MEXICO CITY — The world’s most-wanted drug lord was recaptured in a daring raid by Mexican marines Friday, six months after he fled through a tunnel from a maximum security prison in an escape that deeply embarrassed the government and strained ties with the United States.

Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto announced the capture of Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman using 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 capture had top Mexican officials at a Foreign Ministry event gleefully embracing and breaking into a spontaneous rendition of the national anthem after Interior Secretary Miguel Osorio Chong delivered the news.

No sooner than Guzman was apprehended, calls started for his immediate extradition to the United States, including from a Republican presidential candidate, Florida Sen. Mark Rubio.

“Given that ‘El Chapo’ has already escaped from Mexican prison twice, this third opportunity to bring him to justice cannot be squandered,” Rubio said.

The United States filed requests for extradition for Guzman on June 25, before he escaped from prison. In September, a judge issued a second provisional arrest warrant on U.S. charges of organized crime, money laundering, drug trafficking, homicide and others. But Guzman’s lawyers filed appeals and received injunctions that could substantially delay the process.

Guzman, a legendary figure in Mexico who went from a farmer’s son to the world’s top drug lord, was apprehended after a shootout between gunmen and Mexican marines at a home in an upscale neighborhood in Los Mochis, a seaside city in Guzman’s home state of Sinaloa.

Authorities first located Guzman several days ago, based on reports that he was in Los Mochis, said a Mexican law enforcement official who was not authorized to be quoted by name.

The Mexican navy said in a statement that marines raided a home after receiving a tip about armed men there. They were fired on from inside the structure, it said. Five suspects were killed and six others arrested.


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.