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.”
Misión cumplida: lo tenemos. Quiero informar a los mexicanos que Joaquín Guzmán Loera ha sido detenido.— Enrique Peña Nieto (@EPN) January 8, 2016
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.
DEA is extremely pleased at the capture of Chapo Guzman. We congratulate the MX Government and salute the bravery involved in his capture— DEA HQ (@DEAHQ) January 8, 2016
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)