Mexican Authorities Arrest Infamous Cartel Leader Joaquin Guzman

by Michael YoakumImpunity Watch Reporter, North America

MEXICO CITY, Mexico – Mexican authorities arrested notorious drug king Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman Saturday at a condominium in the resort town of Mazatlán. News spread quickly to Washington, where US Attorney’s office announced Sunday that they will seek extradition of Guzman.

Guzman was arrested in 2001 but escaped from a high security prison, evading capture for thirteen years. (photo courtesy of The New York Times)

Authorities apprehended Guzman in a raid just before dawn in Mazatlán, pinning him to a bed before he could reach a Kalashnikov rifle lying on the floor. The condominium where Guzman was captured has a reputation for being a hangout for drug traffickers.

News of Guzman’s capture has been celebrated in the US, where he is considered one of the most notorious drug traffickers, responsible for as much as 80% of the drug trade in Chicago.

Attorney General Eric Holder said of his capture, “the apprehension of Joaquin ‘Chapo’ Guzmán Loera, by Mexican authorities is a landmark achievement, and a victory for the citizens of both Mexico and the United States.”

Holder added that he was pleased that US law enforcement was able to cooperate with Mexican authorities in capturing Guzman.

Pressure on Guzman’s gang, the Sinaloa cartel, has increased in recent months as Mexican authorities have captured or killed several lieutenants. Information gained during raids on those cartel members ultimately yielded information, namely cell phone data, that aided in capturing Guzman.

The Sinaloa cartel is considered one of the largest drug trafficking organizations in the world, having a wide reach into Europe and Asia. The cartel is heavily involved in the stream of violence in Mexico over the drug trade that has killed tens of thousands.

Despite his infamy, Guzman has been featured on Forbes’ list of the 100 most powerful people with an estimated wealth of $1 billion.

In his hometown of Badiraguato, Guzman is honored in song that pays homage to his small stature but wide reaching power. The area, known for harboring some of the most notorious drug traffickers, fears and admires people like Guzman.

For more information, please see:

The Guardian – Joaquín ‘El Chapo’ Guzmán: US to seek cartel leader’s extradition from Mexico – 23 February 2014

BBC News – Man and myth: Joaquin ‘Shorty’ Guzman – 22 February 2014

CNN – After years on run, Sinaloa cartel chief ‘El Chapo’ Guzman arrested – 22 February 2014

NBC News – Authorities Arrest Mexican Drug Kingpin Joaquin Guzman – 22 February 2014

The New York Times – El Chapo, Most-Wanted Drug Lord, Is Captured in Mexico – 22 February 2014

Author: Michael Yoakum

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