Mexican drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman Loera made Forbes magazine’s “self-made” billionaires list, sparking outrage in Mexico, CNN reported March 14.
The magazine ranked Guzman Loera, a wanted criminal in Mexico, at number 701 on their annual list; his net worth was estimated at $1 billion. Guzman Loera escaped from prison in 2001 and now runs the Sinaloa cartel, which is partially blamed for the surge in violence near the U.S.-Mexico border. The U.S. government is offering a reward of $5 million for his capture.
Mexican officials are upset that Forbes included Guzman Loera’s name on the list. “[Forbes is] “comparing the deplorable activity of a criminal wanted in Mexico and abroad with that of honest businessmen,” said Mexican Attorney General Eduardo Medina Mora.
“Public opinion and now even magazines not only attack and lie about the situation in Mexico, but now also praise criminals,” added Mexican President Felipe Calderon. “In Mexico, it is considered a crime to praise criminals.”
Forbes magazine’s editor-in-chief Steve Forbes said that the magazine, which also included other criminals on the list, was just reporting a fact. “So is there anywhere one can still make a fortune these days? The 38 newcomers offer a few clues,” he said. “Among the more notable new billionaires are Mexican Joaquin Guzman Loera, one of the biggest suppliers of cocaine to the U.S.”