Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman [US State Department backgrounder] was arrested Friday in Los Mochis, Mexico in a military raid conducted by the Mexican government that left 5 suspects dead and one Mexican official inured. Guzman escaped [JURIST report] Mexico’s highest security prison, Altiplano, through a tunnel on July 11. In the early morning raid, Mexican authorities detained [CNN report] Guzman along with six other suspects. Guzman had fled the building and led the police on a street chase, but was ultimately captured with his head of security, Jorge Iván Gastélum. Guzman was flown black to Altiplano, where he was detained [AFP report] before his escape. His brother-in-law, who was responsible for constructing the tunnel and coordinating the escape, is also currently detained. Mexico’s President, Enrique Peña Nieto commended [press release, in Spanish] the joint efforts of the Attorney General’s office, the Armed Forces, and the Center for Investigation and National Security .
Mexico’s Attorney General, Arely Gómez González, explained [press release, in Spanish] on Friday that upon Guzman’s escape, her office began an exhaustive investigation. After escaping through the tunnel, Guzman was moved through a ground vehicle to an airstrip where he and his brother-in-law departed on a plane to a mountainous region near Chihuahua. Here, investigators learned that Guzman had contacted film producers in hopes of being the subject of a biographical film. Investigators were able to trace communication efforts with the filmmakers, leading them to a ranch in Nuevo Pueblo, Durango in October. When Guzman fled the ranch, authorities located him by helicopter, but opted not to pursue him because he appeared to be accompanied by two women and a child. However, they were able to capture seven people who allegedly aided Guzman. Guzman was one of several drug lords that activists asked the ICC to investigate [JURIST report] in 2011. Commentators argue that Guzman’s escape has increased [NYT article] already-strained US-Mexico relations.