According to a senior law enforcement official, a man alleged to be the world’s most powerful drug lord is now in custody.
The Associated Press is reporting that Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, head of Mexico’s Sinaloa Cartel, was captured overnight through the teamwork of Mexican and American authorities. Guzman was said to have been apprehended at a condominium in Mazatlan, Mexico. Reports are claiming that he was in the company of a woman, but her identity has not been revealed.
The 56-year-old man was apparently taken alive by Mexican marines, though Mexico’s Attorney General’s Office declined to comment on whether or not the person captured was indeed Guzman.
The news of Guzman’s capture came by way of a source who spoke to the AP on the condition that their identity remain anonymous.
"This is a huge success for Mexican authorities," said Samuel Gonzalez. Gonzalez, a former anti-drug prosecutor in Mexico, says that the victims of Guzman “deserve” to see the drug lord back behind bars.
“...After so many years, [Guzman] will return to prison.”
"El Chapo" Guzman, Mexico's top drug trafficker and sometimes Forbes 500 denizen, is captured after 13-year manhunt. http://t.co/V0DO2FMroh
— Michelle C. Perlasca (@MCPerlasca) February 22, 2014
If Guzman has indeed been apprehended, he faces a mountain of criminal charges, including multiple indictments in the United States for drug trafficking.
Guzman is at the head of a cartel that is blamed for the woes of many Mexican citizens. Many innocent lives have been lost to the cartel's bloody drug wars that have gripped parts of the country for much of the last decade. The Sinaloa Cartel is said to be a drug empire whose connections reach as far away as Australia.
Their global influence is why the drug lord’s capture, while somewhat good news for those waging a war on drugs in Mexico, is hardly a reason to consider the Sinaloa Cartel closed for business.
College of William and Mary government professor George Grayson said that, "the take-down of Joaquín 'El Chapo' Guzmán Loera is a thorn in the side of the Sinaloa Cartel, but not a dagger in its heart.”
Grayson, who studies Mexican drug cartels, also added that it’s likely someone else will step in for the captured cartel boss.
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