MEXICO CITY, Mexico – Notorious cartel leader Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, reputed to be the world’s biggest drug trafficker, was arrested on Saturday, February 22, by Mexican marines at a coastal resort, a US security official told AFP.
Guzman, who headed the Sinaloa drug cartel, was arrested at around dawn in Mazatlan, on Mexico’s west coast, after more than a decade on the run.
His drug cartel had reached even the Philippines. In December 2013, anti-drug police in the Philippines said they had arrested 3 people connected to the Sinaloa drug cartel.
The United States had offered a $5 million reward for information leading to the arrest of “El Chapo,” reputed to be behind much of the drug violence that has plagued Mexico for years.
Mexican forces were acting on a tip-off from the US Drug Enforcement Agency and US Homeland Security intelligence, the official said on condition of anonymity.
Guzman has amassed an immense fortune while authorities carried out their exhaustive international manhunt to capture him.
“We’ve been actively tracking him for 5 weeks. Because of that pressure, he fled in the last couple of days to Mazatlan,” the official told AFP.
“He had a small contingent with him,” the official said.
Guzman was apprehended more than a decade after escaping from a maximum-security prison in a laundry cart. – with reports from Agence France-Presse/Rappler.com
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