraway markets like Australia without paying intermediaries.

10. He allegedly loves golden and diamond-incrusted guns

Credit: Pinterest. @chicana602

Guns that are custom made by skilled jewelers are a common sight in narco culture. El Chapo is said to have ordered a gun to mark his mention in the Forbes richest people in the planet list.

11. He has been married 3 times and has 9 kids

Credit: african_narco_news__cocaine_joaquín_guzmánLoera_2. Digital image. African Narco News.

He has a big heart, at least according to his turbulent love life. He has 9 kids. He first married in 1977 with Alejandrina María Salazar Hernández, and had César, Iván Archivaldo and  Jesús Alfredo. With his second wife he had Joaquín, Edgar, Ovidio and Griselda Guadalupe.  With his current wife, Emma Coronel, he has twins María Joaquina and Emali Guadalupe.

12. He bought all the red roses available in Culiacán for his son’s funeral

Credit: Giphy. @hackmylife

May 10 is Mother’s Day in Mexico and sons and daughters rush to flower shops to buy a bouquet for su jefecita. 2008 was different though, as the funeral for El Chapo’s son Edgar Guzmán was being held and his father bought all the roses available in the city. Lupillo Rivera wrote a song about the funeral:  “50 mil rosas rojas”.

13. He plans to sue Netflix and Univision over El Chapo TV show

Credit: El Chapo. Netflix/Univision.

Upon the release of the popular Univision/Netflix show, his lawyer claimed during a radio interview that: “Things are happening (in the series) that do not correspond to reality, despite the fact that there is no conviction confirming those events. That represents a grave violation of (Guzman’s) right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty”. For him, the TV show defames El Chapo and sends the wrong message prior to his trial.

14. He lined the US/Mexico border with underground tunnels

Credit: Drug Lords: El Chapo. Netflix.

Besides having escaped prison through a complex tunnel, El Chapo hired expert engineers to move his product across the border through a network of tunnels across the border. He escaped the authorities for years.

15. Forbes considered him the 63rd most powerful person in the world

Credit: Giphy. @netflixlat

Chapo’s power was not only due to his immense wealth, but also to the international reach of his operations and the alleged influence he had on local and international politics.

16. He is an internet celebrity in his own right

Credit: Heavy. Anonymous meme.

His last escape became fodder for meme creativity. The collective mind power of the web came together to create some pretty cool viral content.

17. He used multiple false names to escape the authorities

Credit: memes-fuga-chapo-guzman-004. Digital image. NYC Cafe.

Ge got quite creative. Joel Sánchez, Jorge Ramos Pérez or Sánchez, Raúl Guzmán Ruiz and Francisco Villaseñor were just some of them.

18. He is a religious man

Credit: unnamed. Digital file. El Camion.

According to a bishop, El Chapo is a believer. He professes his love to the Virgin of Guadalupe, like most Mexican Catholics, and to Malverde, an unofficial patron saint of drug traffickers. He has built multiple churches in his home state.

19. He built a fancy mausoleum for himself

Credit: mausoleo-arturo-guzman-pollo. Digital image. Union Jalisco.

Like many drug dealers in Sinaloa, El Chapo has prepared his last resting place. It is a huge mausoleum with air conditioning, TVs, beds and all the facilities so his loved ones can pay their respects when he passes away. Pictured: the 1.2 million dollar mausoleum where El Chapo’s brother Arturo was buried.

20. He was extradited just as Trump had his inauguration

Credit: el-chapo-02-as-gty-180615_hpMain_16x9_1600. Digital image. ABC News.

El Chapo made numerous social media threats to candidate Donald Trump, particularly after his controversial speeches attacking Mexican migrants. In what was seen as an inauguration gift from the Mexican government, Guzmán was handed over to US authorities a day before Trump came into power.

21. According to his lawyer, he paid off two Mexican presidents

Credit: Drug Lords: El Chapo. Netflix.

El Chapo’s trial in a US court has produced a couple of bombshell declarations. The biggest one is an accusation of corruption to presidents Felipe Calderón and Enrique Peña Nieto, who have publicly denounced the cartels. According to these accounts, their campaigns were partly financed by the drug lord.

These Are The Most Expensive And Opulent Houses In Mexico

Entertainment

These Are The Most Expensive And Opulent Houses In Mexico

It’s often said east to west home is best. However, in some cases, it’s more than having a roof over your head. It’s about glamor, convenience, and opulence. In this regard, Mexican architecture hasn’t lurked behind. Across the country, there is an array of elegant living spaces or “Hermosas Casas” as they call them in Mexico.

Here’s a look at some of the most expensive houses in Mexico:

Casa Bahia Rocas

Casa Bahia Rocas  Instagram @tamara.dowell

The 9 – bedroom estate is located close to the Sea of Cortez. Its architecture and design epitomize the spirit of Mexico in every way. It is a blend of modern comfort and traditional Spanish designs. The finishes are also a joy to the eye as they give the house an executive touch. The value of this living space is estimated to be $33,000,000.

Casa Cielo

Casa Cielo Instagram @vicromphoto

If you are big on sea views, then this villa will impress you. The luxury villa is well known for the breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean. The gym, spa and game room are great reclining areas. A central garden is the hallmark of the ground floor that has five spacious bedrooms. It has an estimated value of about $15,000,000.

Casa Papelillos

Casa Papelillos Instagram @greenrealtymexico

Casa Papelilos is the perfect get-away home. A natural rainforest surrounds the magnificent residence that is located in Banderas Bay. Well-furnished suites, beautiful terraces, a media room, and a formal dining room are some of the features of the house. The villa is valued at $6,000,000.

