This is one of the sickest and most immoral decisions any media outlet has made in my memory. How do you add a murderer and seller of drugs that kills thousands of Americans each year on a list that includes some of the most successful people. This wealth is not earned. It is blood money. And it shouldn't be recognized by Forbes. It is insane. For that matter, why don't you include Bernard Madoff at 50 billion? How about Putin in Russia? Shouldn't you include the wealth he has acquired by being a dictator. Where do you draw the line? Forbes is sending a message that it doesn't matter how you obtain wealth. It's all good:
Mexico's most wanted man Joaquin "Shorty" Guzman, blamed for housands of deaths in a drug war, has made it onto the Forbes Magazine list of the world's richest people with an estimated $1 billion fortune. Guzman, who is just 5 feet tall (1.55 metres), escaped from prison in 2001 to set off a wave of killings across Mexico in an attempt to dominate the country's highly lucrative drug trade into the United States.
"He is not available for interviews," Luisa Kroll, senior editor of Forbes, said on Wednesday. "But his financial situation is doing quite well." Forbes placed Guzman at 701 on its list, tied with dozens of others worldwide with riches of some $1 billion. Guzman, 51, who officials believe changes his cell phone every day to avoid being tracked, is often compared to the late Colombian kingpin Pablo Escobar, whom
Forbes has said amassed a fortune of $3 billion before he was killed by police
The Mexican smuggler is "basically one of the biggest providers of
cocaine to the United States," Kroll said. The magazine based its tally of his
fortune on estimates from drug-trade analysts and U.S. government data.
Guzman's prison escape and ability to elude capture for eight years are an
embarrassment to the Mexican government.
He has outwitted four major government drives to find him between 2002 and 2007. His escapades are the stuff of legend in the areas he controls and in popular "narcocorrido" songs that glorify drug traffickers. Mexico's attorney general, Eduardo Medina Mora, told Reuters last week that defeating Guzman's cartel of traffickers from the Pacific state of Sinaloa was a priority in President Felipe Calderon's army-backed drug fight. Some 7,000 people have been killed in drug violence across Mexico since the start of last year as rival gangs fight each other and Mexican security forces. Guzman's enforcers from the Sinaloa cartel are among
the most vicious hitmen. Forbes said Mexican and Colombian traffickers laundered between $18 billion and $39 billion in proceeds from wholesale drugs shipments to the United States in 2008.
In the process of acquiring that wealth the Mexican kingpin has created a chaotic condition in his home country that has led to chaos at the border. Now Obama might need to send troops to protect our country.
President Obama weighed in Wednesday on the escalating drug war on the U.S.-Mexico border, saying that he was looking at possibly deploying National Guard troops to contain the violence but ruled out any immediate military move.
"We're going to examine whether and if National Guard deployments would make sense and under what circumstances they would make sense," Obama said during an interview with journalists for regional papers, including a McClatchy reporter.
"I don't have a particular tipping point in mind," he said. "I think it's unacceptable if you've got drug gangs crossing our borders and killing U.S. citizens."
Already this year there have been 1,000 people killed in Mexico along the border, following 2008's death toll of 5,800, according to federal officials who credit Mexican President Felipe Calderon for a crackdown on drug cartels.
But the spillover on the border -- for example, to El Paso from neighboring Ciudad Juarez -- has created a political reaction.
In a recent visit to El Paso, Texas Gov. Rick Perry called for 1,000 troops to protect the border.
Obama was cautious, however. "We've got a very big border with Mexico," he said. "I'm not interested in militarizing the border."
The president praised Calderon, "who I believe is really working hard and taking some extraordinary risks under extraordinary pressure to deal with the drug cartels and the corresponding violence that's erupted along the borders."
Rep. Loretta Sanchez, D-Calif., chair of a key subcommittee on border security, will hold a hearing Thursday on Mexican border violence.
"Last week Mexico sent an additional 3,200 soldiers to the border," Sanchez said in a prepared opening statement for the hearing, "increasing the total number of Mexican soldiers combating drug cartels to more than 45,000."
Sanchez chairs the House Committee on Homeland Security's subcommittee on border, maritime and global counterterrorism.
"It should be noted that over 200 U.S. citizens have been killed in this drug war, either because they were involved in the cartels or were innocent bystanders," she said. "With those concerns in mind, it is essential that the Department of Homeland Security, along with other relevant departments, continue to pursue a contingency plan to address 'spillover' violence along our border."
At a hearing this week, Rep. Kay Granger, R-Texas, who visited Mexico last month as part of a congressional delegation tour, praised the so-called Merida Initiative -- a drug cartel fighting agreement between the U.S. and Mexico that provides Mexico with $1.4 billion to control drug trafficking.