WAR ON DRUGS

Mexico's Most Wanted

Mexico's drug trade is grim, lawless, destabilizing—and a little bit glam? In a new profile of famed drug lord Joaquin Guzman Loera, the Wall Street Journal explores how an impoverished barrio boy rose to number 701 in Forbes' list of the world's richest as the "informal CEO" of the Sinaloa cartel. "Part Al Capone and part Jesse James, Mr. Guzman has become a narco folk hero," WSJ explains, with rumors of Elvis-like "sightings" and YouTube ballads penned in his honor. Guzman is thought to have the blood of some 11,000 deaths on his hands--that's 366 drug-related murders every month for 20 years, including a famed assassination in 1993 on a Catholic cardinal and the loss of his own 22-year-old son to a turf war in Chihuahua. In 2001, Guzman made like a TV bandit and escaped from a maximum security prison in a laundry cart. Mexican officials are lately downplaying the value of capturing Guzman himself, who remains in hiding, but one U.S. official noted, "Catching him would be like the capture of Saddam Hussein after the Iraq war. His capture didn't stop the insurgency, but it was a huge victory."