Most Wanted Mexican Drug Lord "El Chapo" Captured in Mazatlan
February 25, 2014 at 12:50 AM CST - Updated July 20 at 8:47 PM
By Alicia Neaves
Mexico has captured its most wanted man. One of the most powerful drug lords in history is now behind bars. Now the United States is seeking extradition for the kingpin, known as "El Chapo".
He's the face of 2014 organized crime. On Saturday in a condo in the Mexican resort town of Mazatlan, Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman was arrested by Mexican Marines after he was on the run for more than a decade.
"When most Americans think of organized crime, they think of guys like John Gotti or Al Capone. The reality of the situation is that "El Chapo" Guzman made those guys look like boy scouts," Michael Braun, Former Director of the Drug Enforcement Administration, said.
Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, leader of the Sinaloa drug cartel, ruled the southwest border of the U.S. and Mexico with an iron fist. He controlled 60-70% of contraband, like drugs, human trafficking and weapons. He was responsible for thousands of deaths and disappearances and he was known for his horrific forms of torture. On Saturday, after a months-long operation by the U.S. and Mexican agencies, "El Chapo" was arrested without a single shot fired. Information, including cell phone data, led authorities to Guzman's condo in Mazatlan.
Braun says now is the perfect time to strike again.
"Now is the perfect opportunity to go with a full court press with respect to the Sinaloa Cartel because they are extremely vulnerable at this point," Braun said.
The Mexican Attorney General's office released video of a tunnel leading to the city's drainage system, through which Guzman once escaped. He also escaped from Mexican prison in 2001 by hopping in a laundry truck. This comes shortly after the arrest of several high-ups in the Sinaloa Cartel the past few months and at least 10 more members within the last week.
"The Sinaloa Cartel has to change or will have to change many of their tactics, techniques and procedures. When they do that, they become more vulnerable," Braun said.
Songs were written about him and his drug empire stretched as far as Europe and Australia. Arguably the most powerful drug kingpin in history is behind bars for good.
"This is a real success for Mexico. This is a real success for the U.S., it shows that we're doing what we should be doing: collaborating on bringing very powerful, organized crime figures to justice to the benefit of both of our countries," Braun said.