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El Chapo, Mexico’s notorious drug kingpin, has been recaptured

Guzmán, the most powerful drug dealer in the world, had been on the run for 7 months.


Dell Cameron


Posted on Jan 8, 2016   Updated on May 27, 2021, 9:37 am CDT

Infamous drug kingpin Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán has been recaptured after escaping from a maximum security prison seven months ago, Mexican authorities said Friday.

One of the most wanted men in the world, Guzmán was apprehended in a pre-dawn shootout with navy forces in the city of Los Mochis, Mexico. Five suspects were killed and four were taken into custody. One marine suffered non-threatening injuries.

“Mission accomplished,” Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto tweeted on Friday. “We have him.”

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Guzmán, who was born in Badiraguato, Mexico, is the head of the feared Sinaloa cartel, a multi-billion dollar narcotics enterprise that supplies much of the cocaine and heroin consumed in North America.

Believed to be in his late 50s or early 60s, Guzmán escaped from a maximum security prison in July—his second such escape since 2001—through an elaborately constructed tunnel, which ran from his shower area to a construction site nearly a mile away in a Santa Juanita neighborhood.

Guzmán is nicknamed “El Chapo” (“Shorty”) due to his 5-foot, 6-inch stature. As leader of one of the world’s most powerful and violent drug cartels, his wealth is estimated at around $1 billion.

The U.S. government is expected in the coming days to make a strong case for extradition to the United States. 

Photo via Day Donaldson/Flickr (CC BY 2.0) 

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*First Published: Jan 8, 2016, 6:48 pm CST