The world’s most-wanted drug kingpin, Joaquín Guzmán Loera, known as El Chapo, has been captured, a senior American law enforcement official said today, ending a 13-year manhunt for the chief supplier of illegal drugs to the United States and much of the world.
Mr. Guzmán, whose nickname means Shorty, had eluded the authorities time and again since he escaped from a prison in a laundry basket just before an extradition order to the United States. He faces a bounty of drug trafficking and other charges stemming from a multibillion-dollar drug empire.
Few details were available on Saturday morning, but a picture of Mr. Guzmán, who appeared to be handcuffed and with a few cuts to his face and torso, circulated among law enforcement officials. He had stayed so hidden that there was uncertainty what he looked like, but American officials believed they had the right man.
Mexican marines captured him in the Pacific beach resort area of Mazatlán. There were no reports of shots fired. In the past year, several of his top associates had been detained and crime analysts who follow the drug world had speculated his days were increasingly numbered.
Guzman has been included in Forbes’ World’s Most Powerful People list since 2009.
Guzman has been named in multiple federal drug trafficking indictments in the United States and has been on the Drug Enforcement Administration’s most-wanted list. His drug enterprise stretches throughout North America and reaches as far away as Europe and Australia.
The Sinaloa cartel has been blamed for its role in the bloody drug war that has plagued Mexico in recent years.