In 2008 Mexican and Colombian traffickers laundered between $18 billion and $39 billion in proceeds from wholesale shipments to the U.S. Shorty, an alleged tunnels expert, is believed to have directed anywhere from a third to half of that during the past 8 years.That's not exactly a line-by-line examination of his tax returns, and until I see anything a little more convincing, I'll assume Forbes was throwing darts in the dark. It's as if they wanted a Mexican kingpin, and Guzmán is the most famous, so he was the one they ran. It seems worth asking why he would be worth more than Juan José Esparragoza, his less notorious partner who spent the 1990s earning rather than lingering in jail. Also, wouldn't losing 23.5 tons of cocaine or $200 million in the last couple of years eat into his fortune a bit?
In other news, Carlos Slim dropped from second to third place, switching spots with Warren Buffet. I'd like to imagine that it's because I cancelled my TelMex account, but I don't think the $25 billion decline can be entirely attributed to that.