Notorious drug lord Joaquin ‘El Chapo’ Guzman has been recaptured six months after he staged an escaped from Mexico’s most secure prison, according to the country’s president.
Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto wrote in his Twitter account on Friday: ‘mission accomplished: we have him’.
Mexican marines captured El Chapo during a raid in the city of Los Mochis, located in the druglord’s home state of Sinloa
Five people were killed and one marine wounded in the raid.
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Notorious drug lord Joaquin ‘El Chapo’ Guzman has been recaptured six months since he escaped from Mexico’s most secure prison, according to the country’s president. Pictured above in February 2014
Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto wrote in his Twitter account on Friday: ‘mission accomplished: we have him’
The Mexican Navy said in a statement that marines acting on a tip raided a home in the town of Los Mochis before dawn. They were fired on from inside the structure. Five suspects were killed and six others arrested. The marine’s injuries were not life threatening.
At the home marines seized two armored vehicles, eight long guns, one handgun and a rocket-propelled grenade launcher
El Chapo has been on the run since July, when he used an elaborate underground tunnel to break out of a maximum-security prison in central Mexico.
Altiplano, considered the most secure of Mexico’s federal prisons, also houses Zetas drug cartel leader Miguel Angel Trevino, and Edgar Valdes Villarreal, known as ‘La Barbie,’ of the Beltran Leyva cartel.
Guzman dropped by ladder into a hole 30 feet deep that connected with a tunnel about 5 feet-6 inches high that was fully ventilated and had lighting, Rubido said.
Authorities also found tools, oxygen tanks and a motorcycle adapted to run on rails that they believe was used to carry dirt out and tools in during the construction.
The tunnel terminated in a half-built house in a farm field, according to radio transmissions among authorities, who cordoned off the structure that sits atop a small rise with a clear view of the prison. They would not confirm the location of the end of the tunnel directly to the AP.
Guzman’s cartel is known for building elaborate tunnels beneath the Mexico-U.S. border to transport cocaine, methamphetamines and marijuana, with ventilation, lighting and even railcars to easily move products.
This is the second time that El Chapo has been recaptured after using his influence to break out of prison.
He was first caught by authorities in Guatemala in 1993, extradited and sentenced to 20 years in prison on drug-trafficking-related charges.
Many accounts say he escaped in 2001 in a laundry cart, although there have been several versions of how he got away. What is clear is that he had help from prison guards, who were prosecuted and convicted.
During his first stint as a fugitive, Guzman transformed himself into arguably the most powerful drug trafficker in the world. His fortune was estimated at more than $1 billion, according to Forbes magazine, which listed him among the ‘World’s Most Powerful People,’ ranked above the presidents of France and Venezuela.
He finally was tracked down to a modest beachside high-rise in the Pacific Coast resort city of Mazatlan, where he had been hiding with his wife and twin daughters. He was captured in the early morning of Feb. 22, 2014, without a shot fired.
Before they reached him, security forces went on a several-day chase through Culiacan, the capital of Sinaloa state. They found houses where Guzman supposedly had been staying with steel-enforced doors and the same kind of lighted, ventilated escape tunnels.
Born 58 years ago, according to Interpol, he and allies took control of the Sinaloa faction when a larger syndicate began to fall apart in 1989.
Even after his 2014 capture, Guzman’s Sinaloa Cartel empire continues to stretch throughout North America and reaches as far as Europe and Australia.
The cartel has been heavily involved in the bloody drug war that has torn through parts of Mexico for the last decade, taking an estimated 100,000 lives or more.