Mexico recaptures drug boss 'Chapo' Guzman after shootout

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Drug Lord Joaquin 'El Chapo' Guzman Recaptured

Mexico recaptured the world's most notorious drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman with U.S. help in a violent standoff on Friday, six months after he humiliated President Enrique Pena Nieto with a jaw-dropping escape from a maximum security prison.

The head of the powerful Sinaloa Cartel, who Pena Nieto first caught in February 2014, was captured at a roadside motel after an early morning operation that killed five in the city of Los Mochis in the drug baron's native northwestern state of Sinaloa.

"Mission accomplished: We have him," Pena Nieto said on his Twitter account. "I want to inform all Mexicans that Joaquin Guzman Loera has been arrested."

For Pena Nieto, the capture of a trafficker who twice slipped out of Mexican prisons is a sorely-needed victory after his presidency was tarnished by graft and human rights scandals and the shame of the kingpin's July flight.

It also provides a major boost for U.S.-Mexico relations, strained by the apparent ease with which Guzman gave Mexican authorities the slip after the United States requested his extradition.

Once featured in the Forbes list of billionaires, Guzman has led a cartel that smuggled billions of dollars worth of cocaine, heroin, marijuana and methamphetamines into the United States and fought vicious turf wars with other Mexican gangs.

Scant official details were available of the recapture, but it involved Mexican marines, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and U.S. Marshals, a senior Mexican police source said.

The source said Guzman was captured from the Hotel Doux, a motel on the outskirts of Los Mochis once popular with North Americans traveling south. It was the result of a deadly operation announced earlier on Friday by the Mexican Navy in which five others were captured.

One photograph widely circulated on social media, but that could not be independently verified by Reuters, appeared to show Guzman sitting handcuffed on a hotel bed, in a room that resembled those shown on the Hotel Doux website. He was wearing a filthy vest and a poster of a scantily clad woman was pinned on the wall behind him.

A receptionist at the motel told Reuters she understood Guzman had been captured there.

Another photo appeared to show Guzman without handcuffs and wearing the same vest in the back of vehicle next to one of his top assassins.

The DEA, which has had a bumpy relationship with its Mexican counterparts, congratulated Mexico on the capture.

See more of the escape route in the gallery below:

