MEXICO CITY -- Mexican telecom magnate Carlos Slim is the world's richest man once more, according to a new Forbes list of billionaires, and Mexican drug lord Joaquin "Chapo" Guzman was dropped from the list because his estimated drug profit could not be verified.
Guzman, 55, had been a controversial fixture on the list since 2009.
Forbes said this week that Guzman's whereabouts are unknown, and it was unable to verify his estimated wealth as chief of the Sinaloa cartel, which the magazine called the world's largest drug-trafficking network. Last year, Forbes said Guzman controlled about $1 billion.
Guzman's inclusion on the list had been an embarrassment for the white-collar business and political elites in Mexico. The Mexican edition of the magazine reportedly petitioned Forbes' headquarters to have him removed this year.
"Our numbers show that the increased pressure put on the drug trade by the Mexican drug war suggest that he has to spend more of his money on security and bribes to protect his family," a Forbes writer said.