What is El Mayos Net Worth?
Anybody who believes crime doesnt pay should take a look at the money to be made in the drug trade. Pablo Escobar brought in an absurd $ million a week during the peak of his reign. More recently, El Chapos daughter capitalized on her fathers notoriety via the El Chapo brand. It has diversified from fashion to beverages. Wondering where the brand name comes from? Well, El Chapo was ranked st on the Forbes list in , and his net worth was estimated at $1 billion.
As you know, Guzman is now in custody, and the feared head of the Sinaloan cartel is no longer running things. Instead, Ismael Zambada Garcia or El Mayo is in charge. Hes been recently covered in Netflixs Worlds Most Wanted, as a deadly fugitive whos avoided capture up until now. So, how much is El Mayo worth?
How Did El Mayo Make His Money?
El Mayo started in the drug trafficking trade in the s. He was part of the Guadalajara cartel before working in the Juarez Cartel. He ascended to a leadership position there, before war broke out for control over the plazas drug distribution territories. Eventually, El Mayo started collaborating with El Chapo, of the Sinaloan cartel. Contrary to other drug deals, he has maintained a low profile, making Ismael nearly untouchable to the authorities for so long.
El Mayo and El Chapo funneled millions of their drug money into various companies and legitimate businesses. These continue to function and generate revenue even today, lining Ismaels pockets quite well. The DEA has also praised El Mayos business acumen, saying that he has a very diversified portfolio. On paper, he has elementary school education. However, Ismael has learned from some of the most astute, prolific, and knowledgeable drug lords of Mexico, making him an unparalleled businessman in the drug trafficking business.
El Mayo Net Worth
El Mayos net worth is believed to be between $3 billion according to a Bloomberg report. However, it is challenging to pinpoint an exact net worth for drug dealers, especially those operating on a scale as El Mayo. For example, authorities estimated at one time that the Sinaloan cartel was making $11 billion a year by selling drugs. However, it is a conservative amount calculated based on drugs seized by the US authorities. Moreover, it doesnt include the sale of drugs elsewhere.
Furthermore, the cartel has several businesses that serve as fronts. The Sinaloa cartel allegedly owns a water park and a daycare center, which is run by El Mayos daughter, Maria Teresa. Since the cartel keeps laundering their money through these channels, it becomes impossible to make an exact calculation. However, we do know that El Mayo is currently unable to enjoy his relatively vast wealth. Hes believed to be hiding in the Sinaloan mountains, on the run from the authorities. The DEA reports that hes been diagnosed with diabetes.
El Mayo has a $5 million reward out in his name, offered by the FBI. The Mexican government also has a reward out for his arrest. However, the Sinaloan cartel hasnt been wholly dismantled yet, which means El Mayo is still lining his coffers.
Read More: Shows Like El Chapo
Ismael 'El Mayo' Zambada-Garcia makes $11billion a year for the Sinaloa Cartel with El Chapo in jail
As Joaquin 'El Chapo' Guzman awaits the start of his trial in New York, an old associate continues to maintain the jailed kingpin's Sinaloa Cartel afloat and he's amassed a multi-billion dollar fortune along the way.
Ismael 'El Mayo' Zambada-Garcia helped 'El Chapo' construct a network that has exerted its influence in illicit markets as close as the United States and Colombia, and as far as New Zealand and Russia, through the distribution of cocaine, heroin and other drugs while tapping into the lucrative human trafficking business.
Under the watch of the year-old, the criminal organization has been able to haul in a whopping $11billion based on seizures and pricing provided by the Drug Enforcement Agency [DEA], according to Bloomberg.
'El Mayo' has positioned himself as one of the richest men in the narcotics, earning $3billion since
With 'El Chapo' [right] locked up in New York City jail and expected to spend the rest of his life behind bars, year-old 'El Mayo' [left] has led the Sinaloa Cartel's day-to-day operations while battling diabetes
Zambada-Garcia, who is on the Federal Bureau of Investigation's [FBI] most wanted list, continues to manage the Sinaloa Cartel's day-to-day dealings despite battling a bout with diabetes.
Mike Vigil, who once led the DEA's international operations, recognized 'El Mayo's' business smarts as the head of a criminal syndicate that has spread its wealth and laundered its unlawful profits through international banks and companies.
The American agency tasked with battling drug smuggling and distribution has pointed out business that have benefited from the Sinaloa Cartel's illicit earnings, including a dairy company, water park and a daycare center allegedly operated by his daughter Maria Teresa.
