Mexican Drug Lord 'El Chapo' Is Returned to the Same Prison He Escaped from Last Year, Was Planning His Biopic Before Recapture
A notorious drug lord was recaptured Friday in part because he had been working to make a biopic about his own life – which has now included multiple prison escapes – Mexican authorities said, according to CNN and ABC News.
Sinaloa cartel head Joaquén “El Chapo” Guzmén Loera was arrested in Mexico again this week in the coastal city of Los Mochis, six months months after he slipped through a tunnel beneath his cell in Altiplano, a federal prison that has been described as impenetrable.
Guzmén had been talking with actors and producers about a possible biopic, Attorney General Arely Gomez said Friday, according to ABC News.
This “became a new line of investigation,” she said, and helped lead them to Los Mochis, according to the Associated Press.
One of Guzmén’s tunnel builders also led them to the area, Gomez said, according to the AP.
The raid of Guzmén’s residence erupted in gunfire, killing five suspects, as well as wounding one Navy member, the Navy said, according to CNN. Six suspects were arrested, the Navy said.
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Even then, Guzmén and another person were allegedly able to escape from the home through the sewer system and obtain a car, Gomez said, according to CNN.
But the widespread presence of the Navy in the area led to the car’s detention and the arrest of both occupants, Gomez said, according to ABC News.
The raid was the work of six months of investigation, Gomez said, according to the AP. Authorities had previously located Guzmén in October, but aborted that operation because he was with women and children, she said.
“The re-apprehension of this criminal and his accomplice is the result of a deep work of intelligence, investigation and coordination between the different institutions of security of the government,” she said, according to ABC News.
Guzmén will return to Altiplano, Gomez said.
It was not immediately clear how quickly the United States’ previous requests to extradite Guzman (who faces drug charges in multiple states, according to the AP) might proceed, or how the Mexican government will respond now that he is again in custody.
Authorities have arrested multiple people in connection with Guzmén, according to CNN, including the man accused of heading up construction of his escape tunnel last year, the man who owned the land the tunnel was built through, an attorney accused of helping finance the tunnel and Guzmén’s brother-in-law.
“The arrest of today is very important for the government of Mexico. It shows that the public can have confidence in its institutions,” President Enrique Pena Nieto said in a public address, according to the AP. “Mexicans can count on a government decided and determined to build a better country.”
Late Friday, Guzmén was transported to a helicopter, again bound for prison, but not before he had to walk past a crowd of people and cameras.
Next week, Chapo: The Escape of the Century will open in theaters.