El Chapo Guzman: New Documentary ‘The Legend of Shorty’ Investigates Drug Kingpin

March 13, 2014 Updated: July 18, 2015

A new documentary explores the myths and facts surrounding Jaoquin “El Chapo” Guzman, including how some Mexicans apparently revere him as a real-life Zorro.

Guzman, the head of the Sinaloa drug cartel, was arrested earlier this year by Mexican authorities following a 12 yea manhunt.

Guzman is known as one of the most powerful people in the world, with his operation responsible for trafficking an estimated 25 percent of the illegal drugs that enter the United States. 

According to the Guardian’s review of the documentary, filmmakers Angus MacQueen and Guillermo Galdos nearly beat the authorities in finding Guzman. They searched across the country, taking part in “long, often surreal meetings with Chapo’s inner circle, including a lunch date with his mum.”

The horrific byproducts of the cartel’s business is some 80,000 murders in Mexico in the past seven years alone.

Guzman “is feared and respected, a powerful and dangerous man. He’s also the well-spring of whole economies, simultaneously a Robin Hood figure and the head of something akin to a giant corporation – responsible for all of its dependants,” according to the review.

That legend is explored both through the film and folk songs that claim Guzman escaped from prison in a laundry cart.

And while Guzman has been captured, some believe little will change.

He will have a laptop, [his prison] will turn into a hotel, and he will return to running the cartel from there,” a senior DEA official told the Guardian last month. “That is not something he has to build – it is something he already has.”

If a movie was made about Guzman’s life–as opposed to the documentary–then Entertainment Weekly readers believe that Benicio Del Toro should portray the kingpin. 

Follow Zachary on Twitter: @zackstieber