El Chapo Captured
After evading officials for nearly six months, the man considered by the U.S. Department of the Treasury to be the “most powerful drug trafficker in the world” has been captured today in Mexico. “Mission accomplished: We have him ,” Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto tweeted this morning.
“I want to inform the Mexicans that Joaquin Guzman Loera has been detained.”
Mexican officials have confirmed that Guzman was captured after a shootout with Mexican Marines in the Sinaloan city of Los Mochis earlier this morning.
Joaquin Guzman Loera, better known simply as “El Chapo,” is the leader of the infamous Sinaloa drug cartel, which has established itself as one of the world’s most powerful and violent criminal organizations.
As its leader, El Chapo has gained an equally notorious international reputation.
Forbes magazine ranked him as one of the world’s most influential people every year from 2009 to 2011, and dubbed him the “biggest druglord of all time.”
The DEA considers him “the godfather of the drug world.”
And the city of Chicago named him “Public Enemy Number One,” a designation it hasn’t used since Al Capone’s criminal reign during the 1930s.
It’s estimated that El Chapo’s drug smuggling and other criminal activities have accrued a net worth of $1 billion.
Needless to say, El Chapo is a big timer.
His capture and arrest today bring an end to the manhunt that started nearly six months ago after he escaped from prison by slipping into a tunnel which had been dug right into his cell.
According to Jon Schuppe and Mark Potter, “the Hollywood-style escape was a huge embarrassment for Mexican officials—in particular, because Guzman and his organization were known for building tunnels under the U.S.-Mexico border and had escaped from prison once before, in 2001, purportedly hidden in a laundry cart.”
The Sinaloa cartel has become a huge presence on the international black market for drugs, helping produce and smuggle cocaine, meth, marijuana, ecstasy, and heroin into countries throughout North America and Europe.
When El Chapo was arrested in 2014, The Washington Post reported that he and his cartel had “supplied more illegal drugs to the United States than anyone else on Earth.”