Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman who was the worlds most hunted drug kingpin from the Mexican Sinaloa Cartel has been captured by Mexican security forces on Saturday. Guzman who rose to power through the cartels in the 80’s was evading a massive manhunt by joint task forces since February 13. Stated by the Mexican attorney general, Jesus Murillo Karam, during a press conference held in the Mexico City airport showcasing Guzman’s capture, along with 13 others who were apprehended.
Guzman was seemingly ‘perp-walked’ through the Mexican City airport in a show of force as a marine held his face up to the cameras in a manner reminiscent of Saddam Hussein’s disheveled capture. The indictment is being carried out in Brooklyn, NY; however the US is hoping that the Mexican government will extradite him due to his escape from their own super-max prison. A feat Guzman accomplished by bribing guards. He had escaped by using a laundry cart, with the help of these guards. Guzman was captured by a joint task force of the Mexican Marines, US DEA, and the US Marshal Services, who apprehended the extremely powerful kingpin in one of his condominiums in the town of Mazatlan, Mexico. He had evaded capture prior by using a series of tunnels that lead to a network of sewers from a home using a fortified steel door that took authorities time to break down.
Guzman reportedly had multiple bounties on his head adding up to over $7 Million in US and Mexican currency. These bounties were for his activities at the center of the Sinaloa cartels involvement in turning various areas of Mexico into small war zones over turf, control of various distribution channels, and travel points for smuggling product outside of the country. US Officials stated that the Sinaloa cartel was the largest purveyor of illegal drugs into the United States, such as cocaine, marijuana, heroine, and methamphetamine’s. No shots were fired in his apprehension as authorities held back earlier possible arrest opportunities to prevent public endangerment. Mexico reportedly credits the deaths of over 70,000 people since 2006 to the violence the cartel has brought into the country.
What essentially made Guzman the worlds most hunted drug kingpin and ultimately what led to his capture? Guzman is nicknamed “El Chapo,” which is a phrase meaning “Shorty” among his peers, for his small stature and has eluded authorities for years with his travels through South America. Guzman was once captured in Guatemala and deported to Mexico where he was imprisoned and consequently escaped. He gained a legend likened to other folklore outlaws, stated one report. Especially with the high bounties posted for his capture. However his particular claim to fame, aside from the massive amount of drugs he peddled was his propensity for turning towns like Juarez and Tijuana into bloody battle zones.
Forbes listed Guzman as one of the “World’s most powerful people” with an estimated $1 billion in personal wealth. It would seem that his inability to use his wealth on the run and enjoy the comforts of a billionaire kingpin is what aided his capture, as he reportedly became sloppy, “He got tired of living up in the mountains and not being able to enjoy the comforts of his wealth. He became complacent and started coming into the city of Culiacan and Mazatlan. That was a fatal error,” reported Micheal Vigil, a former DEA agent who had knowledge of the operation. For now, Guzman, El Chapo, who was the most hunted drug kingpin in the world is captured, and with reports coming in from both sides of the border. Whether or not the Mexican government is extraditing him to the US is yet to be seen. Especially with the US attorney general, Eric Holder, stating there are other indictments being filed throughout the United Stated for El Chapo and the many others who were apprehended with him.
By Emanuel F Camacho