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Drug kingpin ‘El Chapo’ to return to prison he escaped from

Mexican drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman has been recaptured and sent back to the maximum-security prison he escaped from six months ago.

El Chapo paraded in handcuffs after re-capture in Mexico
El Chapo paraded in handcuffs after re-capture in Mexico

He was paraded before cameras before being bundled into a helicopter to Altiplano prison in central Mexico.

He escaped from there in July through a tunnel dug in the showers.

Guzman was arrested on Friday in the city of Los Mochis in his home state of Sinaloa – which he had come to dominate through the drugs cartel he led.

During the early-morning raid, he managed to flee through a drain but was later caught by marines in a shootout.

Six people, including one marine, are reported to have been killed.

Part of the reason he was tracked down was because he contacted actors and producers in the hope of making a film about his life, Mexico’s Attorney General Arely Gomez said.

Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto described Guzman’s arrest as a “victory for the rule of law”.

The US congratulated the Mexican government but did not indicate whether prosecutors would seek Guzman’s extradition.

In a statement, Attorney General Loretta Lynch said Guzman had caused “significant violence, suffering and corruption on multiple continents”.

Guzman’s July escape was his second – he was first arrested in Guatemala in 1993 and escaped from Puente Grande jail in 2001, reportedly in a laundry basket after bribing officials.

He was on the run for 13 years before being held again in 2014.

CCTV footage of his 11 July escape showed Guzman pacing his cell several times before heading into the shower area and disappearing at the maximum-security Altiplano jail.

A huge manhunt followed, with flights suspended at the nearby airports. The US government had offered a $5m (£3.2m) reward for information leading to his capture.

Authorities located him several days ago based on reports that he was in the Los Mochis area.

In October, Mexican officials said they had “broken up” and arrested the groupresponsible for helping him escape.

Guzman’s wealth is estimated at $1bn.

Despite being the leader of one of the world’s most powerful and violent drug cartels, Guzman was seen by some in Sinaloa – where there are few job opportunities – as a modern-day Robin Hood figure who could offer more security to people than the government.

Following his escape, shopkeepers began selling souvenirs such as baseball caps branded with “El Chapo” (Guzman’s nickname, meaning “Shorty”). BBC

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