can authorities snared drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman in a bloody raid Friday, recapturing one of the world’s most notorious and slippery criminals.
“Mission Accomplished,” President Enrique Peña Nieto announced via Twitter. “We have him.”
Members of Mexico’s navy caught Guzman in an operation at about 4:30 a.m. (6:30 a.m. ET) in the coastal city of Los Mochis in Sinaloa state, a senior law enforcement official in Mexico told the media.
Several people aligned with Guzman died in the raid, the official said. The Mexican navy put the number of dead at five, with six others arrested. No navy personnel were killed, and only one was injured.
Peña Nieto said the recapture of Guzman culminates “days and nights” of collaborative work among Mexican intelligence and police agencies.
“They are a pride to our nation,” he said, referring to the multi-agency operation in an address at the National Palace in Mexico City.
Without specifically mentioning how Guzman had already twice escaped from Mexican prisons, the Mexican President said the recapture of Guzman ought to restore Mexicans’ faith in their government and justice system.
Friday’s announcement marked the third time that Guzman was captured by Mexican authorities.
“The arrest today is extremely important for the security institutions of the government,” the President said. “Today our institutions have demonstrated one more time that our citizens can trust them, and our institutions are at the level that has the strength and determination to complete any mission that is granted to them.”He has led one of the country’s most powerful, violent drug cartels and escaped maximum-security prisons not once, but twice, the latest in July when he busted out through a hole into a mile-long tunnel and then on to freedom
Last year’s breakout spurred major criticism about the Mexican government’s ability to safeguard such a notorious criminal, with some saying he should have been held in the United States.
U.S. officials were aware of the operation to capture Guzman, according to a law enforcement official.
The Americans provided assistance in the search, but his capture was the Mexican government’s operation, the official said.