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Forbes drops drug lord Joaquin 'El Chapo' Guzman from billionaires list

By Dana Ford, CNN
updated 10:31 PM EST, Mon March 4, 2013
A skull of someone thought to be a victim of drug violence lies on the ground in Ciudad Juarez in early 2010. The border city of Juarez has been racked by violent drug-related crime, making it one of the most dangerous cities in Mexico's war on drugs. According to figures released on January 11 by the Mexican government, 12,903 people were killed in drug-related violence in the first nine months of 2011. A skull of someone thought to be a victim of drug violence lies on the ground in Ciudad Juarez in early 2010. The border city of Juarez has been racked by violent drug-related crime, making it one of the most dangerous cities in Mexico's war on drugs. According to figures released on January 11 by the Mexican government, 12,903 people were killed in drug-related violence in the first nine months of 2011.
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Mexico's long-running drug war
Mexico's long-running drug war
Mexico's long-running drug war
Mexico's long-running drug war
Mexico's long-running drug war
Mexico's long-running drug war
Mexico's long-running drug war
Mexico's long-running drug war
Mexico's long-running drug war
Mexico's long-running drug war
Mexico's long-running drug war
Mexico's long-running drug war
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STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Forbes had previously put Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman's fortune at $1 billion
  • He is the boss of the Sinaloa cartel, one of Mexico's most powerful trafficking operations
  • Guzman is one of 68 billionaires reported dropped from the list this year

(CNN) -- Fortunes forever rise and fall, but perhaps none so fast as those of drug lords.

On Monday, Forbes magazine released its annual list of the world's richest people, and for the first time since 2009, Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman did not make the cut.

Guzman is the boss of the Sinaloa cartel, one of Mexico's most powerful drug trafficking operations.

His nickname, which means "shorty," matches his 5-foot-6-inch frame, though he has climbed to great heights in the drug business. Forbes had previously estimated his net worth at $1 billion.

Aide to top drug lord arrested in Mexico

"As the leader of the Sinaloa cartel, he is one of the most powerful people in the world, but no longer someone we are confident enough to call a billionaire," the magazine said on its website.

READ: Forbes rankings finds 210 new billionaires

Forbes believes an increasing part of his fortune is going to protect him and his family and said that it had been unable to reach Guzman to "verify figures." It also said it was unclear how he spends the money he makes.

Authorities have been looking for Guzman ever since he escaped from a Mexican prison in a laundry cart in 2001. There have been reports of his death, but none confirmed.

The U.S. Treasury Department has declared Guzman the most influential trafficker in the world.

He was just one of just 68 billionaires who were reported dropped from the list this year versus the 210 who were added to the exclusive 10-figure club.

There are a record 1,426 billionaires, according to the latest count from Forbes. The rankings showed that Mexican telecom mogul Carlos Slim remained the world's richest person, with an estimated fortune of $73 billion. Microsoft founder Bill Gates ranked No. 2 with $67 billion.

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