The legacy of Mexican drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman was captured in a new documentary that premiered at the South by Southwest festival over the weekend. The modern-day Public Enemy Number One emerged from over a decade in hiding at his climactic arrest two weeks ago.
The film, Legend of Shorty, a collaboration between filmmaker Angus MacQueen and Peruvian journalist Guillermo Galdos, follows MacQueen and Galdos on their journey in search of Chapo. According to Guardian film critic Henry Barnes, the pair demonstrated “extraordinary access to the cartel” as they explored Mexico’s Golden Triangle, where they witnessed “batch loads of cocaine, meth and marijuana being prepared for transport” and “surreal meetings with Chapo’s inner circle, including a lunch date with his mum.”
The last line of the film is Galdos saying, “They got to him before he agreed to give us an interview.” The world’s biggest drug dealer was captured by authorities before the pair could sit down with him.
After over a decade of hiding, the notorious leader of the Sinaloa cartel — the biggest cartel in history, an operation responsible for trafficking an estimated 25% of the illegal drugs that enter the U.S. — was finally put behind bars in February.
Like everything else about him, the details about Chapo’s capture are pretty outlandish. The notorious drug pin, who has been ranked one of the most powerful people in the world by Forbes, has been living it up while Mexican authorities and the DEA were busting their buns trying to find him since he escaped from a high security prison in 2001.
He was captured at Mazatlán, a beach resort outside of Sinaloa, where authorities discovered he had spent his massive drug fortune on 16 houses, 43 vehicles, and four ranches. He was also packing major (and pricey) heat — with 97 long arms (like rifles and such), 36 handguns, two grenade launchers and a rocket launcher.
How did one of the world’s most wanted people manage to evade authorities for over a decade, despite living in such extravagant means? Tunnels — burrowed between seven of his houses, with steel doors connected to the shower of each of the homes. The first photo above shows one of these secret entrances to the tunnels.
Check out this video of a CNN reporter walking through Chapo’s underground tunnels
Watch a clip from Legend of Shorty