Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, the notorious Mexican drug lord has been arrested after his scandalous prison break last year, the Mexican president announced via his Twitter.
This is how President Enrique Pena Nieto put it, “Mission completed: we've got him. I’d like to inform the Mexicans that Joaquin Guzman Loera has been detained.”
El Chapo (aka “Shorty”) who is the lord and head of the Sinaloa cartel is considered to be Mexico’s top drug baron and one tagged by the US Drug Enforcement Administration as the biggest drug lord of all time. In 2011 he reportedly surpassed the infamous “cocaine king” Pablo Escobar.
El Chapo was wanted by Mexico, Interpol and the US, which had offered a $5 million reward for any information leading to his capture.
Mexican marines, upon a tipoff, raided El Chapo’s home state of Sinaloa before dawn and seized two armored vehicles, eight long guns, one handgun and a rocket-propelled grenade launcher. In the operation to capture the elusive drug baron, five suspects were killed and six arrested in a shootout according to a navy statement. One marine was wounded, an official told AP on condition of anonymity.
El Chapo was first arrested in 1993 and spent almost a decade in a maximum-security prison near Mexico City before escaping in 2001. He was recaptured in 2014 after thirteen years on the run.
However, last July a new prison break made the headlines again. This time, he escaped through a 1.5-kilometer long, 10-meter deep tunnel dug from within his cell, despite being incarcerated in the country’s highest-security federal prison. He is believed to have been aided in his escape by a collaboration which many suspected could include the prison guard hierarchy.
The tunnel from the facility led to a half-constructed empty house in nearby fields. Chapo reportedly paid as much as $50 million in bribes to facilitate his escape.