CHICAGO — A drug kingpin in Mexico who has never set foot in Chicago has been named the city’s new Public Enemy No. 1 — the same notorious label assigned to Al Capone at the height of the Prohibition-era gang wars.
The Chicago Crime Commission considers Joaquin ‘‘El Chapo’’ Guzman even more menacing than Capone because he leads the Sinaloa cartel, which supplies most of the drugs sold in the city.
‘‘What Al Capone was to beer and whiskey during Prohibition, Guzman is to narcotics,’’ said Art Bilek, the commission’s executive vice president. ‘‘Of the two, Guzman is by far the greater threat. . . . And he has more power and financial capability than Capone ever dreamed of.’’
The commission, a nongovernment body that tracks city crime trends, designated Capone Public Enemy No. 1 in 1930. It has declared other outlaws public enemies, but Capone was the only one deemed No. 1.
Guzman, who is in his mid-50s, is thought to be holed up in a mountain hideaway in western Mexico. He has been on the run since escaping from a Mexican prison in a laundry cart in 2001, is one of the world’s most dangerous and most wanted fugitives. He’s also one of the richest: Forbes magazine has estimated his fortune at $1 billion.