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​Escaped Mexican drug lord 'El Chapo' recaptured

9 January 2016 04:10 am - 1     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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Infamous Mexican drug kingpin Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, who humiliated authorities when he tunneled out of a maximum-security prison in July, has been captured, Mexico's president said Friday.

El Chapo was captured again after a fierce gun battle near the coast in his home state of Sinaloa, Mexican officials said. “Mission accomplished: We have him,” President Enrique Peña Nieto announced.

The arrest ended one of the most extensive manhunts undertaken by the government, involving every law enforcement agency in the country and help from the United States.

But it was the Marines, Mexico’s most-trusted military forces, who managed to capture the fugitive in an early morning raid that left five of Mr. Guzmán’s gunmen dead, the Mexican authorities said. An American official also described the raid as “a Mexican op, planned and executed by Mexico.”

It is unclear whether the government knew Mr. Guzmán was in Los Mochis, or whether his capture was a fortunate coincidence. Officials said that Mr. Guzmán managed to escape from the home in a stolen vehicle before he was apprehended in a hotel on the outskirts of town.


The capture of the drug lord concludes a deeply embarrassing chapter for the government of Mr. Peña Nieto, which has been waylaid by a series of security and corruption scandals that reached their low point with Mr. Guzmán’s daring escape.

Now, a looming question is whether the Mexican authorities will try to hold Mr. Guzmán for a third time — he has already escaped from prison twice — or whether they will hand him over to the Americans. Mr. Guzmán, the head of Mexico’s most powerful cartel, is facing indictments in at least seven American federal courts on charges that include narcotics trafficking and murder.

With operations that span much of Mexico, his organization has specialized in smuggling tons of drugs into the United States through vast networks of tunnels deep beneath the border. His success has made him among the richest drug dealers in history: Forbes magazine estimated his net worth at close to $1 billion.

Mr. Guzmán stunned the world last summer when he stepped into the shower in his cell, in the most secure wing of the prison, and abruptly vanished in full view of a video camera. Guards later discovered a small hole in the shower floor.

video Footage of the Moment El Chapo EscapedJULY 15, 2015
An investigator inspected the exit of the tunnel that the authorities said had been used by the drug lord Joaquín Guzmán Loera to escape from a Mexican prison.U.S. Sought ‘El Chapo’ Extradition Before EscapeJULY 17, 2015
The tunnel had a motorcycle on rails to transport displaced ear the tunnel had a motorcycle on rails to transport displaced earth.‘El Chapo’ May Have Used Bird to Test Escape Tunnel Air JULY 15, 2015
Arely Gómez, the attorney general of Mexico, displayed a photograph of Joaquín ‘El Chapo’ Guzmán’s Escape in Mexico Adds to Strains With U.S.JULY 14, 2015
Mexico Prison Break by ‘El Chapo’ Is a Blow to President Peña NietoJULY 13, 2015
It led to a mile-long tunnel to a construction site. The tunnel was tall enough for Mr. Guzmán to walk through standing upright — his nickname translates to Shorty — and had been dug more than 30 feet underground. It was equipped with lighting, ventilation and a motorcycle on rails. Some engineers estimated that the tunnel took more than a year and at least $1 million to build.
The prison break humiliated the government of Mr. Peña Nieto, which had proclaimed the arrest of Mr. Guzmán and leaders of other drug cartels as crucial achievements in restoring order and sovereignty to a country long beleaguered by the horrific violence associated with organized crime. It was particularly embarrassing because Mr. Guzmán had already escaped from prison in 2001, when his conspirators managed to smuggle him out. By some accounts, he escaped that time by hiding in a laundry bin.

There are still major questions ahead, including the potential extradition of Mr. Guzmán to the United States. Shortly after Mr. Guzmán was captured in 2014, the attorney general of Mexico at the time refused to extradite him to the United States, saying that the criminal would serve his time in Mexico first before he was sent to another country.

Officials and analysts said it was an effort to show sovereignty and put some distance between the Mexican authorities and their American counterparts, who often used a heavy hand to influence policy in Mexico.
But that stance came to haunt the Peña Nieto administration after the kingpin escaped. The United States had issued a formal request for his extradition less than three weeks before Mr. Guzmán broke out.

A few months later, the Mexican government extradited several top drug lords to the United States, suggesting a new spirit of cooperation in the wake of Mr. Guzmán’s escape. The people extradited included an American citizen, Edgar Valdez Villarreal, a notorious figure known as “La Barbie,” as well as people charged with participating in the murders of a United States Consulate worker and an American immigration and customs agent.

While the likelihood of Mr. Guzmán escaping from an American maximum security prison is considered low, extradition would still come at a cost to the image of the Mexican state, some analysts say. “Extraditing him is a way to say we cannot cope with this with our own institutions,” said Pablo A. Piccato, a history professor at Columbia University. “While this is something everyone knows, obviously the government has not been able to publicly recognize this or tackle it in the past.”

Several high-ranking politicians from Mr. Peña Nieto’s party were already calling for extradition, including Emilio Gamboa, the head of the governing party in the Senate, who told local news media that he agreed with the idea.

In a statement on Friday, the American attorney general, Loretta E. Lynch, commended the Mexican authorities “who have worked tirelessly in recent months to bring Guzmán to justice.” But she did not directly answer the extradition question.

“The U.S. Department of Justice is proud to maintain a close and effective relationship with our Mexican counterparts, and we look forward to continuing our work together to ensure the safety and security of all our people,” she said.
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  • onlooker Saturday, 09 January 2016 07:47 PM

    Get down the Sri Lanka Police to handle this criminal. They will easily settle the case outside courts.


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