Drug Kingpin ‘El Chapo’ Has Been Arrested, Mexican President

el chapo

Nearly six months after his escape from a maximum security prison in Mexico, the drug kingpin Joaquín Guzmán Loera, also known as El Chapo, has been arrested by the Mexican authorities, according to the Twitter feed of the country’s president, Enrique Peña Nieto.

The arrest came after an intense gun battle this morning in the city of Los Mochis, a seaside area in Mr. Guzman’s home state of Sinaloa.

“Mission Accomplished: We have him,” read the tweet from Mr. Peña Nieto. “I would like to inform the Mexican people that Joaquin Loera Guzman has been detained.”

The mission began shortly before 5 a.m. Friday, after an anonymous tip came in from a citizen concerned about armed men in a nearby home.

The authorities went to the house, where they were fired upon. The operation was conducted by Mexico’s most-trusted military wing, the Marines, who captured Mr. Guzman in early 2014, before his escape last July.
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The capture of the fugitive drug lord concludes a deeply embarrassing chapter for the government of Mr. Peña Nieto, which has been waylaid by a series of security and corruption scandals that reached their low point with Mr. Guzman’s daring escape.

Mr. Guzmán stunned the world last summer when he stepped into the shower in his cell — in the most secure wing of one of the most secure prisons in Mexico — and abruptly vanished in full view of a video camera.

When guards later entered the cell, they discovered a small hole in the shower floor, through which Mr. Guzmán had disappeared.

The opening in the shower led to a mile-long tunnel to a construction site. The tunnel was more than two feet wide and more than five feet high, tall enough for him to walk standing upright, and was burrowed more than 30 feet underground. It had been equipped with lighting, ventilation and a motorcycle on rails.

The prison break humiliated the government of Mr. Peña Nieto, which had proclaimed the arrest of Mr. Guzmán and leaders of other drug cartels as crucial achievements in restoring order and sovereignty to a country long beleaguered by the horrific violence associated with organized crime.

It was particularly embarrassing because Mr. Guzmán had already escaped from prison before, in 2001, when his conspirators managed to smuggle him out. By some accounts, he escaped by hiding in a laundry bin.

Source: Newyork Times

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