18 PHOTOS
El Chapo Tunnel Escape Route
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Mexico recaptures drug boss 'Chapo' Guzman after shootout
Federal Police officers stand guard inside a half-built house where drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman made his escape through a tunnel from the Altiplano maximum security prison in Almoloya, west of Mexico City, Thursday, July 16, 2015. A widespread manhunt that included highway checkpoints, stepped up border security and closure of an international airport failed to turn up any trace of Guzman after he escaped through an underground tunnel in his prison cell. (AP Photo/Marco Ugarte)
A motorcycle adapted to a rail sits in the tunnel under the half-built house where according to authorities, drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman made his escape from the Altiplano maximum security prison in Almoloya, west of Mexico City, Thursday, July 16, 2015. A widespread manhunt that included highway checkpoints, stepped up border security and closure of an international airport failed to turn up any trace of Guzman after he escaped through an underground tunnel in his prison cell. (AP Photo/Marco Ugarte)
A Mexican Federal Police officer crouches inside the tunnel where according to authorities drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman made his escape from the Altiplano maximum security prison in Almoloya, west of Mexico City, Thursday, July 16, 2015. Two Mexican lawmakers say at least 18 minutes had elapsed from when Mexico's most prized prisoner slipped into a mile-long tunnel Saturday night and when authorities became aware. An official with the National Security Commission said he would try to confirm the figure, but did not think it was that much time. (AP Photo/Marco Ugarte)
Mexican Federal Police officers stand guard at the exit of a tunnel where according to authorities drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman made his escape from the Altiplano maximum security prison in Almoloya, west of Mexico City, Thursday, July 16, 2015. Two Mexican lawmakers say at least 18 minutes had elapsed from when Mexico's most prized prisoner slipped into a mile-long tunnel Saturday night and when authorities became aware. An official with the National Security Commission said he would try to confirm the figure, but did not think it was that much time. (AP Photo/Marco Ugarte)
A Mexican Federal Police officer crouches as he walks through the tunnel that according to authorities drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman used to make his escape from the Altiplano maximum security prison in Almoloya, west of Mexico City, Thursday, July 16, 2015. Two Mexican lawmakers say at least 18 minutes had elapsed from when Mexico's most prized prisoner slipped into a mile-long tunnel Saturday night and when authorities became aware. An official with the National Security Commission said he would try to confirm the figure, but did not think it was that much time. (AP Photo/Marco Ugarte)
Federal Police officer stands in the tunnel where according to authorities drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman made his escape from the Altiplano maximum security prison in Almoloya, west of Mexico City, Thursday, July 16, 2015. Two Mexican lawmakers say at least 18 minutes had elapsed from when Mexico's most prized prisoner slipped into a mile-long tunnel Saturday night and when authorities became aware. An official with the National Security Commission said he would try to confirm the figure, but did not think it was that much time. (AP Photo/Marco Ugarte)
This photo shows the shower area where authorities claim drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, slipped into a tunnel to escape from his prison cell at the Altiplano maximum security prison, in Almoloya, west of Mexico City, Wednesday, July 15, 2015. (AP Photo/Eduardo Verdugo)
The photo shows the interior of the cell occupied by drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, from where authorities claim he escaped via a tunnel in his shower cell, at the Altiplano maximum security prison, in Almoloya, west of Mexico City, Wednesday, July 15, 2015. In the top left corner is a security camera. (AP Photo/Eduardo Verdugo)
A Mexican authority climbs a ladder to exit the tunnel that according to authorities, drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman used to escape from the Altiplano maximum security prison in Almoloya, west of Mexico City, Thursday, July 16, 2015. Two Mexican lawmakers say at least 18 minutes had elapsed from when Mexico's most prized prisoner slipped into a mile-long tunnel Saturday night and when authorities became aware. An official with the National Security Commission said he would try to confirm the figure, but did not think it was that much time. (AP Photo/Marco Ugarte)
A Mexican authority climbs up a ladder leading to the exit of the tunnel that was used by Mexican drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, to escape from the Altiplano maximum security prison in Almoloya, Mexico, Tuesday, July 14, 2015. (AP Photo/Marco Ugarte)
The photo shows the opening of a tunnel, authorities claim was used by drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, to escape from inside his cell at the Altiplano maximum security prison, in Almoloya, west of Mexico City, Wednesday, July 15, 2015. (AP Photo/Eduardo Verdugo)
A journalist reports from the exit of the tunnel that according to authorities, drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman used to escape from the Altiplano maximum security prison in Almoloya, west of Mexico City, Tuesday, July 14, 2015. A widespread manhunt that included highway checkpoints, stepped up border security and closure of an international airport failed to turn up any trace of Guzman after he escaped through an underground tunnel in his prison cell. (AP Photo/Eduardo Verdugo)
A journalist climbs a ladder to get out of the tunnel that according to authorities, drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman used to escape from the Altiplano maximum security prison in Almoloya, west of Mexico City, Tuesday, July 14, 2015. A widespread manhunt that included highway checkpoints, stepped up border security and closure of an international airport failed to turn up any trace of Guzman after he escaped through an underground tunnel in his prison cell. (AP Photo/Eduardo Verdugo)
Journalists exit the tunnel where according to authorities drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman made his escape from the Altiplano maximum security prison in Almoloya, west of Mexico City, Tuesday, July 14, 2015. A widespread manhunt that included highway checkpoints, stepped up border security and closure of an international airport failed to turn up any trace of Guzman after he escaped through an underground tunnel in his prison cell. (AP Photo/Eduardo Verdugo)
A motorcycle adapted to a rail sits in the tunnel under the half-built house where according to authorities, drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman made his escape from the Altiplano maximum security prison in Almoloya, west of Mexico City, Tuesday, July 14, 2015. A widespread manhunt that included highway checkpoints, stepped up border security and closure of an international airport failed to turn up any trace of Guzman after he escaped through an underground tunnel in his prison cell. (AP Photo/Eduardo Verdugo)
The exit of the tunnel that according to authorities was used by Mexican drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, to escape from the Altiplano maximum security prison is seen in Almoloya, Mexico, Tuesday, July 14, 2015. A widespread manhunt that included highway checkpoints, stepped up border security and closure of an international airport failed to turn up any trace of Guzman after he escaped through an underground tunnel leading from his prison cell's shower area. (AP Photo/Mario Vazquez de la Torre)
In this photo provided by Mexico's attorney general, authorities inspect the exit of the tunnel they claim was used by drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman to break out of the Altiplano maximum security prison in Almoloya, west of Mexico City, Sunday, July 12, 2015. A massive manhunt is underway after Guzman, escaped from the maximum security prison through the tunnel that opened into the shower area of his cell, the country's top security official announced. (Mexico's Attorney General's Office via AP)
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"This notorious criminal is – and will remain – behind bars, until he faces justice in a court of law," said DEA Acting Administrator Chuck Rosenberg.

