[QODLink]
Americas

Mexico's most wanted drug lord arrested

Joint Mexican and US forces arrest Joaquin 'El Chapo' Guzman in Sinaloa state, who had been on the run for 13 years.

Last updated: 23 Feb 2014 00:49
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback

Mexico's most wanted man, drug kingpin Joaquin Guzman, known as El Chapo or "Shorty", has been captured in Mexico in what marks a major coup in a grisly fight against drug gangs.

After 13 years on the run, Guzman was captured early on Saturday morning in a hotel in Mazatlan, a resort city located on the Pacific coast state of Sinaloa, by US and Mexican law enforcement officials,

The US had offered a $5m reward for information leading to the arrest of Guzman, who is accused of being behind much of the drug violence that has plagued Mexico for years.

Analyst says arrest of 'El Chapo' could trigger more violence in Mexico

Attorney General Eric Holder said in a statement released by the US Department of Justice (DOJ) that the apprehension of Joaquin Guzman is a landmark achievement, and a victory for the citizens of both Mexico and the United States.

"Guzman was one of the world's most wanted men and the alleged head of a drug-running empire that spans continents," Holder said.

"The criminal activity Guzman allegedly directed contributed to the death and destruction of millions of lives across the globe through drug addiction, violence, and corruption."

Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson said: "The operation led by the Mexican government overnight to capture Joaquin "Chapo" Guzman Loera is a significant victory and milestone in our common interest of combating drug trafficking, violence and illicit activity along our shared border."

The DOJ hailed the arrest of Guzman and expressed their willingness to further collaborate with Mexico to secure the border region.

Drugs' war

Authorities in Chicago last year dubbed Guzman the city's first ‘Public Enemy No.1’ since gangster Al Capone.

His arrest deals a major blow to Mexico's biggest drug cartel, an empire that stretches along the Pacific coast and smuggles drugs to the US,  Europe and Asia.

Mexican forces were acting on a tip-off from the US Drug Enforcement Agency and US Homeland Security intelligence, an official said.

The arrest is a major coup for the 14-month administration of President Enrique Pena Nieto, which captured the head of the ultra-violent and powerful Zetas drug cartel, Miguel Angel Trevino, in July 2013.

Nearly 80,000 people have died in drug-related killings in Mexico since former President Felipe Calderon sent in the army in early 2007 to quell the powerful drug bosses, a policy Pena Nieto has criticised but found tough to break with.

437

Source:
Agencies
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
Muslim volunteers face questioning and threat of arrest, while aid has been disrupted or blocked, charities say.
Six months on, outrage and sorrow over the mass schoolgirl abduction has disappeared - except for families in Nigeria.
ISIL combatants seeking an 'exit strategy' from Mideast conflict need positive reinforcement back home, analysts say.
European nation hit by a wave of Islamophobia as many young fighters join ISIL in Syria and Iraq.
Featured
Lack of child protection laws means abandoned and orphaned kids rely heavily on the care of strangers.
At least 25 tax collectors have been killed since 2012 in Mogadishu, a city awash in weapons and abject poverty.
Since she was 16-years-old, Scottish Nationalist Party's Sturgeon has strove for independence from the UK.
Armed group's ransom success with German hostages marks a re-emergence, as authorities investigate ISIL links.
Western nations are moving into the resource-rich country after decades of disinterest, challenging China's interests.