Home » El Chapo Quotes: Unveiling the Infamous Drug Lord’s Words

El Chapo Quotes: Unveiling the Infamous Drug Lord’s Words

Joaquín Guzmán Loera, commonly known as “El Chapo,” is a notorious Mexican drug lord who was the head of the Sinaloa cartel, one of the world’s most powerful criminal organizations. His rise to power and infamy attracted worldwide attention as he became a household name. Apart from his exploits in the drug-trafficking industry, he has been known to make some thought-provoking and intriguing quotes during his time.

While serving time in prison, El Chapo shared insights on various subjects, which have been the subject of interest for many. These quotes give a glimpse into the mind of one of the most successful drug kingpins in modern history. So, let us delve into the world of El Chapo’s quotes and uncover the influences that shaped this enigmatic figure.

This article will explore some of these quotes, revealing the wisdom and infamy of a figure who managed to evade the law for decades while building a sprawling criminal empire. From his inner thoughts on faith to his philosophies on life and his own self-awareness, El Chapo’s quotes provide a fascinating look at a man who continues to captivate the world’s imagination.

El Chapo’s Early Life and Rise to Power

Badiraguato and Childhood

Joaquín Guzmán, better known as El Chapo, was born between 1954 and 1957 in La Tuna, a village in the municipality of Badiraguato, Sinaloa, Mexico. His upbringing was marked by poverty, and his family worked as farmers. El Chapo attended school up until third grade, after which he helped his father in the fields. His experiences growing up undoubtedly influenced his future decisions and his path towards the drug trade.

Sinaloa and the Drug Trade

In the late 1970s, El Chapo entered the world of organized crime and began working for the drug lord Héctor “El Güero” Palma. He oversaw the movement of drugs within the Sinaloa region in northwest Mexico and towards the U.S.-Mexico border. As he gained experience and connections, El Chapo later became the leader of the Sinaloa Drug Cartel. The United States Department of the Treasury considered him the world’s most powerful drug trafficker, with an estimated net worth of $6 billion.

During his time in the drug trade, El Chapo established several gangs, such as Los Chachos, Los Texas, Los Lobos, and Los Negros, to help protect his growing empire. His power further expanded, and he became notorious for his ability to escape from prison and his vast network of connections. El Chapo was eventually captured, extradited to the United States, and found guilty of numerous criminal charges.

Some quotes attributed to El Chapo include reflections on his life, power, and experiences:

  • “I can escape from any prison. But my heart remains captive to my accomplice, my wife Emma Coronel.”
  • “I am the boss of the Sinaloa Cartel. I’m not looking for power, but I have it. My power is in the truth.”
  • “My mother told me I was born lucky. I believe her.”
  • “I don’t kill people. I don’t order people to be killed.”

El Chapo’s early life and rise to power serve as a testament to his determination and cunning, as well as a stark reminder of the struggles and consequences that can come with engaging in such a dangerous and unstable profession.

Notable Quotes and Their Context

In this section, we will explore some of El Chapo’s most notable quotes and the context in which they were spoken. These quotes offer insight into his thoughts on cartel life, regret, and his infamous interview with Sean Penn for Rolling Stone.

Quotes on the Cartel Life

El Chapo’s life as a drug lord has inspired several quotes related to the cartel world. Here are three of the most significant quotes:

  1. “I supply more heroin, cocaine, and methamphetamine than anybody else in the world.”
    In interviews and other encounters with the media, El Chapo has not shied away from admitting his central role in the global drug trade.

  2. “All I do is defend myself. Nothing more.”
    El Chapo has sometimes portrayed himself as a kind of reluctant participant in the violent world of drug cartels.

  3. “A drug lord wants a luxurious life. It’s normal.”
    El Chapo’s view on the extravagant lifestyle of drug lords reflects the opulence that has come to be associated with figures like him in the public imagination.

Regret and Remorse

Despite his notoriety, El Chapo has expressed regret and remorse on certain occasions. Some of his quotes on this topic include:

  1. “Freedom is very nice.”
    In an interview conducted while he was still a fugitive, El Chapo commented on the value of freedom, possibly hinting at his willingness to leave a life of crime behind.

  2. “I don’t want to be remembered as a leader of a drug cartel.”
    This quote suggests that El Chapo is aware of the negative legacy he has created and perhaps wishes to distance himself from that image.

