The notorious Mexican drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman has been arrested after his scandalous prison break last year, the Mexican president announced via his Twitter.
“Mission completed: we’ve got him. I’d like to inform the Mexicans that Joaquin Guzman Loera has been detained,” Enrique Pena Nieto wrote.
Five people were killed and one marine was wounded in a shootout that occurred during an operation to capture the kingpin in the city of Los Mochis, in his home state of Sinaloa, an official told AP on condition of anonymity.
Mexican marines raided El Chapo’s home, acting on a tipoff, before dawn, the navy said in a statement adding that five suspects had been killed and six arrested. Two armored vehicles, eight long guns, one handgun and a rocket-propelled grenade launcher were seized in the operation.
El Chapo (aka “Shorty”) is considered to be Mexico’s top drug lord and head of the Sinaloa cartel. The US Drug Enforcement Administration has called El Chapo the biggest drug lord of all time. In 2011 he reportedly surpassed the infamous “cocaine king” Pablo Escobar. Mexico, Interpol and the US, which had offered a $5 million reward for any information leading to his capture, wanted him.
He was first arrested in 1993 and spent almost a decade in a maximum-security prison near Mexico City before escaping in 2001. After 13 years on the run, he was recaptured in 2014.
However, last July a new prison break made the headlines again. 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.
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.
His latest jailbreak sparked one of the largest manhunts in the country’s history and spurred major criticism about the government’s ability to safeguard the drug lord.