'Even though he's only had maybe an elementary-school education, he's received a Harvard-level education from some of the most prolific, knowledgeable and astute drug lords that Mexico has ever had,' Vigil told Bloomberg.
Vincente Zambada, the oldest of 'El'Mayo's' three sons, is currently serving a year sentence in the U.S. after he was extradited from Mexico in
The United States Department of Justice is offering a reward of $5million for information leading to the arrest of Ismael 'El Mayo' Zambada-Garcia, leader of the Sinaloa Cartel
The United States Department of Justice had placed a reward of $5million for the capture of "El Mayo, who has never spent a day of his life in jail unlike his associate, 'El Chapo', who broke out of two Mexican jails.
However, Zambada-Garcia's three sons haven't had too much luck with the narco business.
Vicente Zambada, 43, has been under U.S. custody since serving a year sentence. The Sinaloa Cartel leader's middle son, Ismael "El Mayito" Zambada-Imperial, 34, was extradited to the U.S. in Serafin Zambada, 27, was released from jail in September after serving five years.
In a interview with Proceso, 'El Mayo', admitted the possibility of being arrested created a sense of 'panic' despite how hard to he worked to maintain a low profile in public and wouldn't rule out committing suicide if it meant avoiding doing time in jail.
'I don't know if I'd have the courage to kill myself. I'd like to think so, that I'd kill myself.'
Serafin Zambada, 27, the youngest of Ismael 'El Mayo' Zambada-Garcia's three sons was released from a U.S. jail in September after serving five years for his dealings with the Sinaloa Cartel. His middle brother, Ismael "El Mayito" Zambada-Imperial, 34, was extradited to the U.S. in
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Ismael Zambada García, alias 'El Mayo'
Ismael Zambada García, alias “El Mayo,” heads the Sinaloa Cartel. Along with his now captured and convicted partner, Joaquín Guzmán Loera, alias “El Chapo,” El Mayo is one of the most storied drug traffickers in Mexican history.
Originally a farmer from the western state of Sinaloa, El Mayo started working with the Juarez Cartel in the s and s. After the death of the head of the Juarez Cartel, Amado Carrillo Fuentes, alias “El Señor de los Cielos,” El Mayo created his own organization.
With the slow demise of the Tijuana Cartel, El Mayo has sought to expand his routes through the northwestern states of Sonora and Baja California. He also controls much of the heroin production and shipment from Mexico into the United States.
In , the US government offered a $5 million reward for information leading to his capture.
In recent years, El Mayo has suffered the loss of several key members of his inner circle. Authorities have arrested his brother, two sons and a nephew. One of his sons, Ismael Zambada, alias “El Mayito,” was extradited to the United States in In , El Mayo’s alleged right-hand man, Manuel Torres Felix, alias “El M-1” or “El Ondeado," was killed in a shootout with the military.
Some analysts surmised that El Mayo might be easing into the shadows, or even retiring, after he appeared on the front cover of the Mexican investigative news magazine Proceso in However, El Mayo survived a February attack reportedly carried out by Dámaso “Licenciado” López Núñez, another Sinaloa Cartel leader. The ambush also targeted two of El Chapo’s sons, suggesting an internal struggle for power following the drug boss’s capture and extradition to the United States earlier that year.
However, Licenciado was arrested soon after in Mexico City in May. Then Licenciado’s son, Damáso López Serrano, alias “Mini Lic,” later turned himself in to US authorities July. This left El Mayo at the top of the Sinaloa Cartel to oversee the group’s operations and watch over El Chapo’s sons, known collectively as “Los Chapitos,” who are now the next target for US authorities.
In contrast, El Mayo's sons have either all been arrested and jailed in the United States or seem to be lying low.
El Mayo is getting older and is rumored to be in bad health and battling diabetes. For now, however, he is the last remaining member of the Sinaloa Cartel’s old guard, and will likely continue to run the show while he is still able.
Following the extradition of El Chapo to the United States in January and the May arrest of Licenciado, some consider El Mayo to have claimed the top spot in one of the world’s most powerful criminal organizations. El Mayo oversees much of Mexico’s heroin production, largely bound for the booming market in the United States. And the Sinaloa Cartel is still a dominant player in the international cocaine trade.