EXTRADITION WILL 'TAKE TIME'

Guzman now faces the prospect of extradition to the United States. After coming under fire for failing to do so the last time, Mexico's Attorney General's office said in July it had approved an order to extradite him north of the border.

On Friday, the U.S. Justice department said its previous request to extradite Guzman to the United States still stands and U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch said the kingpin will have to answer for his alleged crimes.

In a celebratory speech in his ceremonial palace, Pena Nieto said the capture was the result of months of work by Mexican intelligence and security agencies and the attorney general's office. He did not mention U.S. assistance.

Guzman's jail break in July, when he escaped through a mile-long tunnel which burrowed right up into his cell, capitalized on the drug-tunneling techniques he honed on the U.S. border.

His flight heaped embarrassment on Pena Nieto, who had resisted the U.S. request to extradite and had said previously that an escape would be "unforgivable."

Dozens of people were arrested over the jail break, though details of who Guzman bribed and how his accomplices knew exactly where to tunnel into the prison remain scarce.

Guzman is wanted by U.S. authorities for various criminal charges including cocaine smuggling and money laundering. An official at the attorney general's office, speaking on condition of anonymity, said his extradition would "take time".

Guzman's lawyer in October appealed against possible extradition in case his client was captured.

64 PHOTOS
Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman
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Mexico recaptures drug boss 'Chapo' Guzman after shootout
ALTERNATIVE CROP OF RLB111.- Mexican drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman is escorted by army soldiers to a waiting helicopter, at a federal hangar in Mexico City, Friday, Jan. 8, 2016. The world's most wanted drug lord was recaptured by Mexican marines Friday, six months after he fled through a tunnel from a maximum secuirty prison in a made-for-Hollywood escape that deeply embarrassed the government and strained ties with the United States. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)
Mexican drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, right, is escorted by soldiers and marines to a waiting helicopter, at a federal hangar in Mexico City, Friday, Jan. 8, 2016. The world's most wanted drug lord was recaptured 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.(AP Photo/Marco Ugarte)
Mexican drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman is escorted by army soldiers to a waiting helicopter, at a federal hangar in Mexico City, Friday, Jan. 8, 2016. The world's most wanted drug lord was recaptured by Mexican marines Friday, six months after he fled through a tunnel from a maximum secuirty prison in a made-for-Hollywood escape that deeply embarrassed the government and strained ties with the United States. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)
Mexican drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman is escorted by army soldiers to a waiting helicopter, at a federal hangar in Mexico City, Friday, Jan. 8, 2016. The world's most wanted drug lord was recaptured by Mexican marines Friday, six months after he fled through a tunnel from a maximum secuirty prison in a made-for-Hollywood escape that deeply embarrassed the government and strained ties with the United States. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)
Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman is made to face the press as he is escorted to a helicopter in handcuffs by Mexican soldiers and marines at a federal hangar in Mexico City, Mexico, Friday, Jan. 8, 2016. Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto announced that Guzman had been recaptured six months after escaping from a maximum security prison. (AP Photo/Marco Ugarter)
A Federal Police presses on a reward notice for information leading to the capture of drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, who made his escape from the Altiplano maximum security prison via an underground tunnel, in Almoloya, west of Mexico City, Thursday, July 16, 2015. The Mexican government is offering a reward of $3.8 million (60 million pesos) for Guzman's recapture. (AP Photo/Marco Ugarte)
Federal Police patrol a checkpoint west of Mexico City, Thursday, July 16, 2015. A widespread manhunt that included highway checkpoints, stepped up border security and closure of an international airport failed to turn up any trace of drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman after he escaped through an underground tunnel in his prison cell. (AP Photo/Marco Ugarte)