Ex-Hacienda De San Pedro Martir

Hacienda de San Pedro Martir

This living space has an antique charm to it thanks to its medieval exteriors. The Coyoacan house has been around since time immemorial. It was set up in the formative years of the Spanish conquest and has stood the test of time. It is awash with cultural and architectural designs that have earned great recognition. This beauty is valued at $12,000,000.

Villa Saint Joseph

Instagram @pousadavillasaintjoseph

The elegant house is located in the heart of San Pedro Garza Garcia. The large windows of the living room create a beautiful atmosphere. The furniture is made from a blend of granite and exotic woods. The house is valued at $83,000,000 and has three spacious bedrooms with the master bedroom having a Jacuzzi in its full bathroom.

Casa 38, Punta Sayulita

Pinterest @realtykore

Few houses can match the charm of this elegant living space. Right from the swimming pool to the interiors, the house exudes opulence fit for a king.  It has great spa amenities along with a great view of the blue ocean waters. The surrounding coastline offers a great site for calming nature walks. Casa 38 is valued at about $4,000,000.

Villa Verano

Villa Verano Instagram @vilaveranosb

From the secluded family area to the beachfront view, the house offers the posh and homely feeling all at once. It is a Tropical paradise that is located on the Mexican Riviera. You could choose to recline in the beach area or enjoy the jungle atmosphere. The house’s value is estimated at $15,000,000

Villa La Gitana

Instagram @careyes_realestate

Villa La Gitana is valued at $5,000,000 and rightly so. It features a fantastic view from the top of a hill that defines this elegant living space. The four expansive suites all have cozy balconies and provide a great view of the sea.

Villa La Toscana

James edition Villa La Toscana

The classic style mansion offers great views as well as an executive walkway. The wood walls, marble rugs, and traditional lamps characterize the magnificent main hall. It also has a spacious dining area along with 4 luxurious bedrooms. The house is valued at about $6,600,000.

Casa Grande

Casa Grande Twitter @ruizhealy

The elegant manor house is valued at $217,000,000 and has an illustrious history spanning three centuries. It still stands strong and is located in Nuevo Leon. It has choice rooms that are full of stone and ceramic pieces of art. The flooring of the 6-bedroomed house is comfy and is a great supplement to the awesome reclining areas.

Quinta Oliver

Quinta Oliver Twitter @SIR_Mexico

The chiseled tiles in the main entrance welcome you to the amazing residence in the Cuernavaca Mountains. The beautiful vegetation offers a wonderful experience for guests and residents. The kitchen has a traditional Mexican theme and borders an elegant dining area. The house is valued at $3,500,000.

La Paz Cove

Southebys realty La Paz Cove

With spectacular views of the Espiritu Santo and Cerralvo islands, this $10,000,000 secluded home is a delight. The fresh swimming pool is one of the many amazing facilities in the ten-bedroom home. It is a suitable area for a luxurious lifestyle.

Villa Stephanie

James Edition Villa stephanie

Villa Stephanie is a classic “love at first sight” story. This beautiful $4,000,000 home opens up to an expansive beachfront. It features five bedrooms and a great outdoor area. It is set on a beautiful landscape and is in an utterly secure area.

Quinta Toscana

Luxury Real Estate Quinta Toscana.


The spectacular $5,000,000 residence is situated in Cuernavaca and has a well-ventilated living area. The kitchen space is equipped with country-style burners and awesome finishing. The cool outdoor nature and expansive suites add life to the beautiful house.

Casa Paracaima

Instagram @portalinmobilario

The luxurious residence $5,000,000 is located in Lomas de Chapultepec. Exceptional wood and stone complement the artistic interior. The Italian kitchen is adjacent to a spacious patio where you can enjoy homemade meals. 

PH Highpark Monterey

Instagram @gustavohernandez_jec

The San Pedro Garza Garcia penthouse is the epitome of the Mexican extraordinary architecture. It has unmatched attributes that make it a delight for all the residents. The interior provides tranquility that you can savor.

Quinta Bella Vista

James edition quinta bella vista

Located in San Miguel de Allende, the artful estate is home to extraordinary houses. Lavish terraces line the fresh gardens. You can enjoy breathtaking views of the neighboring valleys. The home is valued at about $6,000,000.

Penthouse Ruben Dario

James Edition Ruben Dario Penthouse

The house is located in Polanco and boasts of natural designs and finishings that give a homely feel. The Brazilian marble, Persian stone, and Carrara bamboo marble create a delightful ambiance. The penthouse is valued at about $8,000,000.

Casa Siankaana

Twitter @inmexicocom

Coconut palms and an amazing beach-front border the lavish $4,000,000 villa. It is an eco-friendly residence as it is powered by auto-sufficient equipment. The contemporary architecture enhances the luxurious feeling of the house.

Rancho Laureles

Instagram @jackiediazplanner

The magnificent residence is a blend of modern features and the traditional Mexican designs. Magnolia trees and ferns line up the dark stone interior. The inviting lobby has a large fireplace that warms up the house. The dining area offers spectacular views as you enjoy your meal. Rancho Laureles is valued at about $6,000,000.

Hacienda Santa Fe

James Edition Hacienda Santa Fe

The 3-bedroom $4,600,000 clubhouse is located in Mexico City. It features a serene environment and fine marble finishes that add to the exquisite style of this elegant house. It also has a great social space next to the vast kitchen area.

Villa destiny

James edition Villa Destiny

Highly diverse flora and fauna line the splendid villa that stands in Sian Ka’an’s biosphere. You can delight in the white sand of the virgin beach as you cool off. The house has a rooftop pool and broad outside decks that form great reclining spots. Villa destiny is valued at about $2,200,000.

The above houses are a glimpse of what Mexico has to offer in the real estate space. And of course, we would all like to live in such homes. Maybe someday we will.

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