For Mexican drug cartel boss Joaquin "Chapo" Guzman, making money off drug addicts and gang violence wasn't enough. The head of the Sinaloa drug cartel also wanted to trademark his name with the Mexican Institute of Industrial Property and sell hats and toys emblazoned with his moniker, according to media reports Tuesday.
Guzman, known as the world's most notorious drug dealer, was recaptured last week in northwest Mexico after he escaped from prison through a tunnel connected to his cell. Mexico plans to extradite Guzman, who is wanted for exporting hundreds of tons of cocaine, methamphetamines and heroin, to the United States.
The Mexican Institute of Industrial Property rejected two applications to trademark the names "Joaquin El Chapo Guzman" and "El Chapo Guzman" in 2011. The requests were filed by his daughter, Alejandrina Gisselle Guzman, and would have applied to clothing, apparel and even Christmas tree ornaments. It also sought trademarks in services such as publicity and “commercial administration”. They were rejected on the grounds that Guzman was a wanted man, Reuters reported.
But a lawyer representing the family wouldn't take no for an answer. José Antonio Magaña Jiménez wrote in an appeal letter: "The name GUZMÁN is a common surname in Mexico," and the trademark wasn’t trying to "apologize for crime."
Guzman's fascination with celebrity might have been his undoing. He was arrested after meeting with Hollywood star Sean Penn in his remote mountaintop hideout in the Mexican state of Durango in early October, Mexico's attorney general Arely Gomez said Monday. Penn and Guzman had met with Mexican actress Kate de Castillo about making a movie about the drug boss' life. Instead, Penn wrote about his meeting with the international fugitive in a Rolling Stone magazine article published Saturday.
The U.S. government seeks to bring charges against Guzman ranging from money laundering to drug trafficking, kidnapping and murder. He is associated with thousands of deaths in Mexico and the United States stemming from addiction and gang warfare.
Guzman isn't exactly a trailblazer. Pablo Escobar's family in Colombia also sought to trademark his name at one point. Those claims were also rejected, the Guardian reported.