El Mayo is originally from Sinaloa, and he is believed to operate out of the mountainous regions in Sinaloa, Durango, and Chihuahua -- the so-called “Golden Triangle" of drug production in Mexico, and a longtime Sinaloa Cartel stronghold. However, El Mayo’s influence is thought to extend throughout much of Mexico, and the Sinaloa Cartel has a presence in almost every major city in the Western Hemisphere.
Allies and Enemies
El Mayo has made and broken many alliances with other drug trafficking organizations. His partnership with El Chapo has been cited as a major reason why the Sinaloa Cartel is the strongest in the hemisphere.
El Mayo has also used his connections in the Mexican government to push his influence steadily north toward the US border and south toward Cancún, leaving a trail of imprisoned and dead colleagues in his wake.
More recently, as Mexico’s criminal landscape succumbs to increased fragmentation, El Mayo is reportedly leading a campaign in part through the use of narco-banners to align belligerent groups that otherwise risk being captured or killed.
Even before El Chapo’s extradition in , El Mayo was a major figure within the Sinaloa Cartel, and perhaps even of equal stature with his former boss on the operational side. With El Chapo out of the picture and internal power struggles roiling the organization, El Mayo will likely play an important role in the cartel’s future, despite a power play by Los Chapitos.
El Mayo has proven himself remarkably adept at evading arrest. His deep connections in government and the local population in Sinaloa have helped him spend over 40 years in the drug trafficking business without ever seeing the inside of a jail cell. At this point, it appears that El Mayo’s deteriorating health may get to him before authorities do.
EL MAYOMEXICOMEXICO PERSONALITIESSINALOA CARTEL
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$ million is ordinary money in the world of ‘El Chapo’
In any other context, the nine-figure bribe former Sinaloa cartel secretary Alex Cifuentes told New York jurors he arranged for a Mexican president-elect would defy belief.
But for the mega-rich narcorattiwho have lined up to testify in the ongoing trial of Mexican drug kingpin Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, $ million is just the price of doing business.
“We need to think about these organizations as multibillion-dollar corporations,” said David Shirk, a professor of international relations at the University of San Diego and a drug trade expert. “When you think of these guys not as colorful thugs but as captains of industry, it’s really easy to understand why there’s so much money involved.”
Still, the dollar amounts tossed around in testimony have been eye-opening for many experts, who estimate that the U.S. narcotics trade is worth as much as $40 billion a year, on par with worldwide revenue at Coca-Cola Co. But they rarely get to hear directly from the illegal drug industry’s senior executives.
Eleven former cartel officials have testified for the prosecution since the trial started in early November, with many more expected to take the stand before it’s over.
Most are in federal prison waiting to be sentenced for drug trafficking, murder and other crimes and hope their testimony will be rewarded with shorter sentences and special visas for their families. The few who are free are in witness protection.
Guzman, who has already been convicted of drug trafficking in Mexico, is being tried in federal court on charges of trafficking, conspiracy to commit murder and weapons violations. Most of the witnesses worked closely with him.
They are the cornerstone of the prosecution’s case — and its biggest liability. Guzman’s lawyers have seized on the details of their lives to portray them as deceitful, unreliable and out for themselves.
The saga of ‘El Chapo,’ one of the world’s biggest drug kingpins »
Cross-examination has produced tales of wealth that often sound less like legal testimony than a spec script for “Lifestyles of the Rich and Infamous.”
Tirso Martinez, a self-taught systems engineer who built train lines for the cartel and managed its smuggling routes, spent lavishly on sports teams, racehorses and restaurants, losing close to $2 million on cockfights alone before his arrest in Mexico in
Before he landed in Mexican prison in , Guzman’s longtime lieutenant Miguel Angel “El Gordo” Martinez eroded his septum blowing through 4 grams of cocaine a day, and frequently interrupted meetings to insufflate the drug from a gold vial inlaid with diamonds.
Alex Cifuentes’ brother, the Colombian narco Jorge Cifuentes, said he funneled his ill-gotten gains into a dozen different legitimate businesses, hemorrhaging cash until his arrest in
And Chicago drug boss Pedro Flores, who has been in federal custody since and is expected to join his family soon in witness protection, still owns several properties in Mexico, though he told jurors he would be indicted for money laundering if he ever tried to sell them.
Vanda Felbab-Brown, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and an expert on the international drug trade, said she was paying close attention to the Guzman trial.
“Estimating the size of illicit economies is magic rather than science,” she said. “Estimating the size of individual profits is even more difficult.”
One number in particular stood out to her: $ billion.
