His most recent escape was one of several Joaquin Guzman has made since his initial arrest in 1993.
MEXICO CITY—Mexican authorities snared drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman in a bloody raid Friday aimed at capturing one of the world’s most notorious and slippery criminals.
“Mission Accomplished,” Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto announced Friday via Twitter. “We have him.”
Members of Mexico’s navy caught him in an operation around 4:30 a.m. (6:30 a.m. ET) in the coastal city of Los Mochis in Sinaloa state, a senior law enforcement official in Mexico told CNN. Several people aligned with Guzman died in the raid.
“This was a coordinated effort by multiple intelligence agencies,” the official said.
Guzman’s capture represents a major success in what has been an embarrassing ordeal for Mexico. For many, “El Chapo” has been a symbol of the Mexican government’s ineptitude and corruption. He has led one of the country’s most powerful, violent drug cartels and escaped maximum-security prisons not once, but twice, the latest in July when he busted out through a hole into a mile-long tunnel and then on to freedom.
Last year’s breakout spurred major criticism about the Mexican government’s ability to safeguard such a notorious criminal, with some saying he should have been held in the United States.
Led one of Mexico’s richest, most violent cartels
Born in Badiraguato in Sinaloa state, Guzman started his career in the drug trade working for Miguel Angel Felix Gallardo, according to Time magazine in 2009.
He started his own cartel in 1980, expanding it into other states and even poaching some of his mentor’s territory.
That creation — the Sinaloa cartel — soon became Mexico’s most powerful and richest, a multibillion empire that supplied much of the marijuana, cocaine and heroin sold on American streets.
It was also one of the most violent. U.S. indictments claim the organization used assassins and hit squads to show its muscle.
The rivalry with other drug cartels has spurred an ongoing drug war that’s left thousands of Mexicans dead.
“He’s the epitome of the problem,” Malcolm Beith, author of “The Last Narco,” said of the man whose nickname translates as “Shorty.” “He’s a poor kid who had some family connections in the drug trade, no options, no real education … (and) becomes a big-time drug lord.”
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Article Courtesy of CNN and WJW Fox 8 News Cleveland
Picture Courtesy of Mexican Law Enforcement, CNN, and WJW Fox 8 News Cleveland