Mexico Recaptures Drug Kingpin Joaquin 'El Chapo' Guzman

Jan 8, 2016
Originally published on January 11, 2016 2:15 pm
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KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:

When this news first broke today, some people thought it might be a hoax. It's not. The drug kingpin known as El Chapo is in custody again. He escaped six months ago from a maximum-security prison in Mexico. NPR's Carrie Kahn is on the line from Mexico City.

And Carrie, what do we know so far?

CARRIE KAHN, BYLINE: Well, we're seeing a lot of images of Guzman on Mexican TV alive and in custody. He was captured this morning in the city of Los Mochis, which is in his home state of Sinaloa which also bears the name of his cartel which is one of the largest and most powerful in Mexico and in many parts of the world. And there was a shootout with Marines in Los Mochis this morning. Five people were killed and a Marine was injured. Authorities also confiscated an amazing arsenal during the arrest of the drug kingpin. And as you said, the news of Guzman's capture was made by the president himself via Twitter. And he tweeted this afternoon, mission accomplished - we got him. And so there was some skepticism over this tweet, but his capture has been confirmed by various agencies including the U.S. DEA.

Chapo's arrest earlier this year was a great victory for the president and not only - and then it was only to become a huge embarrassment when Chapo escaped through this unbelievable tunnel right out of the cell in a maximum security prison.

MCEVERS: Right. I mean, what's the Mexican government going to do with El Chapo Guzman now? I think they won't send him back to that same prison.

KAHN: That is the million-dollar question, what are they going to do with him? It's just - we've seen him being shipped, taken away, with a towel over his head and stuffed into a small plane on his way here to Mexico City. What happens now is for great discussion. There is an extradition order in place from the U.S., but in Mexican law, there are still some legal maneuvers and Chapo's lawyers can do a lot before he's on that plane to the U.S. so...

MCEVERS: And, very quickly, Carrie, this is the third time he's been captured, right?

KAHN: Yes, it is, and just - he got out six months ago. So we'll see where they're going to put him and how they're going to hold onto him until they decide that extradition question. That's what everybody's talking about right now in Mexico.

MCEVERS: That's NPR's Carrie Kahn in Mexico City.

Thanks very much.

KAHN: You're welcome. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.