The world-renowned Mexican drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman was arrested early Friday morning by Mexican Marines in Los Mochis, a city in his home state of Sinaloa. Media reports have said that his arrest came after a fierce gun battle with Marines and loyalists working for Mr. Guzman.
Mr. Guzman is considered to be the world’s most notorious narcotics trafficker and is head of the Sinaloa Drug Cartel which sells the majority of its drugs and cocaine in the United States. According to the New York Times, Mr. Guzman was incarcerated “in the most secure wing of one of the most secure prisons in Mexico.” Subsequent reports revealed that he fled through a mile-long tunnel cartel members dug under the prison leading to his jail cell.
Today’s news was broke by a Tweet from the Mexican President Pena Nieto saying, in Spanish, “Mission Completed: We have him. I would like to inform the Mexican people that Joaquin Guzman Loera has been detained.”
MisiÃ³n cumplida: lo tenemos. Quiero informar a los mexicanos que JoaquÃn GuzmÃ¡n Loera ha sido detenido.— Enrique PeÃ±a Nieto (@EPN) January 8, 2016
Mr. Guzman’s arrest is widely considered a victory for President Nieto, who was criticized following Mr. Guzman’s sensational escape from prison. In the weeks following his escape Mr. Guzman taunted Mexican and international authorities, including US Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump.
The question many analysts are asking is whether the Mexican government will try to keep Mr. Guzman incarcerated again or whether they choose to extradite him to the United States. Turning the notorious drug kingpin over to the US would implicitly admit weakness on the part of Mexico, according to analysts speaking with the New York Times.
“Extraditing him is a way to say we cannot cope with this with our own institutions,” said Pablo A. Piccato, a history professor at Columbia University in New York City, to the New York Times.