Notorious drug lord Joaquin ‘El Chapo’ Guzman has been sent back to the same prison he escaped from six months ago.
Despite tunneling out of the maximum security facility in July, Mexican marines were set to drop off the cartel leader at the Altiplano jail overnight.
El Chapo, who was wearing a navy blue shirt and blue Adidas sweatpants, was seen being marched from a military vehicle by three soldiers – showing their faces in full sight – to the Mexican attorney general’s hangar at an airbase in New Mexico.
Mexican marines, with their faces covered, then bundled him into a helicopter and set off towards the prison near Toluca.
El Chapo, which means ‘the short one’ in Spanish, was captured by marines during a raid in the town of Los Mochis, located in the kingpin’s home state of Sinaloa, on Friday.
Five cartel gangsters were killed and another six were arrested in the raid, while one Mexican marine sustained non-life-threatening injuries. A vast arsenal of weapons was seized, including rocket launchers, machine guns and armored vehicles.
El Chapo had earlier escaped from a nearby house which came under fire from marines as the net closed on the cartel leader, Mexican officials revealed
The raid also ended in the capture of El Chapo’s right-hand man ‘El Cholo’, a hitman who was also on the run from the law.
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Notorious drug lord Joaquin ‘El Chapo’ Guzman has been sent back to the same prison he escaped from six months ago. Pictured, soldiers – showing their faces in full sight – march the drug lord to the Mexican attorney general’s hangar at an air base in New Mexico
Despite tunneling out of the maximum security facility in July, Mexican marines were set to drop off the cartel leader at the Altiplano jail overnight
El Chapo was escorted into a helicopter by Mexican marines – who had their faces covered – who will take him to the prison he escaped from back in July 2015
The drug kingpin, who was wearing a blue tracksuit, was marched into the Mexican attorney general’s office before being taken to jail
Got him! Notorious drug lord Joaquin ‘El Chapo’ Guzman Loera has been recaptured six months since he escaped from Mexico’s most secure prison
Military action: El Chapo was apprehended in an early morning raid in the town of Los Mochis, in the drug kingpin’s home state of Sinaloa and 1,300 miles away from the jail he escaped from
Mexican police say the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and U.S. Marshals aided in El Chapo’s recapture. It is not yet clear whether El Chapo will be extradited to the US, but he was seen being bundled on to a plane by security officials on Friday afternoon.
Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto wrote on his Twitter account on Friday: ‘Mission accomplished: We have him.’
Mexican officials revealed that a firefight at a house in Los Mochis earlier on Friday was related to the raid that saw fugitive El Chapo recaptured.
He is believed to have fled under the cover of gunfire from his henchmen before being arrested later at a motel alongside his most-trusted bodyguard.
The cartel boss was wearing a dirty vest when he was arrested, which showed off several fresh scratches on his arms.
In one picture, El Chapo stands in a bedroom, where a photo of a scantily-clad woman hangs in the background – his hands shackled in handcuffs in front of him as he stares off to the side of the camera.
In the other photo, he sits in a car with his right-hand man, with his hand held up to his chin in thought.
The man seen slumped alongside el Chapo in the back of the police van is his chief hitman Orso Iván Gastélum Cruz, known as ‘El Cholo’ – a nickname commonly used to refer to young people in Mexican gangs.
LIke El Chapo he too was on the run, having escaped from prison in 2009.
His girlfriend, the winner of Miss Sinaloa 2012 was gunned down and killed by the army during a manhunt for him in 2012.
The Mexican Navy said in a statement that marines acting on a tip raided a motel in the town of Los Mochis around 4:30am. They were fired on from inside the structure.