Quotes from Rolling Stone Interview

In 2015, actor Sean Penn conducted an interview with El Chapo, facilitated by Mexican actress Kate del Castillo. The interview was published in Rolling Stone magazine in 2016. Here are two notable quotes from this famous interview:

  1. “I don’t consider myself a violent person. I’m a person who looks after his people.”
    El Chapo portrays himself as a caretaker rather than a brutal drug lord – an attempt to humanize himself in the eyes of the public.

  2. “The day I don’t exist, there will still be drug trafficking.”
    In this quote, El Chapo offers a sober assessment of the drug trade, highlighting that he is just one figure in a vast and unending industry.

Captures, Escapes, and Imprisonment

Puente Grande Laundry Cart Escape

In 2001, Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán, a notorious Mexican drug lord, escaped from Mexico’s Puente Grande maximum-security prison using a laundry cart. With the assistance of prison guards, El Chapo concealed himself within the cart and was transported out of the prison.

Capture in Guatemala and Extradition to Mexico

El Chapo was captured by Guatemalan authorities in 1993. He faced multiple charges, including drug trafficking, and was extradited to Mexico. During his imprisonment in Mexico, El Chapo continued to run the Sinaloa cartel, a major international drug trafficking organization involved in the production and distribution of methamphetamine and other substances.

The Maximum-Security Prison Escapes

After his daring laundry cart escape in 2001, El Chapo continued to elude authorities for more than a decade. He was recaptured in February 2014 by Mexican marines in a joint operation with the Mexican Federal Police. However, in July 2015, El Chapo managed another escape; this time from the maximum-security Altiplano prison. He used an elaborate tunnel network to make his getaway. In January 2016, El Chapo was apprehended again in a raid by Mexican marines.

Life Sentence in Colorado and Supreme Court of Mexico Appeals

El Chapo was extradited to the United States in 2017 and faced trial in New York City on various charges, including drug trafficking, money laundering, and murder. In February 2019, he was found guilty on all counts and sentenced to life in prison. El Chapo is currently serving his life sentence at the ADX Florence, a maximum-security prison in Colorado, known as the “Alcatraz of the Rockies.” Following his extradition and trial, El Chapo’s legal team has been attempting to appeal his sentence through the Supreme Court of Mexico.

El Chapo’s Family and Personal Life

Spouse Emma Coronel Aispuro

Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman was married to Emma Coronel Aispuro. Emma Coronel Aispuro was born in 1989, making her significantly younger than El Chapo. She is a dual citizen of the United States and Mexico and is a former beauty queen. Emma married El Chapo in 2007 and supported her husband throughout his legal troubles. The couple has two children together, born in 2011.


El Chapo is known to have at least ten children, some from previous relationships. Among his children are:

  • Iván Archivaldo Guzmán: Sometimes referred to as “El Chapito,” Ivan is believed to be one of the active leaders in the Sinaloa Cartel.
  • Jesus Alfredo Guzmán: Also involved in the Sinaloa Cartel, he has a reputation for violence and has been placed under sanctions by the United States.
  • Ovidio Guzmán López: Ovidio was briefly captured by Mexican authorities in 2019, but his arrest caused significant violence in the city of Culiacán, leading to his eventual release.
  • Alejandrina Gisselle Guzmán: The daughter of El Chapo’s first marriage, she was arrested while attempting to enter the United States in 2012 and later deported back to Mexico.


El Chapo’s family is deeply connected to the Sinaloa Cartel and the larger world of drug trafficking. Some of his notable relatives include:

  • María Alejandrina Salazar: El Chapo’s first wife, they had four children together.
  • Graciela Guzmán: Sister of El Chapo, she was arrested in 2016 under suspicion of being involved in her brother’s drug operations.
  • Consuelo Loera: El Chapo’s mother, she has endured government scrutiny and surveillance for her association with her son, including the freezing of her assets in Mexico.

The family dynamics and relationships of El Chapo’s life have played a crucial role in the story of the infamous drug lord, offering deeper insights into the man behind the headlines.

Sinaloa Cartel and Its Impact

Key Figures in the Sinaloa Cartel

The Sinaloa Cartel is a powerful Mexican drug trafficking organization, with its origins traced back to the 1980s. Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán, the most well-known figure, led the cartel until his arrest and extradition to the United States in 2017. Other key figures include Ismael “El Mayo” Zambada García, who is considered El Chapo’s right-hand man, and Juan José Esparragoza Moreno, also known as “El Azul.”

In addition, the Sinaloa Cartel has had many members rise to prominence. For example, the US justice department charged 28 members of the cartel, including El Chapo’s sons, in a fentanyl-trafficking case.

