Mexican president: Drug lord Joaquin `Chapo' Guzman recaptured


MEXICO CITY – Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto announced on Twitter Friday afternoon that fugitive drug lord Joaquin `Chapo' Guzman has been recaptured seven months after he escaped from a maximum security prison.

"Mission accomplished: We have him. I would like to inform the Mexican people that Joaquin Guzman has been captured," the translated tweet reads.

An official told AP reporter Mark Stevenson that Guzman was apprehended after a shootout with Mexican marines in the city of Los Mochis, in his home state of Sinaloa. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to be quoted by name.

Five people were killed and one Mexican marine wounded in the clash.

The Mexican Navy said in a statement that marines acting on a tip raided a home in the town of Los Mochis before dawn. They were fired on from inside the structure. Five suspects were killed and six others arrested.

A Mexican law enforcement official confirms that Guzman was captured at a motel on the outskirts of Los Mochis.

A Mexican law enforcement official says authorities located Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman several days ago, based on reports that he was in Los Mochis, Sinaloa.

The official says that authorities even searched storm drains in the area. The official was not authorized to talk to the press and spoke on condition of anonymity.

Mexican Navy says that marines seized two armored vehicles, eight rifles, one handgun and a rocket-propelled grenade launcher in the raid.

Photos of the arms seized suggested that Guzman and his associates had a fearsome arsenal at the non-descript white house in which he was hiding.

Two of the rifles seized were .50-caliber sniper guns, capable of penetrating most bullet-proof vests and cars. The grenade launcher was found loaded, with an extra round nearby. And an assault rifle had a .40 mm grenade launcher, and at least one grenade.

In a televised speech Friday, Nieto called the capture of Guzman a "victory for the rule of law" that demonstrates that Mexicans can have confidence in their institutions, using the capture to boost the administration's lagging credibility after a series of scandals.

The Justice Department has no immediate comment on whether it will push to extradite Mexican drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman to the United States, where he faces charges in multiple different jurisdictions across the country.

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration says it is "extremely pleased" by the recapture of Mexican drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman.

On its Twitter account, the DEA congratulated Mexico's government on nabbing Guzman, who escaped from a maximum-security prison six months ago, and said it salutes "the bravery involved in his capture."

U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch is calling the recapture of Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman "a victory for the citizens of both Mexico and the United States, and a vindication of the rule of law in our countries."

In a statement, Lynch said Guzman "will now have to answer for his alleged crimes" and congratulated Mexico's government but did not directly address the sticky issue of extradition.

A history of escape (via CNN)

Nicknamed "Shorty" for his height, Guzman has escaped twice from Mexican custody. The first was from a maximum-security prison in 2001 when he reportedly hid in a laundry cart.

The latest instance came when he broke out of another maximum-security prison through a mile-long underground tunnel in July.

He then traveled north about 140 kilometers (85 miles) to San Juan del Rio, where two small planes were awaiting his arrival and took off from an airstrip, Attorney General Arely Gomez has said.

Since then, he'd been rumored to be many places, including as far away as Argentina. In October, authorities revealed they were hot on Guzman's trail, only to have him slip out of sight, though not before apparently breaking his leg.

Gomez said last fall that 34 people have been detained in connection with Guzman's breakout last year, including the drug lord's brother-in-law.

The Sinaloa cartel chief's high profile and ability to elude authorities have been held up as an example of Mexico's reputed ineptitude in dealing with powerful drug cartels.

The breakout also spurred major criticism about the Mexican government's ability to safeguard such a notorious criminal, with some saying he should have been held in the United States.