Forbes Magazine named drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman _ a fugitive reputed to be hiding in the mountains of northern Mexico _ to its list of the 67 "World's Most Powerful People" on Wednesday.
At No. 41 on the list, Guzman is ahead of presidents like Russia's Dmitry Medvedev, France's Nicolas Sarkozy and Venezuela's Hugo Chavez.
Forbes noted Guzman's profession as "drug trafficker" on the list published Wednesday on its Web site.
"This ranking is intended to be the beginning of a conversation, not the final word," the magazine said in accompanying article. "Do despicable criminals like billionaire Mexican drug lord Joaquin Guzman ... belong on this list at all?"
Last March, Mexican officials decried Forbes' decision to include Guzman on its list of the world's billionaires, saying that wrongly compared him to legitimate businessmen. At the time, Forbes' estimated Guzman's fortune at $1 billion
The office of the presidency said it had no immediate reaction to his inclusion on Wednesday's list.
Some Mexicans did not appear surprised by Forbes' decision.
"The drug traffickers have always been powerful," a reader who identified himself only as Julio commented in a discussion of the Forbes article on the Web site of the Mexico City newspaper El Universal.
Guzman reputedly heads one of Mexico's most powerful drug gangs and is considered one of Mexico's most wanted fugitives. The government has offered a reward of 30 million pesos ($2.3 million) for information leading to his capture. Continued...