That’s how much — in cash, real estate and other assets — Vicente Zambada, the son of Guzman’s partner and purported successor Ismael “El Mayo” Zambada, told the court he agreed to forfeit to the U.S. government when he pleaded guilty to drug trafficking in It was unclear how much of that the government has actually seized.
“I was really shocked by that number and found it hard to believe,” Felbab-Brown said.
But other experts said it made sense.
“It’s reasonable to say that at a minimum, these guys were running a $6-billion industry, and the number of firms competing in that industry was very small,” Shirk said. “For an individual like Guzman, we’re surely in the hundreds of millions annually, and a billion is not impossible and is in fact quite probable in terms of net worth.”
The fearsome head of Colombia’s North Valley cartel, Juan Carlos “Chupeta” Ramirez Abadia, told jurors that he too forfeited a billion in assets. A video clip taken just after his arrest in and played for jurors showed mansions and yachts brimming with scores of designer watches and other luxury goods.
“I was super rich,” he told the court.
His operational costs were also immense. He kept meticulous ledgers, which tracked millions of dollars in drug shipments, as well as business expenses, including pricey hit jobs and tons of ice and fresh fish to back his drug boats’ cover.
“How come so much money for this person?” defense attorney William Purpura inquired about a $, assassination listed on an Excel spreadsheet.
“It was a big group of hit men who took part in that killing,” Ramirez Abadia said.
He later told the court he paid for nearly 40 other killings tied to just that one feud.
Therein lies the rub, Felbab-Brown explained.
The drug industry is dominated by a handful of major players, but those men rely on networks of thousands for day-to-day operations, from drivers and engineers to bodyguards and hit men, all of whom must be paid in cash.
“No sicario with any kind of brain will agree to be paid in bitcoin,” she said. “You need liquidity, because you need to be able to grab the money and run.”
Still more cash is required to buy off law enforcement and politicians, whose precise role in the narcotics business has been deliberately veiled at several key points in the trial.
Guzman’s attorneys have at times been strictly limited in what they can ask about bribes.
“Individuals and entities who are not party to this case would face embarrassment and harassment if this information were made public,” Judge Brian Cogan told the court in November, after an extended back-and-forth over what precisely Sinaloa cartel deputy Jesus “El Rey” Zambada Garcia would be permitted to say about a series of political payoffs.
But damning allegations have nevertheless emerged — most recently the testimony last week from Cifuentes, who claimed he was carrying out orders from Guzman when he arranged the $million payment to Enrique Peña Nieto in October , two months before he was inaugurated president.
Back in November, Zambada testified that he personally passed millions in cash to two high-ranking Mexico City officials, including one with close ties to current Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, while Colombian public defender turned narco-fixer German Rosero told the court in December that he had convinced rival cartels to rally each of their corrupt politicians for a crucial vote.
Both Lopez Obrador and Peña Nieto have vigorously denied the corruption claims.
Human resources are far from the drug traffickers’ only expense. Even before the trial, the Sinaloa cartel was famed for its use of exotic vehicles — including planes, trains and submarines — to move hundreds of tons of drugs.
Shipments were frequently disguised with real goods, including fresh produce and even livestock. Flores described a load of drugs arriving at one of his warehouses in a truck full of bleating sheep, though he was prevented from telling jurors what happened to the animals.
Still more money was required to house the drugs. Witnesses have testified that the cartel controlled a thick real estate portfolio of warehouses across Mexico and stash houses dotting the United States.
Unlike street dealers, who often keep small caches of drugs in their own apartments, Flores told the court that he ordered workers to find “beautiful” properties in “upscale” neighborhoods in which police were less vigilant and neighbors kept their business to themselves.
One particularly tony stash house “had a beautiful view of the Brooklyn Bridge,” he recalled.
But by far the most costly of any cartel’s operations are its wars, which experts say have escalated across Mexico in the aftermath of Guzman’s arrest. Whenever one narco-oligarch falls, others rise to try to take his place, spurring terrible bloodshed and ruinous expense.
Shirk said that for drug traffickers, violence is simply a business strategy.
“If they could take someone to court for failing to provide a shipment, they wouldn’t need to kill them,” he said.
Mayo worth el net
How Much Money Was Seized From El Chapo?
