‘El Chapo’ caught

Mex­i­can pres­i­dent tweets con­fir­ma­tion drug lord Joaquin Guz­man re­cap­tured

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - WORLD -

Fugi­tive drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guz­man was re­cap­tured six months af­ter he es­caped from a max­i­mum se­cu­rity prison, Mex­i­can Pres­i­dent En­rique Pena Ni­eto an­nounced Fri­day.

A fed­eral of­fi­cial who spoke on con­di­tion of anonymity be­cause he was not au­tho­rized to be quoted by name said Guz­man was ap­pre­hended af­ter a shootout with Mex­i­can marines in the city of Los Mochis, in Guz­man’s home state of Si­naloa. He said Guz­man was taken alive and was not wounded.

Re­spond­ing to what was seen as one of the big­gest em­bar­rass­ments of his ad­min­is­tra­tion — Guz­man’s July 11 es­cape through a tun­nel from Mex­ico’s high­est-se­cu­rity prison — Pena Ni­eto wrote in his Twit­ter ac­count on Fri­day: “mis­sion ac­com­plished: we have him.”

“I would like to in­form Mex­i­cans that Joaquin Guz­man Lo­era has been de­tained.” The U.S. Jus­tice Depart­ment had no im­me­di­ate com­ment on whether it would push to ex­tra­dite Guz­man to the United States, where he faces charges in mul­ti­ple dif­fer­ent ju­ris­dic­tions across the coun­try.

Five peo­ple were killed and one Mex­i­can marine wounded in the clash. It was un­clear if Guz­man cap­tured at the house or nearby when the raid was un­der way.

An­other law en­force­ment of­fi­cial said au­thor­i­ties lo­cated Guz­man sev­eral days ago, based on re­ports he was in Los Mochis.

The of­fi­cial, who was not au­tho­rized to be quoted by name, said au­thor­i­ties had even searched storm drains in the area. In 2014, Guz­man es­caped ar­rest by flee­ing through a net­work of in­ter­con­nected tun­nels in the city’s drainage sys­tem in the Si­naloa state cap­i­tal of Cu­li­a­can.

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 ar­moured ve­hi­cles, eight ri­fles, one hand­gun and a rock­et­pro­pelled grenade launcher.

Pho­tos of the arms seized in the raid sug­gested that Guz­man and his as­so­ciates had a fear­some arse­nal at the non-de­script white house.

Two of the ri­fles seized were.50-cal­i­bre sniper guns, ca­pa­ble of pen­e­trat­ing most bul­let­proof 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.

Some in Mex­ico had doubted Guz­man would al­low him­self to be cap­tured alive, and oth­ers doubted that Mex­ico — given the suc­ces­sive em­bar­rass­ments of his two es­capes from prison — would want to hold him again in a Mex­i­can prison.

“Many peo­ple had doubted he could be re­cap­tured,” said Mex­i­can se­cu­rity an­a­lyst Raul Ben­itez. “It is a big suc­cess for the govern­ment.”

The United States filed re­quests for ex­tra­di­tion for Guz­man on June 25, be­fore he es­caped. In Septem­ber, a judge is­sued a se­cond pro­vi­sional ar­rest war­rant on U.S. charges of or­ga­nized crime, money laun­der­ing drug traf­fick­ing, homi­cide and oth­ers.


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