Photo: El Chapo capture
U.S. personnel did not take part in the operation that ended with the capture of Sinaloa drug cartel boss Joaquin “El Chapo” (Shorty) Guzman, but the United States did provide “technology” to support Mexican security forces, Government Secretary Miguel Angel Osorio Chong said.
“Not one single person, not from the DEA (U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration), not from any other U.S. security service, took part in the operation that was carried out,” Osorio Chong told Radio Formula.
Guzman, the world’s most notorious and powerful drug lord, was captured by the security forces in the Pacific resort city of Mazatlan on Saturday.
The United States provided technology “that allowed us, along with our (technology), to geolocate the place where this criminal was and the people who were with him,” Osorio Chong said.
The operation was carried out “exclusively by Mexican marine-navy personnel,” Osorio Chong said.
The 56-year-old Guzman was captured without any shots being fired.
Emma Coronel, a former Miss Sinaloa who married Guzman in 2007, was in the apartment raided by marines, Osorio Chong said.
“She was there, his wife, his two children, but they had absolutely nothing to do with the criminal’s activities, so they were released,” Osorio Chong said.
Marines came close to capturing Guzman on Feb. 17 in Culiacan, the capital of Sinaloa, but the drug lord escaped through a tunnel that led into the city’s sewer system, Osorio Chong said.
The drug lord is being held at the Almoloya de Juarez prison in Mexico state, which surrounds the Federal District and forms part of the Mexico City metropolitan area.
Guzman was arrested in 1993 in Guatemala and sent back to Mexico, where he was convicted of bribery.
Guzman escaped from the Puente Grande penitentiary in the western Mexican state of Jalisco on Jan. 19, 2001, pulling off the Hollywood-style jailbreak by hiding in a cart full of dirty laundry in front of guards.
The drug lord will likely face additional criminal conspiracy, drug, firearms and money laundering charges in Mexico, officials said.
The office of U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York Loretta Lynch said Sunday that it planned to request Guzman’s extradition from Mexico.
Guzman faces charges in at least three U.S. federal judicial districts for criminal conspiracy, money laundering and conspiracy to smuggle cocaine, heroin, marijuana and methamphetamine into the United States.
U.S. authorities had been offering a reward of $5 million for information leading to Guzman’s capture.