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Exploring the legend of ‘shorty’ Guzman

Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman is escorted to a helicopter in handcuffs by Mexican navy marines at a navy hanger in Mexico City after his capture last year. Mexico's security now say Guzman has escaped from a maximum security prison for the second time.
Eduardo Verdugo/AP

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Mexican drug lord Joaquin Guzman Lorera is best known by his street name: ‘El Chapo,’ or, ‘Shorty.’ Over the past two decades, his name has instilled fear in the hearts of his rivals, law enforcement and even his jailers.

Chapo Guzman operates one of the largest drug empires in the world and rakes in billions annually. All that money gives him a lot of influence in Mexico. His payroll includes politicians, law enforcement and military personnel.

Filmmaker Guillermo Galdos attempts to tell the story of Chapo Guzman in his new documentary, “Drug Lord: The Legend of Shorty,” airing on PBS. In it, Guzman goes deep into the criminal underworld, interviewing dealers, smugglers, growers, and even the mother of Guzman himself. He tells Take Two what it was like to visit Chapo Guzman’s home state, Sinaloa.

“It was amazing to be up there, because it really shows you where these people come from. You know, they don’t come from Harvard. They don’t come from the London Business School. Most of them hardly [finished] primary school. They grew up in the mountains, and now they run these multi-nationals that have presence in over 50 countries and move billions of dollars.”

Last week, Chapo Guzman escaped from a maximum security prison in Mexico. Galdos tells Take Two that he believes the jailers were complicit.

“Why was he on the ground floor? Why was he not moved from floor to floor like all other high security prisoners are? Well, those are questions the Mexican government needs to answer … I doubt they’re going to get El Chapo.”

Galdos’ documentary airs on PBS tonight.

Press the play button above to hear more from documentary producer Guillermo Galdos.