If you wanted to find a story to sum up the phrase ‘pick your battles’, this might well be it.
Joaquín Guzmán, better known as ‘El Chapo’, was once number one on the FBI’s Most Wanted list.
He is thought to have fled prison on multiple occasions, and has been considered one of the highest-profile druglords in the world today.
Given his background, he doesn’t seem the type to call the lawyers in over a TV show. But El Chapo is a man of many surprises – which is why he’s suing Netflix and Univision for defamation over a new show – called El Chapo – based on his life.
“Things are happening (in the series) that do not correspond to reality, despite the fact that there is no conviction confirming those events,” El Chapo’s lawyer, Jose Refugio Rodriguez, is reported to have told radio station Formula.
“That represents a grave violation of his right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty.”
With El Chapo due to face trial in a US federal court in 2018, there are believed to be concerns that the portrayal of him as a “heartless criminal” could be prejudicial to the legal proceedings.
The show, which stars Marco de la O as Guzmán, is co-produced by Netflix and Univision. Its first season aired earlier this year, with season two due out in September.
El Chapo was caught in January 2016, partly because he had ambitions of becoming a movie star himself.
He contacted a number of producers and actors with the aim of starring in a biopic of himself. "An important aspect that allowed us to locate him was that we discovered Guzman's intention to make a biographical film, for which he established contact with actresses and producers," Mexico's attorney general, Arely Gomez, told the AFP at the time.