Scandalous drug lord Joaquín Guzmán Loera, also called “El Chapo”, was previously the head of the deadly Sinaloa drug cartel in Mexico, and was indicted in February of running a continuing criminal endeavor along with a few other drug related charges. According to the filings, a few witnesses, including a portion of Guzman’s partners, affirmed during his months-long preliminary that they would sell a kilogram of cocaine in New York for up to $35, and a similar measure of heroin somewhere else for an average of $55, In July , he was condemned to life in jail in New York on a Wednesday. Amassing such a great amount of wealth, one can only wonder how much much money was seized from El Chapo. Well, let us find out.
Who Is El Chapo?
Joaquín Archivaldo Guzmán Loera was born on 4 April , which currently makes him 63 years old, and is commonly known as “El Chapo” (“Shorty”) because he is 5 feet 6 inches tall. El Chapo is a Mexican drug lord and the previous head of the Sinaloa Cartel, an international crime syndicate. He is thought to have been the most powerful drug trafficker all across the globe.
Born in Sinaloa, El Chapo was brought up in a poor farming family. He persevered through physical abuse on account of his dad, and furthermore entered the drug business through his dad as well, helping him grow cannabis for nearby sellers during his initial adulthood. By the end of the ’s, Guzmán started working with Héctor Luis Palma Salazar who was one of the country’s rising drug lords. He helped Salazar map courses to move the narcotics through Sinaloa and into the United States. He later administered coordinations for Miguel Ángel Félix Gallardo, one of the country’s driving top dogs during the s, yet Guzmán established his own cartel in after Gallardo was arrested.
Guzmán managed activities whereby mass cocaine, methamphetamine, cannabis, and heroin were cultivated, smudged into, and circulated all through the United States and Europe, the largest international users. He accomplished this by spearheading the utilization of circulation cells and long range tunnels close to the outskirts, which empowered him to trade a bigger number of drugs ever into the United States than some other dealers. Guzmán’s authority of the cartel additionally brought massive riches and influence; Forbes positioned him as one of the most influential individuals on the planet between and , while the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) assessed that he coordinated the impact and abundance of Pablo Escobar.
El Chapo Money
For around three decades, El Chapo, 63, sold enough drugs and as a result, constructed an enormous fortune, big enough that his name appeared on Forbes magazine’s yearly list of billionaires multiple times in a row (four to be exact), starting in In his 30 year long career as one of Mexico’s wiliest and best drug rulers, Joaquín Guzmán Loera or El Chapo, got such a tremendous amount of money selling drugs that he once owned a couple of yachts, an armada of Learjets and a private zoo with tigers, crocodiles and panthers.
During those years, the outlet assessed that in any event he was worth at least $1 billion. As indicated by court papers, the Mexico local was assessed to have dealt with more than $11 billion worth of cocaine, more than $11 million worth of heroin and $ million worth of cannabis, as the head of the Sinaloa Cartel. These estimates were according to a recent report by The New York Times. Consolidated, those appraisals suggest that Guzmán made more than $ billion.
El Chapo Net Worth
According to a estimate, his total net worth was approximately $2 to $4 billion. However, what is El Chapo’s net worth in ? There has been around an 8 percent increase in inflation from to Therefore, there is not much of a difference between what his net worth was in and what it is today. In order to get a rough idea, $2 billion in is equivalent to almost $ billion, while $4 billion is equivalent to almost $ billion.
How Much Money Was Seized From El Chapo?
There are currently no records of how much money was seized from El Chapo, but as per a court filing, federal prosecutors want the drug lord to forfeit a hefty sum of over $ billion to the United States government. In July , the proposal, filed by prosecutors, stated that this large amount of money represents property “constituting or derived from” the crimes pertaining to his drug business and the property that “facilitated the commission of those crimes.”
Jeffrey Lichtman, one of El Chapo’s lawyers, alluded to a testimony from previous cartel associates who had said that Guzman was facing financial problems. This point was raised in one of the trials. In one of the trials in July, Lichtman stated, “This is largely an academic exercise as the government has never located or identified even a penny of this $ billion in proceeds supposedly generated by Mr. Guzman”.
However, the report that the prosecutors filed says that they do not need to provide evidence for the fact that Guzman can actually pay the forfeiture, and “criminal forfeiture is viewed as part of the sentencing process.” On the other hand, the judge stated that there is a “mountain range of evidence” against the trafficker that strongly countered the statements made by his lawyers.
Will El Chapo’s Money Belong To Whoever Finds It?
