The government of Enrique Peña Nieto suffered another huge embarrassment on July 11 after Mexico’s most notorious drug lord, Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán, escaped from the Altiplano maximum-security prison 50 miles outside of Mexico City through an underground tunnel.
A massive manhunt is now underway, but this is not El Chapo’s first escape. The head of the Sinaloa cartel, which the U.S. Justice Department describes as “one of the world’s most prolific, violent and powerful drug cartels,” busted out of Jalisco’s Puente Grande prison in 2001 and was not arrested again until February 2014. Some say he escaped in a laundry cart, though there are several versions of the story.
El Chapo, whose nickcame means “Shorty” given his 5’6” frame, has been the subject of countless narcocorridos, with some popping up immediately after his escape on Saturday.
Here are some of the most memorable tunes inspired by the man whom Forbes once estimated is worth $1 billion.
Hours after El Chapo’s escape on Saturday, Lupillo Rivera uploaded “El Chapo Otra Fuga Mas,” (El Chapo Yet Another Escape), in which he sings, “The speech is going to have to be a good one to convince the people / just as Vicente Fox’s speech was back in the day / let’s see what Don Enrique Peña Nieto has to say today.” Lupillo, brother to the late Jenni Rivera, has another famous song about El Chapo, “50 Mil Rosas Rojas” (50 Thousand Red Roses).
Gerardo Ortiz, known as the king of corridos, made El Chapo the subject of “El Primer Ministro” (The Prime Minister). Like many corridos, it’s not so much a condemnation as it is a glorification of a man, once poor, who built an empire.
On “El Encuentro” (The Encounter), Larry Hernandez sings from the point of view of El Chapo: “Their weapons are no match / I hope they don’t make me use violence,” he says, referring to army soldiers.
On “El Papá de los Pollitos,” (The Father of all Chickens) Los Tucanes de Tijuana depict El Chapo’s lavish lifestyle.
On “El Regreso del Chapo” (The Return of El Chapo), El Komander details the drug kingpin’s first escape during Vicente Fox’s regime.
Banda star Valentín Elizalde, who was shot and killed by Sinaloa’s rival drug cartel Los Zetas in 2006, sang one of the best known corridos, “A Mis Enemigos” (To My Enemies).
On “El Señor de la Montaña” (The Mountain Man), Los Canelos de Durango sing of the protection El Chapo enjoys from high-ranking officials.
El Potro de Sinaloa took a more cinematic approach on his song “El Enemigo Público” (Public Enemy).
Las Voces del Rancho described the city of Culiacán, Sinaloa as one big party after El Chapo’s first escape from prison.
Singer Diego Rivas, who was also shot and killed in 2011, once exalted El Chapo via his not so subtly titled “Homenaje al Chapo Guzman” (Homage to Chapo Guzman).