El Chapo Guzmán
Joaquín Guzmán Loera, aka “El Chapo” (Chicago Crime Commission)

Joaquín Guzmán Loera, aka "El Chapo" has become the first criminal boss to be named as Chicago's Public Enemy Number 1, since the title was given to Prohibition-era's most infamous gangster, Al Capone, in 1930.

The Chicago Crime Commission said Guzmán, whose nickname means "shorty" in Spanish, deserves the title since he has "easily surpassed the carnage and social destruction that was caused by Capone."

"Of the two, Guzman is by far the greater threat. ... And he has more power and financial capability than Capone ever dreamed of," said Art Bilek, the commission's executive vice president.

"If I was to put those two guys in a ring, El Chapo would eat that guy (Capone) alive," added the head of the DEA's Chicago office, Jack Riley.

However, by Bilek's own admission, 99 per cent of Americans have never heard of him, nor El Chapo has reportedly ever set foot in Chicago.

So, who is El Chapo Guzmán?

Joaquín Guzmán is the leader of the Mexican Sinaloa cartel and one of the most wanted drug lords in the world.

"What Al Capone was to beer and whiskey during Prohibition, Guzman is to narcotics," said Bilek.

165 pounds for 5.8 feet high, according to the Chicago Crime Commission, El Chapo was born in Mexico in in 1957. However the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) files set his date of birth three years earlier.

Brown eyed with black hair, the DEA describes him as "armed and dangerous" and advises swashbuckler against trying to apprehend him.

Guzmán reportedly started his criminal career in the 70s joining the Sinaloa cartel, then-led by Félix Gallardo known as "El Padrino".

Gallardo was arrested in 1989. By then Guzmán had climbed the ranks of the organisation and eventually took control of the entire cartel.

Under his ruthless lead, the Sinaloa cartel turned from a local gang to a a global drug trafficking giant.

The crown that once was of Capone is just the last is a series of infamous "awards" El Chapo has collected in his long criminal career.

Last year the DEA named him the biggest drug lord ever.

"He is the godfather of the drug world," a DEA official told Forbes. The US magazine subsequently included him in its top 100 most powerful people ranking.

"He [Guzmán] not only has the importation of cocaine, but marijuana, heroin, and methamphetamine, and he is exporting them not only to the U.S. but to Asia and Europe, the official said.

Guzmán has become renowned for finding new and eclectic ways of smuggling drugs into the US - he is reportedly the first to have used commercial flights - and for a daring prison break hidden in a laundry cart from a Mexican high security jail in 2001.

Arrested in Guatemala in 1993 and later sent to Mexico, Guzmán reportedly managed to escape on the eve of his extradition to the US bribing a number of guards.

His unusual longevity in the business has gained him a quasi-mythical figure in Mexico, where he is the subject of many Narcorridos, the traditional ballades narrating gangster's deeds.

El Chapo is believed to be hiding guarded by a personal army in the Sierra Madre mountains in the Mexican state of Durango.

The Chicago Crime Commission accuses him of having used the Illinois city "as his drug trafficking hub for the Midwest, allegedly having trafficked 1,500 to 2,000 kilograms of cocaine through Chicago per month."

The US government has offered a $5 million (£3.2m) reward for information leading to his capture. For the same information Mexico pays 30 million pesos (£1.5m).