Back to jail: It is not yet clear whether El Chapo will be extradited to the US, but he was seen being bundled on to a plane by security officials late on Friday afternoon
Arrest: El Chapo was apprehended while he was staying in the relatively isolated Hotel & Suites Doux in the town of Los Mochis in the state of Sinaloa
El Chapo was escorted to a SUV with a white towel over his head before being taken to an airport – but his destination is not known
Covered: Officials covered El Chapo’s head with a white towel as they escorted him onto a small plane after his arrest Friday morning
En route: It iss unclear where Mexican officials are taking the drug kingpin. The US has previously asked El Chapo be extradited
Good news: Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto announced the arrest of notorious drug kingpin El Chapo from the courtyard of the presidential palace on Friday
Accomplice: El Chapo’s hitman Orso Iván Gastélum Cruz, known as ‘El Cholo’, after he was taken into custody following the shootout
A Mexican law enforcement official said authorities located El Chapo several days ago, based on reports that he was in Los Mochis, which is 1,300 miles north west of the high security Altiplano prison he escaped from. The official says authorities even searched storm drains in the coastal city.
At an afternoon press conference, the Mexican president announced El Chapo’s arrest and thanked those who spent months tracking down the criminal.
‘Today, Mexico confirms that its institutions have the capabilities that are necessary to face and overcome anyone who threatens the tranquility of Mexican families,’ Nieto said.
El Chapo’s arrest ‘demonstrates that when Mexicans work together, there is no adversity that can not be overcome’, he added.
Nieto had earlier tweeted: ‘My appreciation to the Security Cabinet of the Government of the Republic for this important achievement for the rule of law in Mexico.’
At the hideout, marines seized two armored vehicles, eight rifles, one handgun and a rocket-propelled grenade launcher.
Photos of the arms seized suggested that Guzman and his associates had a fearsome arsenal at the non-descript white building in which he was hiding.
Two of the rifles seized were .50-caliber sniper guns, capable of penetrating most bullet-proof vests and cars. The grenade launcher was found loaded, with an extra round nearby. And an assault rifle had a .40 mm grenade launcher, and at least one grenade.
HITMAN ‘EL CHOLO’ WAS ALSO ON THE RUN AND HIS BEAUTY QUEEN GIRLFRIEND WAS KILLED DURING 2012 MANHUNT
El Chapo was detained alongside his right-hand man El Cholo, a notorious hitman who was also on the run from jail.
The drug lord’s number two escaped from prison on 2009 and had been in hiding since, and it is likely he was aware of – or was even involved in – his boss’s daring escape last year.
El Cholo’s real name is Orso Iván Gastélum Cruz and his nickname is commonly used to refer to young people in Mexican gangs.
His former girlfriend Maria Susana Flores Gamez, a 20-year-old Mexican beauty queen, was killed in a raid by the Mexican army in 2012 – the same year she won Miss Sinaloa.
She was in the company of dangerous drug traffickers when she died and her body was found laying next to an assault rifle.
El Cholo (right) – El Chapo’s right-hand man – was captured alongside the drug lord. The hitman’s beauty queen girlfriend Maria Susana Flores Gamez (left) was killed in a raid by the Mexican army in 2012
Gamez, 20, was in the company of dangerous drug traffickers when she died and her body was found laying next to an assault rifle
The Mexican Navy said in a statement that marines acting on a tip raided a motel in the town of Los Mochis around 4:30am
Magazine: At the building marines seized two armored vehicles, eight rifles, one handgun and a rocket-propelled grenade launcher
Above, a view of a street in Los Mochis in the aftermath of the predawn shootout with Mexican marines
Man holes are opened in the Los Mochis street near where El Chapo was captured on Friday
From the air: Helicopter circle around the neighborhood where El Chapo was taken into custody on Friday. El Chapo has a lot of supporters in his home state of Sinaloa
Lookout: Members of the Mexican military stand guard near the building where El Chapo was taken into custody on Friday
Mexican authorities say the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency and U.S. Marshals aided in El Chapo’s arrest
Down below: A member of Mexican Navy Force points with his weapon into a sewer during military operations after recapturing Mexican drug lord El Chapo
Finally: El Chapo’s arrest was a big win for the Mexican government, after his embarrassing escape over the summer. Above, two Mexican marines patrol the street near where El Chapo was arrested Friday
Armed: A man rides a bike down the street in Los Mochis, Mexico on Friday as a Mexican marine stands guard
Job well done: The president of Mexico was surrounded by other governmental figureheads as he made the speech on Friday
A Twitter account that has previously been linked to El Chapo, which uses the handle @ElChap0Guzman, posted two tweets two days before the drug lord’s capture
The first, translated from Mexican, said he was ‘busy and happy’ and enjoying life with his children. A second (pictured) said he loved his family and valued people who loved them, but that ‘everyone else can go f*** their mothers’
A Twitter account that has previously been linked to El Chapo, which uses the handle @ElChap0Guzman, posted two tweets two days before the drug lord’s capture.