Be that as it may, the money that the prosecutors need to seize from the head honcho stays to be found. In prosecution naming Guzman and his fellow cartel pioneer Ismael “El Mayo” Zambada said that upon conviction on the principal check — running a proceeding with criminal venture — the United States would look for proceeds or property acquired through or utilized for that undertaking, “including yet not restricted to at least around, $14 billion.” However, in his trial, the prosecution reduced this money to around $ billion.
Forfeitures for sentenced cartel pioneers are not uncommon. Different drug lords have been ordered to surrender large sums of money. After confessing in , previous Gulf cartel pioneer Osiel Cardenas Guillen, who Guzman might soon enough join at ADX Florence, was requested to relinquish $50 million. In , Alfredo Beltran Leyva, once head of the Beltran Leyva Organization, was condemned to life in jail and was ordered to relinquish $ million which was decreased from the US government’s $10 billion solicitation.
The $14 billion the legislature anticipates from Guzman is the highest amount yet that has been appointed to his crimes, however, how the prosecutors showed up at that number or at the conclusion that such a huge amount of cash even exists under the El Chapo name, is not clear. According to Duncan Levin, a previous associate US lawyer who zeroed in on illegal tax avoidance and resource relinquishment, the $14 billion was “the cumulative amount of money based on his drug-trafficking enterprise, but [US prosecutors] never really spelled out what the $14 billion comes from.” He revealed this in an interview with Business Insider.
Levin further went on to state that “The US government is going to seek a forfeiture judgment against him in the amount of money that they estimate is the proceeds of his offense. Whether he’s worth it or not, whether he can pay for it or not, is almost immaterial.”
His drug cartel has obviously made him quite rich, so there is no doubt that he does have the money, however, whether or not the United States prosecution can prove a specific dollar amount, is unclear. Nevertheless, they are allowed to take guesses and make estimates in order to get to a dollar amount, and most probably that is exactly what they will do.
The idea of the business and of narcos like Guzman implies a significant part of the money has just been spent. A previous cartel member who affirmed against Guzman said that along with private planes, yachts, and sumptuous worldwide excursions, Guzman purchased homes on each sea shore and in each state in Mexico. At his Acapulco beach house, the witness stated, Guzman had a zoo with a “little train” he could ride to see lions, tigers, and jaguars.
There are additionally more viable ventures, similar to farms and retail property, that help launder grimy cash. In the Sinaloa state capital of Culiacan — presently allegedly Guzman’s son’s turf — they have dairy ranches and shopping centers. They even have daycare centers. Narcos additionally subsidizes churches, sports groups, and noble causes to construct goodwill. The loss of subsidizing was regretted by some in Guzman’s old neighborhood after his conviction.
Finding these assets in Mexico, holding onto them, and extricating their worth should be a reciprocal exertion. Therefore, it is exceptionally impossible that they will discover nothing. However, the question is the manner by which and the effort that the Mexican government is willing to put into helping the United States government in attempting to effectuate a relinquishment request. According to Levin, at the end of the day, the US government will end up with a cash judgment that would not be gathered easily.
El Chapo’s influence and authority matched that of Pablo Escobar along with the wealth he had amassed. However, authorities still have not seized the entire amount and are on the lookout for it.
Below you can find the list of 10 richest drug lords of all time (click to skip ahead and see the top 5 richest drug lords of all time).
Seven years ago the city of Chicago named Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman its first public enemy number one since Al Capone. That's a big deal. You probably don't know this but Chicago is the number one drug distribution hub for Mexican drug cartels (see the top 13 US cities crowded by Mexican drug cartels) in the United States. Chicago also ranks #1 in our list of the top 10 U.S. cities with highest number of murders. Does El Chapo deserve this kind of public acknowledgment? How does he compare to other drug lords in terms of estimated wealth?
Obviously drug lords aren't good at filing taxes and keeping accounting records, which is why we don't really have the exact figures for their wealth. That's why we are going to use guesstimates from various sites in our rankings. Our original plan was to use at least two independent sources for each drug lord to calculate our guesstimates. After we started looking for guesstimates, we noticed that a Business Insider article was used as the "main source" for most of the articles that are on page 1 of Google search results. For example, Al Capone's wealth in was reported at $ billion by Business Insider. Several other website reported the same number several years later. Obviously these reporters aren't aware of inflation and time value of money. We will be using inflation adjusted numbers in our article. Consumer Price Index in was and increased to in That means $ billion in is equivalent to nearly $ billion in
El Chapo isn't the biggest and the richest drug kingpin of all time by a long shot. He is getting all this publicity because we live in the social media age. In federal prosecutors estimated in their court documents that El Chapo handled , kilograms of cocaine and , kilograms of marijuana. The cocaine was valued at more than $11 billion and the marijuana was valued at $ million. The total estimate for El Chapo's "gross drug sale proceeds" since early s was less than $ billion. This isn't his profit, this is his total revenue in a business that's extremely expensive to run.
