Mexico drug lord El Chapo Guzman captured

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Fugitive drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman has been recaptured by Mexican authorities, six months after escaping from prison.

The world's most-wanted drug lord has been captured for a third time in a daring raid by Mexican marines, six months after he tunnelled out of a maximum security prison in a made-for-Hollywood escape.

Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto announced on Friday the capture of Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, writing in his Twitter account: "mission accomplished: we have him."

Few had thought Guzman would be taken alive, and few now believe Mexico will want to try to hold him a third time in Mexican prisons.

He escaped from maximum-security facilities in 2001 and on July 11, 2015, the second breakout especially humiliating for the Pena Nieto administration, which held him for less than 18 months. The US has sought his extradition, though Mexico in the past has said he would serve sentences there first.

But Pena Nieto gave a brief live message Friday afternoon that focused heavily on touting the competency of his administration, which has suffered a series of embarrassments and scandals in the first half of his presidency.

"The arrest of today is very important for the government of Mexico. It shows that the public can have confidence in its institutions," Pena Nieto said. "Mexicans can count on a government decided and determined to build a better country."

Guzman was apprehended after a shootout with Mexican marines in Los Mochis, a seaside city in Guzman's home state of Sinaloa, said a federal official who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorised to be quoted by name. He said Guzman was taken alive and was not wounded.

Five people were killed and one Mexican marine wounded in the clash at a house. It was unclear if Guzman was there or nearby when the raid was under way. Another law enforcement official said Guzman was captured at a motel on the outskirts of Los Mochis.

After his first capture in Guatemala in June 1993, Guzman was sentenced to 20 years in prison. He reportedly made his 2001 escape from the maximum-security prison in a laundry cart, though some have discounted that version. In his second escape last July he slipped down a hole in his shower stall in plain view of guards into a mile-long tunnel dug from a property outside the prison.

The tunnel was complete with ventilation, lights and a motorbike on rails.

In the United States the Drug Enforcement Administration hailed the capture as proof of the close relationship between the two countries. "The arrest is a significant achievement in our shared fight against transnational organised crime, violence, and drug trafficking," a DEA statement said.

The US Justice Department commended the working relationship as well.

"I salute the Mexican law enforcement and military personnel who have worked tirelessly in recent months to bring Guzman to justice," Attorney General Loretta Lynch said.

A Mexican law enforcement official said authorities located Guzman several days ago, based on reports he was in Los Mochis.

The Mexican Navy said marines acting on a tip raided a home in Los Mochis before dawn. They were fired on from inside the structure, it said. Five suspects were killed and six others arrested. The marine's injuries were not life threatening.

Marines seized two armoured vehicles, eight rifles, one handgun and a rocket-propelled grenade launcher at the home, the statement added.

Photos of the arms seized at the non-descript white house showed that two of the rifles were .50-calibre sniper guns, capable of penetrating most bullet-proof vests and cars. The grenade launcher was found loaded, with an extra round nearby. An assault rifle had a 40mm grenade launcher and at least one grenade.

Guzman is expected to be extradited to the United States.

Source AAP

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