The Washington Post

‘El Chapo’ by the numbers

Mexican authorities say they intend to keep drug kingpin Joaquin Guzman in the country’s highest-security prison rather than extraditing him to the United States. But his incarceration isn’t likely to derail his Sinaloa cartel’s booming business anytime soon.

The man known as “El Chapo” leaves behind a global empire. PostTV’s Davin Coburn ran the numbers on the size of the cartel and the damage wrought during his reign.

Joaquín "El Chapo" Guzmán, the most influential drug kingpin in the world, was arrested by Mexican and U.S. authorities in 2014. Here is a look at the cartel he built, and the legacy of violence he leaves behind. (Davin Coburn/The Washington Post)

Here’s how those stats compare to other criminals, prominent people, and enterprises:

  • Sinaloa earns about $3 billion in annual revenue. That’s about how much Atlantic City casinos netted in 2012. It’s also the estimated annual revenue of Amazon Web Services.
  • Forbes ranked Guzman the 67th most powerful person in the world in 2013, one spot behind House Speaker John Boehner and one spot ahead of New York Times executive editor Jill Abramson.
  • The State Department offered a $5 million reward for information leading to Guzman’s arrest. The same reward is being offered for suspects connected with the U.S.S. Cole bombing, the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, the highjacking of TWA Flight 847 and several al-Qaeda operatives.
  • Chicago prosecutors branded Guzman “public enemy No. 1,” the first person called that since Al Capone.

With Guzman off the streets, a handful of people are primed to succeed him as the most-wanted drug lord. You can read about them here, including Ismael Zambada, Guzman’s top deputy.

Natalie Jennings is a senior producer for Washington Post Video.

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