About Us Contact Us Privacy Policy Terms of Use DMCA Opt-out of personalized ads
© Copyright 2023 Market Realist. Market Realist is a registered trademark. All Rights Reserved. People may receive compensation for some links to products and services on this website. Offers may be subject to change without notice.

Drug Kingpin El Chapo Who Created a $12.6 Billion Empire, Now Complains of Discrimination in Jail

Fresh concerns of Chapo's next escape were sparked after a letter written by him was made public.
Cover Image Source: Getty Images | Photo by Ted Psahos
Cover Image Source: Getty Images | Photo by Ted Psahos

Mexican drug kingpin Joaquin Guzmán Loera aka El Chapo, the former head of the infamous Sinaloa Drug Cartel, is serving a life sentence in a maximum security prison in Florence, Colorado. However, his letter to the New York Judge who sentenced him has sparked fresh concerns about El Chapo plotting his latest escape, as per ABC7.

The letter contained nothing but Chapo complaining of “discriminatory” treatment, but experts who have been tracking his career are concerned. That's because the last time he complained of poor facilities and discrimination, Chapo escaped from Altiplano maximum security federal prison in Mexico. Authorities believe there is nothing to worry about, as nobody has ever broken out of the SuperMax prison in Colorado since its opening in 1994, as per the report.


Despite being locked away, the former leader of the Sinaloa cartel remains one of the world's most powerful drug traffickers. For almost 30 years, El Chapo sold drugs to build a massive fortune, even making it onto the Forbes list of billionaires four times. Guzman was imprisoned for life in 2017 after being found guilty of drug trafficking and murder.


What is El Chapo’s Current Net Worth in 2023?

Although his drug empire was once worth $12.6 billion, El Chapo’s current net worth is estimated to be $1 billion as of July 2023, according to Celebrity Net Worth.

In his 30-year reign as one of the most successful drug lords, El Chapo made enough money to buy a pair of yachts, a fleet of jets, and a private zoo with tigers, crocodiles, and panthers, according to a New York Times report. He was named in the Forbes magazine’s annual list of billionaires four times, from 2009 to 2012.

Income from drug trafficking

According to a court filing from 2019, the federal prosecutors who convicted El Chapo have put an actual price tag on his earnings, calculating the total amount down to the dollar, CNN reported. They revealed that El Chapo's cartel handled nearly 600,000 kilograms of cocaine which is worth over $11 billion, 200 kilograms of heroin which are worth over $11 million, and at least 420,000 kilograms of marijuana which is worth nearly $846 million in 25 years.


Even though the figures were astonishing, the prosecutors noted that they were only a “conservative” estimate of the still unknown, amount of drugs and money that that Guzmán may have smuggled in his career.

El Chapo’s Real Estate Assets

Although the total assets of El Chapo are unknown, The Mexican government confiscated six homes after his arrest, and they sold three of them at an auction in 2019. Each home was expected to fetch $1 million or more, but they ultimately sold for $107,530, $64,589, and $55,725 respectively, according to Celebrity Net Worth.

Apart from this, El Chapo owns multiple beach houses, including a $10 million property in Acapulco, as per a witness testimony, The New York Post reported. Recently, Mexico’s ‘Institute to Return Stolen Goods to the People’, known as INDEP, attempted to auction one of Chapo’s houses with bids starting at around $130,000, but there were no offers.


The property where the drug lord hid after his dramatic escape from prison in 2016 was listed for approx $102,102 (£80,000) in another auction by INDEP, as per The Sun UK. Another property, where he hid to avoid the Mexican army, was listed for around 121,247 (£95,000).

Other Assets

According to El Chapo's close friend and manager Miguel Angel Martinez, he has splurged on a zoo, four planes, a yacht called “Chapito,” and a diamond-encrusted pistol.


Martinez testified that he once bought 50 vehicles including Thunderbirds, Buicks, and Cougars, with each costing about $30,000 at the time, for Chapo to give away to his employees.

Further, the auction by INDEP also unearthed two luxury ships anchored in Tabasco which along with 24 different vehicles, which included Ford Mustangs, Jaguars, and luxury Mercedes limousines.