El Chapo Notorious Drug Lord
Joaquin 'El Chapo' Guzman Loera was captured in a pre-dawn raid on a motel in Los Mochis, Mexico. Hideout was around 1,300 miles from the jail he escaped from in July last year after fleeing through a tunnel.
Five cartel gangsters were killed and six others arrested in the raid, which also left a Mexican marine injured. Vast arsenal of weapons including rocket launchers, machine guns and armored vehicles was seized. US drug enforcement officials and US Marshals helped capture El Chapo and his right-hand man El Cholo.
The drug lord had been on the run since July, when he staged a daring escape from Mexico's most secure prison. Incredibly, he was sent back to Altiplano jail overnight after being bundled into a helicopter by Mexican soldiers. El Chapo is also wanted in the U.S. for several drug trafficking charges but it is not clear if he will be extradited.
Notorious drug lord Joaquin 'El Chapo' Guzman has been sent back to the same prison he escaped from six months ago. Despite tunneling out of the maximum security facility in July, Mexican marines were set to drop off the cartel leader at the Altiplano jail overnight. Mexican marines captured El Chapo, which means 'the short one' in Spanish, during a raid in the town of Los Mochis, located in the kingpin's home state of Sinaloa, on Friday.
El Chapo had earlier escaped from a nearby house which came under fire from marines as the net closed on the cartel leader, Mexican officials revealed. Mexican police say the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and U.S. Marshals aided in El Chapo's recapture. It is not yet clear whether El Chapo will be extradited to the US, but he was seen being bundled on to a plane by security officials on Friday afternoon.
Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto wrote on his Twitter account on Friday: 'Mission accomplished: We have him.' The raid also ended in the capture of El Chapo's right-hand man 'El Cholo', a hitman who was also on the run from the law. Mexican officials revealed that a firefight at a house in Los Mochis earlier on Friday was related to the raid that saw fugitive El Chapo recaptured.
He is believed to have fled under the cover of gunfire from his henchmen before being arrested later at a motel alongside his most-trusted bodyguard. The cartel boss was wearing a dirty vest when he was arrested, which showed off several fresh scratches on his arms.
In one picture, El Chapo stands in a bedroom, where a photo of a scantily-clad woman hangs in the background - his hands shackled in handcuffs in front of him as he stares off to the side of the camera. In the other photo, he sits in a car with his right-hand man, with his hand held up to his chin in thought.
U.S Has Previously Asked For El Chapo To Be Extradited
The man seen slumped alongside el Chapo in the back of the police van is his chief hitman Orso Iván Gastélum Cruz, known as 'El Cholo' - a nickname commonly used to refer to young people in Mexican gangs. LIke El Chapo he too was on the run, having escaped from prison in 2009.
His girlfriend, the winner of Miss Sinaloa 2012 was gunned down and killed by the army during a manhunt for him in 2012. The Mexican Navy said in a statement that marines acting on a tip raided a motel in the town of Los Mochis around 4:30am. They were fired on from inside the structure.
El Chapo and His Chief Hit Man El Cholo After Arrest In Police Car
A Mexican law enforcement official said authorities located El Chapo several days ago, based on reports that he was in Los Mochis, which is 1,300 miles north west of the high security Altiplano prison he escaped from. The official says authorities even searched storm drains in the coastal city.
At an afternoon press conference, the Mexican president announced El Chapo's arrest and thanked those who spent months tracking down the criminal.
'Today, Mexico confirms that its institutions have the capabilities that are necessary to face and overcome anyone who threatens the tranquility of Mexican families,' Nieto said.
El Chapo's arrest 'demonstrates that when Mexicans work together, there is no adversity that can not be overcome', he added.
El Cholo Right Hand Man To El Chapo
Nieto had earlier tweeted: 'My appreciation to the Security Cabinet of the Government of the Republic for this important achievement for the rule of law in Mexico.'
At the hideout, marines seized two armored vehicles, eight rifles, one handgun and a rocket-propelled grenade launcher.
Photos of the arms seized suggested that Guzman and his associates had a fearsome arsenal at the non-descript white building in which he was hiding.
Two of the rifles seized were .50-caliber sniper guns, capable of penetrating most bullet-proof vests and cars. The grenade launcher was found loaded, with an extra round nearby. And an assault rifle had a .40 mm grenade launcher, and at least one grenade.
Weapons Seized During The Raid