Federal Police patrol on the perimeters of the Altiplano maximum security prison in Almoloya, west of Mexico City, Thursday, July 16, 2015. A widespread manhunt that included highway checkpoints, stepped up border security and closure of an international airport failed to turn up any trace of drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman after he escaped through an underground tunnel in his prison cell. (AP Photo/Marco Ugarte)
ALMOLOYA DE JUAREZ, July 16, 2015-- Security forces stand guard in the surroundings of the alleged house where was built the tunnel, through which escaped from prison Mexico's drug lord Joaquin 'El Chapo' Guzman, in Almoloya de Juarez, on the outskirts of Mexico City, Mexico, on July 15, 2015. Guzman, leader of the Sinaloa drug cartel, disappeared from the maximum-security Altiplano prison outside of Mexico City Saturday night, according to the National Security Commission. (Xinhua/Alejandro Ayala via Getty Images)
A Mexican soldier speaks with a man at the International airport in Mexico City on July 16, 2015. The Mexican government has offered a $3.8 million reward for fugitive drug lord Joaquin 'El Chapo' Guzman's capture, double the amount it usually offers for the country's most wanted criminals. AFP PHOTO/ YURI CORTEZ (Photo credit should read YURI CORTEZ/AFP/Getty Images)
This photo provided by Mexico's attorney general, shows the most recent image of drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman before he escaped from the Altiplano maximum security prison in Almoloya, west of Mexico City, Sunday, July 12, 2015. The Mexican government is offering a 60 million pesos (about $4 million dollars) reward for information leading to his capture, after Guzman, escaped from the maximum security prison through a mile long tunnel that opened into the shower area of his cell. (Mexico's Attorney General's Office via AP)
A Public Safety Secretary of the Federal District (SSPDF) police officer stands next to a patrol car with a picture of fugitive drug lord Joaquin 'El Chapo' Guzman's on its window, in Acapulco, Guerrero State, Mexico, on July 14, 2015. Mexico's government offered a $3.8 million reward for the capture of 'El Chapo' Guzman on Monday and sacked top prison officials amid suspicions that guards helped him escape. Guzman vanished from his cell late Saturday even though he was wearing a monitoring bracelet and surveillance cameras were trained on the room 24 hours a day, Interior Minister Miguel Angel Osorio Chong said. AFP PHOTO / PEDRO PARDO (Photo credit should read Pedro PARDO/AFP/Getty Images)
Mexico's Interior Secretary Miguel Angel Osorio Chong, white shirt, arrives to the half-built house where drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman made his escape through a tunnel from the Altiplano maximum security prison in Almoloya, west of Mexico City, Monday, July 13, 2015. A widespread manhunt that included highway checkpoints, stepped up border security and closure of an international airport failed to turn up any trace of "El Chapo" Guzman by Monday, more than 24 hours after he escaped through an underground tunnel in his Altiplano prison cell. (AP Photo/Marco Ugarte)
This photo provided by Mexico's attorney general, shows the exit of the tunnel they claim was used by drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman to break out of the Altiplano maximum security prison in Almoloya, west of Mexico City, Sunday, July 12, 2015. A massive manhunt is underway after Guzman, escaped from the maximum security prison through the tunnel that opened into the shower area of his cell, the country's top security official announced. (Mexico's Attorney General's Office via AP)
Soldiers guard a half-built house near the Altiplano maximum security prison in Almoloya, west of Mexico City, Monday, July 13, 2015. A widespread manhunt that included highway checkpoints, stepped up border security and closure of an international airport failed to turn up any trace of Mexican drug kingpin Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman by Monday, more than 24 hours after he escaped through an underground tunnel in his Altiplano prison cell. (AP Photo/Marco Ugarte)
In this photo provided by Mexico's attorney general, authorities guard the construction site where the exit of the tunnel, they claim was used by drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman to break out of the Altiplano maximum security prison, is located, in Almoloya, west of Mexico City, Sunday, July 12, 2015. A massive manhunt is underway after Guzman, escaped from the maximum security prison through the tunnel that opened into the shower area of his cell, the country's top security official announced. (Mexico's Attorney General's Office via AP)
