By JP Carroll
President Enrique Peña Nieto announced via Twitter that notorious fugitive drug lord Joaquin ‘El Chapo’ Guzman, the head of the Sinaloa Cartel, was captured. El Chapo escaped from the Altiplano maximum security prison in Mexico July 11, 2015.
Translated, the Mexican President’s tweet states the following: “Mission accomplished: we’ve got him. I want to inform the Mexican people that Joaquin Guzman Loera has been detained.”
El Chapo, which means ‘The Shorty’, in Spanish escaped prison in July through a secret underground tunnel. The drug trafficking kingpin was able to ride a motorcycle through the underground tunnel to safety in all likelihood to his home state of Sinaloa.
In 2013, El Chapo was listed as the 67th most powerful person in the world according to Forbes magazine, and in 2012, he was listed as the 1153rd wealthiest billionaire. The Sinaloa Cartel earns at least $3 billion per year according to The Week.
Court documents from 2011point to DEA officials having given the Sinaloa Cartel preferential status in allowing their illegal activities in exchange for compromising information about rival cartels. Mexican journalist Anabel Hernandez has alleged in her book Narcoland: The Mexican Drug Lords and Their Godfathers, that the Sinaloa Cartel had close ties with the government of Mexican President Vicente Fox in which rival cartels were allegedly given greater law enforcement scrutiny.
Earlier this week, a former senior level enforcer for ‘El Chapo’ and the Sinaloa Cartel, Edgar ‘La Barbie’ Valdez Villareal pled guilty to cocaine trafficking in an Atlanta federal court. La Barbie’s case is significant since he is an American from Texas and for years for both the Sinaloa and Beltran Leyva cartels he used his US citizenship to go back and forth between the US-Mexico border for trafficking and money laundering.
Before his arrest, US authorities had offered $5 million for information leading to the arrest of ‘El Chapo.’
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