Joaquin Guzman, also known as El Chapo, was captured again on Jan. 8 2016. The news was announced on Twitter, when the President of Mexico, Enrique Pena Nieto tweeted, “Mission Accomplished. We have him.” El Chapo is a Mexican drug lord who heads the Sinaloa Cartel.
El Chapo was first captured on June 9 1993 in Guatemala, extradited in Mexico and sentenced to 20 years and 9 months on charges of drug trafficking, criminal association, and bribery. He was jailed at the Federal Social Re-adaptation Center No. 1 which is a maximum security prison. He was soon relocated to Federal Social Re-adaptation Center No. 2.
While he was in prison he was indicted in San Diego on charges of money laundering and importing cocaine into California.
On Jan 19 2001, Camberos Rivera, a prison guard, opened El Chapo’s cell door, and he got in a laundry cart that maintenance worker Javier Camberos rolled through several doors and eventually out the front door. He was then transported in the trunk of a car driven by Camberos out of the town. At a gas station, Camberos stopped to go inside, but when he came back, El Chapo was gone once again. According to officials, 78 people have been implicated in his escape plan. Camberos is in prison for his assistance in the escape.
After El Chapo’s escape many people were questioned, including a handful of his top logistics and security men, he was uncapturable for many years. His whereabouts were unknown up until his second capture, but he was rumored to be staying in the “Golden Triangle,” which is the major producer of marijuana and opium poppy.
El Chapo’s second capture was on Feb. 22 2014 at a hotel in Mazatlan, and was imprisoned in area #20, hallway #1. It is a highly restrictive cell with no windows, inmates can not contact one another, and they are not allowed to visit their families. Mexico formally charged El Chapo with drug trafficking on Feb. 24 2014.
A couple months after his sentencing, El Chapo escaped from his maximum-security prison. He escaped through a tunnel leading from the shower area to a house construction area in San Juanita. A motorcycle and ladder were found at the bottom of the tunnel he escaped through. On July 13 2015, a press conference was held with members of the cabinet that specialize in security and law enforcement intelligence to discuss the escape of Guzman.
Mexico sought out help from Colombia, and they sent out a team of 12 officials to assist the Mexican Government. On Jan. 8 2016, El Chapo was captured once again. His hiding place was raided by 17 marines from the Mexican Navy Special Forces. Guzman managed to escape momentarily through a tunnel, but the officers found him in a stolen vehicle, where he then bribed the officers with jobs, money, and properties. When they refused, El Chapo told them, “You are all going to die.” The police sent pictures to their superiors that they had El Chapo, and they were tipped that 40 assassins were on their way. To avoid this attack, the police took their prisoners to a motel to wait for reinforcements, where the Marines then took the prisoners.
El Chapo’s lawyers are doing everything they can to stop him from being extradited in the US. If he is extradited, the US must promise that they will not use the death penalty if he is convicted on the charges of homicide.
He is wanted in Chicago, San Diego, New York City, New Hampshire, Miami and Texas. If extradited in the US, the charges include conspiracy to import and possess with intent to distribute cocaine, conspiracy association, organized crime against health, money laundering, homicide and possession of firearms.