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Who Is The Most Powerful Drug Lord In The World?
[Image: bi_graphics_el-patron-vs-el-chapo.png]

Since the late 1970s, two men have emerged as the most powerful and most dangerous drug lords in the world.
Pablo Escobar, a farmer’s son from rural Colombia, and Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán, a product of Mexico’s rugged Sierra Madre Mountains, have delivered immeasureable amounts of cocaine and other drugs to the world during their respective reigns.
In doing so, they’ve amassed obscene amounts of wealth — and exposed the world to unimaginable levels of terror.
While a direct comparison of Escobar’s Medellin cartel and Guzmán’s Sinaloa Federation is difficult — they’ve dealt with different products, different competition, and different markets — looking at the two groups’ leaders side by side gives some idea of their power and influence.
Pablo Escobar

Born to a humble farming family near the city of Medellín in north-central Colombia, Pablo Escobar started his career committing various petty crimes. He graduated to smuggling thereafter and soon began carting shipments of marijuana.
By the late 1970s, he and several associates had begun trafficking cocaine out of Colombia (which remains one of the main cocaine producers in the world) and, by the early 1980s, their Medellín cartel was shipping hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of cocaine north to the voracious US market.

Pablo Escobar with his son, posing in front of the White House in 1981.
While Esocbar’s income and wealth are hard to measure, it’s believed that he was raking in $420 million a week by the mid-1980s, which would amount to roughly $22 billion a year. By the end of that decade, he was supplying 80% of the world’s cocaine — and smuggling 15 tons of it into the US every day.
He spent lavishly on himself and his family and was also a patron of local causes — building apartments, soccer fields, and handing out cash to the poor. These acts of charity won him popular support and bolstered his image as a man of the people.
“Pablo was earning so much that each year we would write off 10% of the money because the rats would eat it in storage or it would be damaged by water or lost,” Escobar’s brother, Roberto, wrote in a 2009 book.

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