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

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

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.

"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.

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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.