The first, translated from Mexican, said he was ‘busy and happy’ and enjoying life with his children. A second said he loved his family and valued people who loved them, but that ‘everyone else can go f*** their mothers’.
Guzman faces multiple federal drug trafficking indictments in the U.S. as well as Mexico, and was on the DEA’s most-wanted list.
The DEA says it was ‘extremely pleased’ with El Chapo’s recapture. On its Twitter account, the agency congratulated Mexico’s government on catching Guzman, saying it saluted ‘the bravery involved in his capture’.
After Guzman was arrested on February 22, 2014, the U.S. said it would file an extradition request, though it’s not clear if that happened.
The Mexican government at the time vehemently denied the need to extradite Guzman, even as many expressed fears he would escape as he did in 2001 while serving a 20-year sentence in the country’s other top-security prison, Puente Grande, in the western state of Jalisco.
It is unclear if the Mexican government will extradite El Chapo, given his most recent escape. El Chapo is wanted in the states of Arizona, California, Texas, Illinois, New York and Florida.
He is the first ‘public enemy number one’ since Al Capone in Chicago, where authorities have demanded he is handed over to the US.
J. R. Davis, president of the Chicago Crime Commission, said: ‘The two escapes by Guzman demonstrate that even the most ‘high security’ Mexican prisons are not equipped to hold Guzman.’
The Justice Department had no immediate comment on whether it will push for extradition.
U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch called El Chapo’s recapture ‘a victory for the citizens of both Mexico and the United States, and a vindication of the rule of law in our countries’.
In a statement, Lynch said Guzman ‘will now have to answer for his alleged crimes’ and congratulated Mexico’s government, but did not directly address the sticky issue of extradition.
Senator John McCain tweeted his congratulations to the Mexican authorities and added: ‘Now let’s extradite him to the US.’
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.
Senator John McCain tweeted his congratulations to the Mexican authorities and added: ‘Now let’s extradite him to the US’
Prison break: A motorcycle adapted to a rail sits in the tunnel under the half-built house where El Chapo made his escape from the Altiplano maximum security prison in July
Slipped away: A composite handout picture taken from a video shows the escape of El Chapo through the tunnel
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 30ft deep that connected with another 5ft-high tunnel, which was fully ventilated and had lighting.
Rich man: El Chapo’s fortune was once estimated at $1billion. Above, a mugshot taken after El Chapo’s last capture and imprisonment
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.
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.
Since El Chapo broke out of jail in July, Mexican police and military have been desperately tracking the cartel boss.
In September, authorities thought El Chapo escaped the country to Costa Rica, after one of his sons posted a photo to Twitter tagging their location in the Central American country. But authorities were unsuccessful in finding him.
The next month, marines tracked El Chapo down to a mountainous region in Sinaloa.
Soldiers engaged in a shootout with El Chapo and his cartel thugs, and he got away yet again.
However, at the time it was reported that El Chapo appeared to have broken his leg fleeing from authorities.
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.
He is believed to have 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 $1billion, according to Forbes magazine, which listed him among the ‘World’s Most Powerful People,’ ranked above the presidents of France and Venezuela.
He was finally 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 February 22, 2014, without a shot being fired.
Head down: El Chapo pictured above in February 2014, when he was captured the last time he broke out of jail
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 his 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.