Last week, the Associated Press reported that fallen Sinaloa Cartel drug kingpin and reluctant fashion icon Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman has been languishing in prison under much stricter conditions than he enjoyed during his previous stay. Whereas last time he was given Viagra and a four-hour conjugal visit every nine days, along with access to television, this time he has neither.
Instead, El Chapo has been occupying himself doing what you’re doing right now: reading. Since his recapture in January he has reportedly—and impressively—finished Miguel de Cervantes’ Spanish-language classic Don Quixote. He has also started reading a Spanish translation of Rick Warren’s self-help book, The Purpose Driven Life.
Self-help may seem an odd choice for a man very likely to spend most of the rest of his life in a very small room. Then again, as a genre, it’s one we often turn to when we’re feeling down and out—and after two previous prison escapes, the odds that El Chapo will elude the authorities a third time aren’t exactly looking great. If there was ever a season of El Chapo’s life for him to take up yoga or start reading self-help books, or whatever, this is it. (And he’s reported to be putting on weight, so yoga’s probably out.)
Photo: Drug kingpin Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman is escorted to a helicopter at Mexico City’s airport on January 8, 2016 following his recapture during an intense military operation in Los Mochis, in Sinaloa State. Mexican marines recaptured fugitive drug kingpin Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman in the northwest of the country, six months after his spectacular prison break embarrassed authorities.