Influence on the Drug Trade

The Sinaloa Cartel has had a significant impact on the global drug trade. They are responsible for trafficking multiple types of drugs, including:

  • Marijuana: The cartel is heavily involved in the cultivation and distribution of marijuana, primarily in Mexico and the United States.
  • Heroin: The Sinaloa Cartel has played a role in the increased availability of heroin in the United States, as they have helped push Mexican-produced heroin into the market.
  • Cocaine: Their influence extends to the trafficking of cocaine from Colombia, reportedly moving thousands of kilograms of the drug each year.

The Sinaloa Cartel’s operations have had a far-reaching impact on the global drug trade. Their network is extensive, as they maintain smuggling routes in numerous countries. This has allowed them to generate billions of dollars in profits and has contributed to the presumed net worth of key figures, like El Chapo, who is estimated to have amassed $1 billion during his time as the cartel’s leader.

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has been closely monitoring the activities of the Sinaloa Cartel, but despite their efforts and the capture of El Chapo, the organization remains stronger than ever. Today, the Sinaloa Cartel continues to be a formidable force in the international drug trade, with new leaders stepping into key roles and maintaining the group’s position of power.

The Controversies and Criminal Enterprise

Murders, Chaos, and Corruption

El Chapo, once the world’s most powerful drug trafficker, was known for his ruthless and violent tactics that created chaos in the territories he controlled. For instance, he claimed: “I don’t kill people. I don’t order people to be killed. It doesn’t satisfy me.” Yet, he was still held responsible for the deaths of countless individuals.

Murders were common in the areas under El Chapo’s influence due to territorial disputes and power struggles. Shootouts often occurred, terrorizing the local communities. Corruption also played a significant role as it allowed him to extend his reach, maintain control, and evade capture. He notoriously engaged in paying bribes to Mexican government officials, including those in the presidency, like Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto.

Organized Crime and Money Laundering

El Chapo’s empire was built on the foundation of organized crime. His criminal enterprise consisted of a vast network of drug trafficking routes, with his primary focus being the Sinaloa Cartel. The organization was widely involved in smuggling, distribution, and sales of illegal narcotics, spanning continents and impacting millions of lives.

Money laundering was also a pervasive aspect of El Chapo’s criminal empire. It allowed him to efficiently funnel the proceeds from drug trafficking and maintain his wealth. The U.S. government and Mexican authorities have consistently pursued his illegal financial operations in an attempt to dismantle his sprawling criminal organization.

El Chapo’s experience in operating his criminal enterprise was vast, and he remained one of the most influential drug kingpins in modern history until his eventual conviction in the United States on multiple counts related to drug trafficking, organized crime, and money laundering.

El Chapo’s Legacy

Cultural Influence and Perception

Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán, the notorious Mexican drug lord and former head of the Sinaloa Cartel, has left a significant impact on global culture. His infamous image has been shaped by his daring escapes from prison and stature in the drug trade industry, often compared to that of Pablo Escobar. However, despite the public’s fascination with him, his actions have led to a high number of murders and violence across Mexico.

In popular culture, El Chapo has inspired various movies and television shows, such as the Netflix series “Narcos,” which explores the lives of drug lords like himself and Escobar. Additionally, his exploits have become the subject of numerous books and documentaries.

Impact on the Global Drug Trade

El Chapo’s influence on the global drug trade is indisputable. Under his leadership, the Sinaloa Cartel became the world’s most powerful drug trafficking organization, controlling a large portion of the poppy production in Mexico. The cartel’s operations even extended internationally, being linked to other drug traffickers such as Héctor Luis Palma Salazar.

The Sinaloa Cartel was known for its use of brutal violence to maintain control over its various territories. One notorious example was the Los Negros organization, a group responsible for countless murders and assassinations on behalf of El Chapo’s cartel.

El Chapo’s impact also reached the judicial level, with numerous instances of his cartel members and allies facing charges and arrests by Mexican authorities, the FBI, and other law enforcement agencies. Despite these efforts, his organization’s resilience and his own ability to evade capture for years frustrated both Mexican and U.S. government officials alike.

In January 2016, however, the combined efforts of Guatemalan authorities, Mexican authorities, and the U.S. government finally led to El Chapo’s arrest and eventual extradition to the United States, where he faced trial and sentencing for various charges.

Throughout his career, El Chapo’s influence not only shaped the drug trade industry but also served as a catalyst for law enforcement efforts. Despite his eventual downfall, his legacy will likely continue to resonate in both the public’s imagination and the world of organized crime.

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