Powerful Mexican drug cartel leader is captured in Mexican-U.S. operation

CNN/Mexican Police Handout/CEPROPIE/Foro TV
Monday, February 24, 2014 - 11:52am

A man considered one of the most powerful drug traffickers in the world was captured Saturday in Mexico in a joint Mexican/U.S. operation, CNN's Nick Parker has the story.

One of the world's most notorious drug lords now behind bars after more than a decade on the run. Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman was paraded before the media in Mexico City, the first public glimpse in years.

The government says the investigation had been ongoing for several months, Jesús Murillo Karam, Mexican Attorney General, "There were several moments in which [he] could have been apprehended, but prudence and common sense prevented us from making the arrest in a place where citizens could be affected. We decided not to endanger the public and wait for the right time, that was precisely why with great efficiency and without a single shot fired, the arrest was executed by the Navy team."

Guzman was caught at a luxury condo development in the resort City of Mazatlan, a popular destination for U.S. tourists. Marines found more than 130 guns, 19 armored cars and two grenade launchers,13 others were also arrested. U.S. Attorney Eric Holder is calling the arrest of the leader of the Sinaloa cartel a "landmark achievement," but some analysts are skeptical over their real impact on the flow of drugs.

Dwight Dyer, Control Risks, "First of all the Sinaloa cartel is not run by him exclusively its an organization that has at least three top leaders. Second, Joaquin was able to run his part of the cartel from prison before. And there is very little making us think he would not be able to do that again."

Guzman preciously escaped from a maximum security prison in 2001 in a laundry cart. There is an outstanding extradition warrant for him in the United States, where he was named public enemy number one in Chicago, but analysts say it is unlikely he will be immediately deported as the current administration has not extradited other drug lords also wanted in the U.S.

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