The world’s most wanted drug Lord has been found and captured in Mexico, according to reports. Joaquin Guzman, known as “El Chapo” (shorty) is said to run Mexico’s the Sinaloa Cartel. He even appeared on the Forbes’ list of billionaires, with an estimated fortune of $1 billion in 2009. In 2013, authorities in Chicago said Guzman was the city’s biggest public enemy since Al Capone.
He was said to have been hiding in a house in Culiacan, the largest city in Sinaloa, but evaded Mexican troops who were sent to get him. Like something out of a Hollywood film, the property was decked out with extra-thick walls and escape tunnels to give Guzman options should he have to flee at a moment’s notice. The tunnels were designed to take him to different decadent houses. Guzman was captured at 6:40 a.m. on Saturday, local time.
Guzman, 56, had a $3 million bounty on his head and was arrested by both Mexican and US authorities in Mazatlan, a seaside resort. Reports said Guzman was with an unidentified female and that the former went quietly with no gun shots being fired. He stands accused of controlling a lot of the drug violence that has been synonymous with Mexico over the years. It has been claimed that Guzman commands hit men from Central America up to the US border.
Proud of their big catch, two masked marines – one on either side of Guzman – paraded him in front of cameras at a navy base in the capital, Mexico City. The capture of Guzman will be a big blow to the Sinaloa Cartel and serve as a massive warning. It has built an empire smuggling narcotics across the border into the United States and as far afield as Europe and Asia.
Eric Holder, the US Attorney General, described the capture of Guzman as a “landmark achievement” as well as a “victory for the citizens of both Mexico and the United States”. However, it does not mark the first time Guzman has been captured. He escaped a Mexican prison in 2001, hiding in a laundry basket. Guzman subsequently went on to become Mexico’s most high-profile drug trafficker. Now the authorities have been given a second chance to dispense justice as Guzman the drug lord has been captured again.
Originally from Badiraguato, Sinaloa, Guzman was born during a period when the drug trade was taking shape and becoming a serious underground industry. He got involved in the illegal trade at a young age and began working for the infamously powerful Miguel Angel Felix Gallardo. Not content with being an employee, Guzman started his own cartel in 1980 and has since risen to prominence as the biggest drug lord in the world with a business that has turned him into a billionaire and one of the wealthiest men on the planet.
There has been blanket media coverage of the fact Guzman the drug lord has been captured, with US and Mexican news channels showing the footage of him being arrested in the early hours. Now it remains to be see what impact his capture will have on the remainder of the cartel.
By Robert Shepherd