The wife of Joaquín Guzmán Loera, alias “El Chapo,” has launched a
new fashion brand in the United States bearing his name, marking the
latest attempt by families of drug kingpins to try and cash in on public
fascination for the likes of Pablo Escobar.
to life in prison, Guzmán signed away his image rights to his wife
after receiving a special dispensation to do so from the Metropolitan
Correctional Center in Manhattan.
While he is under court order to only communicate with his lawyers,
Jeffrey Lichtman, Eduardo Balarezo and William Purpura who represented
him during his trial are also involved in setting up the fashion brand.
cash in on “El Chapo’s” legacy. In February 2018, his daughter,
Alejandrina Gisselle Guzmán, announced the launch in Mexico of her brand
“El Chapo 701.”
to Mexico or to fashion. Roberto Escobar — Pablo’s brother — founded the
Pablo Escobar Museum in Medellín, exemplifying the commercialization of one of Colombia’s darkest memories.
InSight Crime Analysis
The fascination for narco-culture, compounded by numerous films and
TV shows about the exploits of kingpins, has made the branding of drug
lords almost inevitable. Outcry from the public and governments is
usually swift, though concrete action has not always followed.
luck at opening the business in the United States. This is a similar
situation to “narcocorridos,” songs honoring and praising drug lords,
which have been banned in parts of Mexico but are a profitable business in Los Angeles.
which is designed to prevent criminals from capitalizing on their
crimes. But Guzmán’s attorneys might have found a legal loophole, by
having El Chapo sign away his image rights to his wife’s company.
Colombia has seen similar attempts to profit off the name of drug
lord Pablo Escobar. Merchandise with his visage is sold by street
vendors in Medellín. Escobar tours are also popular among tourists.
fascination with Escobar by transforming landmarks associated with him.
His luxurious multimillion-dollar estate Hacienda Napoles is now a theme park dedicated to the victims of drug trafficking. His Monaco residence in Medellín was recently torn down, and the land there will also be made into a park. And the aforementioned Escobar museum was closed a year ago.