General Question

ibstubro's avatar

How is it that Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán, formerly listed as one of the richest men in the world, was found unwashed and hiding 'in plain sight' with a minumal security force?

Asked by ibstubro (18765points) January 10th, 2016

Worse yet, he appears to have spent much of his six months of freedom trying to arrange a biopic of himself, with Sean Penn as the chosen star.

Was he recaptured because he was a washed-up, has-been nobody?

Impossible for me to imagine that a former billionaire hadn’t arranged some sort of safe haven in advance, and transportation to get there.

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11 Answers

ibstubro's avatar

That’s great information, @jaytkay, and news I’d not heard.

Love_my_doggie's avatar

What better way for a wealthy, powerful man to hide in plain sight than to be filthy and disheveled?

Did you see the movie, “Gone Girl”? [Spoiler alert for anyone who hasn’t watched the film.] The gorgeous main character spent a little over a week eating voraciously and gaining about 2 lbs. per day, dying her hair mousy-brown, and wearing baggy, drab clothes. Even though her picture was plastered all over television and newspapers, she was unrecognizable. Amazingly, the lovely actress did a Robert DeNiro and gained a stone/15 lbs. for those scenes, so that she’d been convincingly puffy and bloated.

ibstubro's avatar

In 2014 Forbes estimated Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán’s wealth at 1 billion dollars.

Doesn’t it seem like that should have bought him sanctuary somewhere?

Love_my_doggie's avatar


Guzman’s wealth: $1 billion
Guzman’s hubris: Priceless

ibstubro's avatar

But, what, Guzman can’t Google?

Cruiser's avatar

Very similar to how Sadam’s end came about…both caught hiding under a rock.

msh's avatar

Did you catch now that his two sons are going to avenge him by making law enforcement and governmental officials lives hell?
I betcha they’re vying for their characters to be played by Zac Ephron and Channing Tatum.
Why, Madonna can be Sean Penn’s moll, in the film!

ibstubro's avatar

We’re not really addressing the question:

How could a man worth $1b that specialized in smuggling be caught ‘hiding in plain sight’, in his home country, 6 months after escaping from maximum security prison?

Guzman is made out to be an extremely wealthy mastermind drug lord. Could it be that he was really just a rich petty thug that finally failed to pay off the right people?

I’m no James Bond, but I’m betting I could have done better than a hotel room in Sinaloa, given a couple million.

Why does his recapture feel so preordained?

jaytkay's avatar

He wasn’t found in the hotel. The guys who captured him used it as a place to await reinforcements before moving him.

And here’s an LA Time story directly addressing your question:

‘El Chapo’ could have fled to another continent, but he chose to go home

ibstubro's avatar

Hubris, then, I guess @jaytkay, because I don’t think he’s that stupid.
It still seems fishy to me.

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