Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman is one of the most celebrated figures in Mexican society, mostly because he is deemed an inspirational figure, having escaped poverty and accumulated immense wealth through drug trafficking. He has a solid following in Mexico, especially in the state of Sinaloa where he hails from.
For example, upon his second escape from jail last year, his die-hard fans carried out celebrations throughout the region. And as reporters scrambled to report on the story a few hours after the news broke out, composers of narco corridos also worked round the clock to bring songs celebrating his escape to his fans. Just to get a sense of just how much of an inspirational figure he is, the following is an excerpt of a report depicting the euphoria soon after his escape last year.
“When José Antonio Sevilla and his three brothers learned that the notorious drug trafficker known as El Chapo had escaped from prison, they jumped out of their chairs and shouted with glee.
“‘El Chapo got out! He’s the greatest of them all,’ said Mr. Sevilla, 19, a self-professed fan of the drug kingpin, whose full name is Joaquín Guzman Loera. ‘He was famous before, but now he’s even more famous”
Mr. Sevilla, an auto mechanic, was so excited that he attended a march through the streets of Culiacán, the capital of Mr. Guzman’s home state, to celebrate. He carried a sign that a woman gave him, which read, “El Chapo is more of a president than Peña Nieto,” a reference to Mexico’s president, Enrique Peña Nieto.
This is as reported by the New York Times. Last year, Halloween celebrations in Mexico featured numerous El Chapo apparel and merchandise, complete with face masks. According to a report by the Daily Mail, a company in Mexico made face-masks of El Chapo during the season and apparently, they couldn’t keep up with the demand.
And when he was recaptured this year, scores of El Chapo fans took to Twitter to demand for his release, with the hashtag #FreeElChapo trending. As such, it comes as no surprise that now, American companies are cashing in on El Chapo’s legacy as well, with Netflix and Univision rumored to be currently working on a drama series based on the drug lord’s life. It is apparently titled El Chapo.
According to Randy Falco, CEO of Univision, the film will be available to audiences in the United States and around the world. The following was his actual statement as reported by the Hollywood Reporter.
“El Chapo is a great example of how Univision continues to innovate and evolve with premium storytelling formats. The IP we’ve developed from more than 50 years of award-winning news and investigations gives us unique and innovative ways to tell stories in a way no other network can. We are pleased to deliver this groundbreaking series to audiences in the U.S. and around the world.”
Although El Chapo Guzman is currently behind bars, the name “El Chapo” has already been trademarked by a member of his family. Earlier this year, El Chapo’s lawyers filed requests to trademark the name El Chapo Guzman in preparation for a biopic the drug lord wanted created about himself, but these were rejected. According to the Latin American Herald Tribune, his daughter Alejandrina Gisselle Guzman has successfully acquired the trademark to the name El Chapo.
According to Fox News, other related names that she has trademarked include El Chapito, Joaquín Archivaldo Guzman Loera, and El Chapo Guzman. This was recently confirmed by his lawyer, Andrés Granados. It is, however, not clear whether Univision and Netflix are required under the United States law to compensate him for airing his life story, but if that’s the case, his family, and specifically his daughter, is set to profit.
[AP Photo/Marco Ugarte]