The world’s most-wanted drug kingpin, Joaquín Guzmán Loera, known as El Chapo, has been captured, a senior American law enforcement official said Saturday, 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.
So hidden was he that there was uncertainty what he looked like, but American officials believe they have the right man. Mexican marines captured him in the Pacific beach resort area of Mazatlan. 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.
In Mexico City, presidential spokesman Eduardo Sanchez said authorities have "captured an individual in Sinaloa (state)" whose identity had not been confirmed.
Local television broadcast a photograph of a man it said was detained in the operation, who bears a resemblance to Guzman. The man had a small black moustache, and was shirtless. There were no apparent signs of violence.
Guzman, known as "El Chapo" (Shorty) in Spanish, runs Mexico's infamous Sinaloa Cartel and was even included on a Forbes' list of billionaires. The cartel has been fighting a brutal war with other gangs over turf and drug-trafficking routes to the United States.