Drug Lord ‘El Chapo’ Guzman Recaptured by Mexican Marines

Drug lord ‘El Chapo’ was recaptured by Mexican marines, six months after he fled from a maximum security prison.

2 min read
Mexican drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, right, is escorted by soldiers and marines to a waiting helicopter. (Photo: AP)

The world’s most-wanted drug lord was recaptured in a daring raid by Mexican marines on Friday, six months after he fled through a tunnel from a maximum security prison in a made-for-Hollywood escape that deeply embarrassed the government and strained ties with the United States.

Apparently Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, head of the powerful Sinaloa Cartel, also thought his escape was worthy of Hollywood. Part of the reason authorities tracked him down to a house in an upscale neighborhood in a coastal city was because he wanted to film a biopic and his people were communicating with actors and producers, Attorney General Arely Gomez said late Friday.

She said he was being sent back to the maximum-security prison known as Altiplano, from where he escaped on 11 July through an elaborate tunnel that was dug to shower stall.

Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto announced the capture of Guzman using his Twitter account: “Mission accomplished: we have him.”

Few had thought Guzman would be taken alive, and few now believe Mexico will want to try to hold him a third time in Mexican prisons. He escaped from maximum-security facilities in 2001 and on 11 July 2015, the second breakout especially humiliating for the Pena Nieto administration, which only held him for less than 18 months.

Pena Nieto said he personally issued the order to recapture Guzman and heaped praise on Mexican agencies for their coordinated effort. “Careful and intensive intelligence work was carried out for months” leading up to the arrest, he said.

Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto(centre) applauds during a press conference following the capture of fugitive drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman. (Photo: AP)
Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto(centre) applauds during a press conference following the capture of fugitive drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman. (Photo: AP)

Today’s arrest is very important for the government of Mexico. It shows that the public can have confidence in its institutions. Mexicans can count on a government decided and determined to build a better country.

Enrique Pena Nieto, Mexican President

The Mexican navy said in a statement that marines raided a home after receiving a tip about armed men there. They were fired on from inside the structure, it said.

Five suspects were killed and six others arrested. The marine’s injuries were not life threatening.

Gomez said Guzman was able to escape via storm drains and exited a manhole in the street. But he was captured in a vehicle on the highway and taken to the Doux hotel after the arrest.

I salute the Mexican law enforcement and military personnel who have worked tirelessly in recent months to bring Guzman to justice.

Attorney General Loretta Lynch, US Justice Department

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