BUSINESS INSIDER: The Astonishing Rise of the World’s Most Notorious Drug Lord

El Chapo
Photo: Reuters

Editor’s Note: This story first appeared online on We reprint in part here.

It’s been a long road to notoriety for Sinaloa cartel kingpin Joaquín Guzmán Loera, aka “El Chapo” or “Shorty.” The world’s most notorious drug lord pulled off an extraordinary escape from the nation’s highest-security prison — his second jailbreak in the past two decades — embarrassing Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto and triggering a massive manhunt.

Here’s how Guzmán got his start in the drug business and rose to power.

Guzmán reportedly grew up poor in Sinaloa state on Mexico’s Pacific coast, according to The Christian Science Monitor.

He started off selling oranges to make a living before his uncle introduced him to the drug business.

In the ’70s and ’80s, Guzmán began smuggling drugs across the US-Mexico border, The Verge reports.