The story of the man considered the world's most powerful drug lord, Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, is heading to the small screen thanks to the pen of ex-Colombian drug leader Andres Lopez.
Univision’s UniMas channel has acquired the U.S. rights to the dramatic Spanish-language series “The Drug Baron,” according to the Hollywood Reporter. The studio said it has acquired a minimum of 60 episodes that will air in 2014.
The author, Lopez, who was a member of the Cartel del Norte del Valle in Colombia and served time for drug trafficking in the United States, said in an interview that he is not trying to create a biography of the leader of the Sinaloa Cartel, but instead recreate the story that through fiction will show the reality that the character has lived.
“I think that is the most challenging project I have ever had and I thought a lot because it was not easy to make the decision and get support,” Lopez said. “It's risky because we are telling a reality that affects a society in the present and is the story of a character who has a name."
He continued: “I have had the opportunity to be around people who shared with ‘El Chapo’ Guzman, who have been stuck with him in his illegal activities, and I know some version of his family. All these tools have allowed me to build a powerful story.”
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Forbes magazine calls Guzman “the world’s most powerful drug trafficker,” estimating his Sinaloa Cartel in Mexico is responsible for a quarter of all illegal drugs that enter the United States.
In 2001, Guzman escaped from a Mexican jail in a laundry cart. Last summer there was a report he had been killed, but that was then discounted; and he is now believed to still be hiding in the mountains in Mexico.
“This new series promises to further explore the complicated and extremely dangerous life of a major drug lord beyond just the ‘business’ to the toll it takes on his personal life, and those around him, “ according to the Univision announcement.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.