Mexican authorities have recaptured one of the world’s most notorious and slippery drug lord Joaquin ‘El Chapo’ Guzman in a bloody raid on Friday (today).
“Mission Accomplished,” was the declaration of Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto on 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 confirmed.
Several people aligned with Guzman died during 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.
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 multi-billion 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.