It’s been 100 days since the grand escape of Mexican drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman from his maximum security prison cell, but authorities are still struggling to capture the elusive fugitive.
El Chapo got lucky twice when he narrowly evaded recapture by the combined forces of U.S. Intelligence and the Mexican Marines. Sources say that an ambush was launched on Saturday at his suspected hiding place in the Sierra Madre Occidental Mountains, which is located on the border of Chihuahua, Durango, and Sinaloa. U.S. law enforcement agents previously gathered intelligence that he sought refuge at his ranch when they intercepted phone signals among Sinaloa cartel officials.
Once again, "El Chapo" made a daring escape after Mexican police zeroed in on his hideout. https://t.co/r6WKivStrX
— Complex News (@Complex_News) October 20, 2015
The Marines were forced to retreat their aerial attack after El Chapo’s security forces opened fire at their helicopters. They entered the ranch on foot and found clothes, medication, and communication devices – but no El Chapo.
Ten days ago, the Mexican Marines took their manhunt to Tamazula in Durango state, where they reportedly shot at villagers’ homes from helicopters. Several civilians claimed that they almost fell victim to the gunfire and that they had to flee their homes with their families in order to avoid getting killed.
A resident named Ines Ayon Mendoza told AFP journalists that she was going through her usual morning routine when she felt a slew of bullets raining down on her home. She was able to escape the scene with her family, but claimed that two helicopters continued to fire at her village.
— Agence France-Presse (@AFP) October 19, 2015
Despite these failed attempts at capturing El Chapo, U.S. and Mexican authorities are confident that he will be caught sooner or later. In an interview with NBC, former DEA head Michael Braun declared that “Today [Guzmán] is a dead man walking. It’s only a matter of time.”
Security expert Javier Oliva of the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) echoed Braun’s sentiments by saying, “It will not be long from now, perhaps a month, before Guzmán is re-captured.”