Bruce Bagley, a year old University of Miami professor, estimated El Chapo's net worth between $ billion and we think he was being generous. By the way, Bruce Bagley, the expert on Mexican drug cartels, was charged with money laundering in He pleaded guilty to helping to launder $ million in exchange for a $, payment. We would have asked him about his latest estimates for El Chapo's wealth but he probably has other things on his mind as he is scheduled to be sentenced on October 1st.
We are going to assume El Chapo's wealth at $3 billion. Now, let's take a look at the 10 richest drug lords of all time.
Al Capone: $ Billion
Al Capone's net worth was estimated at $ billion in That's worth $ billion in today's money. However, you should keep in mind that we are just inflation adjusting this number. If we had invested Al Capone's money into an S&P Index fund, he probably would have been the richest gangster today.
Griselda Blanco: $ Billion
La Madrina, The Godmother of Cocaine was killed in It is actually a big accomplishment on her part to manage to survive until the age of 69 in this business. You may be worth $ billion but you can't really live like a billionaire.
El Chapo: $3 Billion
We already discussed El Chapo's wealth estimates. This is probably an overestimation, but even if El Chapo's net worth is $ billion, he still would be the 10th richest drug lord of all time.
9. Carlos Lehder: $ Billion
Carlos Enrique Lehder Rivas is the co-founder of the Medellin Cartel and still alive. He spent 33 years in prison and was recently released.
8. The Orejuela Bros: $ Billion
Gilberto Rodríguez Orejuela was the leader of the Colombian Cali Cartel and is currently serving a year sentence in the United States. He is seeking early release from prison because he suffers from prostate and colon cancer. His brother Miguel Rodriguez Orejuela is also serving a prison sentence at a federal prison in Pennsylvania. We count them among the most successful drug lords because even though they can't enjoy their immense wealth, they agreed to a plea deal with the U.S. prosecutors that gave immunity to more than a two dozen of family members.
6. (tied) Jose Gonzalo Rodriguez Gacha: $ Billion
Jose Gonzalo Rodriguez Gacha was one of the leaders of the Medellin Cartel and was actually included in Forbes' billionaires list in He was killed in
6. (tied) Khun Sa: $ Billion
The "Opium King" is the most successful drug lord as he retired in and enjoyed his wealth for a good 11 years until his death. His children are wealthy business people in Myanmar today.
Click to continue reading and see the top 5 richest drug lords of all time.
Disclosure: El Chapo and the 12 Richest Drug Lords of All Time is originally published at Insider Monkey.
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Ismael "El Mayo" Zambada
Mexican suspected drug lord and leader of the Sinaloa Cartel
In this Spanish name, the first or paternal surname is Zambada and the second or maternal family name is García.
Ismael Zambada García (born 1 January ) is a Mexican suspected drug lord and leader of the Sinaloa Cartel, an international crime syndicate based in Sinaloa, Mexico. Before he assumed leadership of the entire cartel, he served as the logistical coordinator for its Zambada-García faction, which has overseen the trafficking of cocaine and heroin into Chicago and other US cities by aircraft, narcosubs, container ships, go-fast boats, fishing vessels, buses, rail cars, tractor trailers, and automobiles.
The former farmer turned drug lord began his criminal career by smuggling as little as a few kilograms of drugs at a time; however, it was only to gain a foothold before he went about increasing his gang's production of heroin and marijuana while also solidifying his position as a trafficker of Félix Gallardo was arrested in , his organization split into two opposing factions: the Tijuana Cartel whose leadership was inherited by his nephews and heirs, the Arellano Félix brothers; and the Sinaloa Cartel whose leadership fell to former lieutenants Héctor Luis Palma Salazar, Adrián Gómez González, Ismael Zambada García, Ignacio Coronel Villarreal, and Joaquín Guzmán Loera (El Chapo). The Sinaloa Cartel drug lords were active in the states of Sinaloa, Durango, Chihuahua, Sonora, Nuevo León, and Michoacán.
