Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, the Mexican drug lord, two-time prison escapee, and suspected murderer, has been the topic of news headlines this week thanks to a Rolling Stone article that resulted from a secret interview that actor Sean Penn conducted with him this past October and Guzman’s arrest by Mexican authorities. Turns out, El Chapo, who is formerly the world’s most wanted drug lord, is also making headlines as a budding style icon. According to Reuters, Guzman was photographed in a shirt from Los Angeles-based apparel brand, Barabas, while shaking hands with Sean Penn for an image that accompanies the actor’s Rolling Stone article about the fugitive, and the brand has experienced nearly exponential popularity as a result.
Barajas, a menswear brand, maintains a store in downtown Los Angeles, not far from Santee Alley, the flea market notorious for its sales of counterfeit fashion goods. Its owners came across the photo of Guzman and Penn, and did not waste any time to promote its shirts. Per Reuters, “Barabas quickly capitalized on the drug kingpin’s taste for the abstract-design shirt that features bright blue stripes, posting on its Facebook page, ‘EL CHAPO GUZMAN WEARING BARABAS SHIRT!’ […] Later, the firm said in another post that high traffic had temporarily crashed its website, Barabasmen.com.” The brand, which rather ironically maintains the slogan, “ Good Woords, Good Thoughts, Good Deeds,” has since renamed the shirt, the Most Wanted shirt.
According to the AP, Guzman is back in the same maximum-security prison from which he escaped, but the Sinaloa cartel leader could be extradited to the United States, where he faces seven drug-related indictments in various jurisdictions, with charges ranging from including drug trafficking to kidnapping and murder. Interpol agents served extradition paperwork Sunday to the prison where Guzman is being held. He has the right to appeal, and Guzman’s attorneys have filed documents to fight extradition.
A source at the attorney general’s office said the whole process could take up to a year, or longer. The process began last summer, before Guzman’s escape, when the U.S. government formally requested his extradition, according to the source.