Review: 'Drug Lord: The Legend of Shorty'

Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman Loera, leader of the Sinaloa drug cartel, was captured in Mexico on Feb. 21.

Angus Macqueen and Guillermo Galdos went to Mexico in search of Shorty - the country's notorious drug cartel leader, "El Chapo" Guzman. They didn't quite find him, but the government did.

In the PBS-produced documentary Drug Lord, El Chapo is portrayed as the ruthless mastermind of the Sinaloa Cartel. He escapes jail in 2001 and goes underground for 13 years until he was caught earlier this year

Guzman is no Pablo Escobar, Columbia's infamous Medellin Cartel honcho, Whereas Escobar built soccer fields and showered locals with gifts and money, Guzman has little redeeming value. He does no favors for anyone. While in jail, he converted the prison into a swank residence, having his way with women who are smuggled in for his pleasure.

The filmmakers are in dangerous territory, tracking this psychopathic killer. Finally they arrive at his mountaintop holdout, but El Chapo never shows. That's as close as they get to finding their prized subject.

Told in graphic style - there are lots of bloodied and hanging bodies - Drug Lord is a bleak portrait of how one man can amass so much power in the large drug-producing country to our South. It's not a pretty story, but it was needed to be told.

Drug Lord: The Legend of Shorty is available On Demand and via Amazon.

Steve Bloom

Steve Bloom

Publisher of, former editor of High Times and Freedom Leaf and co-author of Pot Culture and Reefer Movie Madness.