In , the administration of President Felipe Calderón launched an offensive against Mexico's drug trafficking networks. The Arellano Felix Organization (Tijuana Cartel), the largest and most sophisticated of the Mexican cartels at the time, received the brunt of the blows. Taking advantage of the pressure being placed on the Tijuana Cartel, other drug bosses, most notably Ismael Zambada and Joaquín Guzmán, began to encroach on strongholds in northwestern Mexico, leading to full-scale war.
Zambada has historically worked closely with the Juárez Cartel and the Carrillo Fuentes family, while maintaining independent ties to Colombian cocaine suppliers. Zambada has been wanted by Mexico's attorney general's office since , when it issued bounties totaling $ million USD on him and five other leaders of the Juárez Cartel.
Zambada headed the Sinaloa Cartel in partnership with Joaquín "El Chapo" Guzmán, until when El Chapo was captured. Zambada has now possibly assumed full command of the Sinaloa Cartel.
Zambada is likely Mexico's most enduring and powerful drug lord. He may have had plastic surgery and disguised himself to move throughout Mexico.
Zambada García's organization, the Sinaloa Cartel, receives multi-ton quantities of cocaine, mostly by sea from Colombian sources. After receipt of the cocaine, the Sinaloa cartel uses a variety of methods, including airplanes, trucks, cars, boats, and tunnels to transport the cocaine to the United States. Members of the cartel smuggle the cocaine to distribution cells in Arizona, California, Illinois, and New York.
Zambada operates primarily in the States of Sinaloa and Durango, but exerts influence along a large portion of Mexico's Pacific coast, as well as in Cancun, Quintana Roo, Sonora, and Nuevo Leon.
Ismael Zambada has been featured on America's Most Wanted, and the FBI is offering up to US$5 million for information leading to his capture.
On 20 October , some of his relatives were arrested in Mexico City on drug trafficking charges: Ismael's brother, Jesus "The King" Zambada, along with Ismael's son and nephew. His son, Ismael "Mayito" Zambada Jr. has been sought for conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance in the United States. His other son, Vicente Zambada Niebla, was arrested by the Mexican Army on 18 March 
On 24 June , it was revealed that Zambada had been willing to give former top Mexican drug lords Rafael and Miguel Caro Quintero high ranking positions in the Sinaloa Cartel if they agreed to join. However, the effort to recruit the Caro Quintero brothers faltered as Zambada's health declined and El Chapo's sons, who were less willing to grant them leadership, gained more influence.
His wife Rosario Niebla Cardoza, brother Jesús, sons Vicente Zambada-Niebla (alias "el Vicentillo", arrested),Serafín Zambada-Ortiz (alias "el Sera", arrested and released), and Ismael Zambada-Imperial (alias "el Mayito gordo", convicted), as well as his four daughters, María Teresa, Midiam Patricia, Mónica del Rosario, and Modesta played an active role in narcotics' distribution and money laundering. His son-in-law, Juan Gabriel González Ibarra, husband of Midiam Patricia, died after suffering an electric shock at his home in Culiacán on 18 June 
Ismael Zambada relies on currency shipments to move drug proceeds across the United States–Mexico border.
In June , former DEA agent Mike Vigil revealed that Zambada was "sick with diabetes."
In popular culture
Alberto Guerra will play him in Narcos: Mexico's Season 3
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- ^America's Most WantedArchived 8 June at the Wayback Machine
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- ^ abFregoso, Juliana (24 June ). ""Va a caer antes de que muera de viejo", la advertencia de Mike Vigil a Caro Quintero, "el Narco de Narcos"". Infobae.
- ^"Vicente Zambada Niebla se declara culpable por narcotráfico en EU". CNN. 10 April Archived from the original on 10 April Retrieved 23 April
- ^"Quedó en libertad en Estados Unidos Serafín Zambada, hijo del capo narco "Mayo" Zambada". Infobae. 6 September Retrieved 14 March
- ^Davis, Kristina (30 April ). "Son of Sinaloa Cartel kingpin pleads guilty in San Diego". The San Diego Union Tribune. Retrieved 4 May
- ^"Zambada Garcia Financial Network"(PDF). United States Department of the Treasury. May Archived(PDF) from the original on 21 September Retrieved 4 October
- ^Valdez, Cynthia (19 June ). "Muere electrocutado yerno de 'El Mayo' Zambada" (in Spanish). Milenio. Archived from the original on 24 June Retrieved 19 June