Mexico's Attorney General Arely Gomez shows a picture of Mexican drug kingpin Joaquin 'El Chapo' Guzman during a press conference held at the Secretaria de Gobernacion in Mexico City, on July 13, 2015. Guzman managed to escape from his cell despite a monitoring bracelet and 24-hour security camera surveillance, and likely was helped by prison officials, authorities said. AFP PHOTO/ Yuri CORTEZ (Photo credit should read YURI CORTEZ/AFP/Getty Images)
A poster with the face of Mexican drug lord Joaquin 'El Chapo' Guzman, reading 'Wanted, Again', is displayed at a newsstand in one Mexico City's major bus terminals on July 13, 2015, a day after the government informed of the escape of the drug kingpin from a maximum-security prison. Mexican security forces scrambled Monday to save face and recapture 'El Chapo' as authorities investigated whether guards helped him escape prison through a tunnel under his cell. AFP PHOTO / YURI CORTEZ (Photo credit should read YURI CORTEZ/AFP/Getty Images)
Federal police guard a drainage pipe outside of the Altiplano maximum security prison in Almoloya, west of Mexico City, Sunday, July 12, 2015. Mexico's most powerful drug lord, Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, escaped from a maximum security prison through a tunnel that opened into the shower area of his cell, the country's top security official announced. (AP Photo/Marco Ugarte)
FILE - This Feb. 22, 2014 file photo shows Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, the head of Mexicoís Sinaloa Cartel, being escorted to a helicopter in Mexico City following his capture overnight in the beach resort town of Mazatlan. In federal court in Chicago on Friday, March 7, 2014, Alfredo Vasquez Hernandez, a reputed lieutenant of the recently captured drug lord, abruptly reversed his plans to plead guilty Friday to federal trafficking charges, a move made out of fear for the lives of his wife and children in Mexico, according to his attorney. (AP Photo/Eduardo Verdugo, File)
MEXICO CITY, MEXICO - JULY 12: View of pipes near the Mexican Maximum Security Prison of 'El Altiplano' after the confirmation of the escape of Mexican drug trafficker Joaquin 'El Chapo' Guzman on July 12, 2015 in Mexico City, Mexico. 'El Chapo' was seen last time around 20:52 on the video security system when he got close to the showers where he normally takes his shower and washes his essentials. (Photo by Manuel Velasquez/LatinContent/Getty Images)
A Federal Police officer stands guard outside the house at the end of the tunnel through which Mexican drug lord Joaquin 'El Chapo' Guzman could have escaped from the Altiplano prison, in Almoloya de Juarez, Mexico, on July 12, 2015. Guzman has escaped from a maximum-security prison, the government said Sunday, his second jail break in 14 years. The kingpin was last seen in the shower area of the Altiplano prison in central Mexico late Saturday before disappearing. 'The escape of Guzman was confirmed', the National Security Commission said in a statement. AFP PHOTO / YURI CORTEZ (Photo credit should read YURI CORTEZ/AFP/Getty Images)
A group of journalists remain close the house at the end of the tunnel through which Mexican drug lord Joaquin 'El Chapo' Guzman could have escaped from the Altiplano prison, in Almoloya de Juarez, Mexico, on July 12, 2015. Guzman has escaped from a maximum-security prison, the government said Sunday, his second jail break in 14 years. The kingpin was last seen in the shower area of the Altiplano prison in central Mexico late Saturday before disappearing. 'The escape of Guzman was confirmed', the National Security Commission said in a statement. AFP PHOTO / YURI CORTEZ (Photo credit should read YURI CORTEZ/AFP/Getty Images)
A Federal Police officer stands guard outside the house at the end of the tunnel through which Mexican drug lord Joaquin 'El Chapo' Guzman could have escaped from the Altiplano prison, in Almoloya de Juarez, Mexico, on July 12, 2015. Guzman has escaped from a maximum-security prison, the government said Sunday, his second jail break in 14 years. The kingpin was last seen in the shower area of the Altiplano prison in central Mexico late Saturday before disappearing. 'The escape of Guzman was confirmed', the National Security Commission said in a statement. AFP PHOTO / YURI CORTEZ (Photo credit should read YURI CORTEZ/AFP/Getty Images)
Picture of the yellow tape put by security forces of the Office of the Attorney General around the house at the end of the tunnel through which Mexican drug lord Joaquin 'El Chapo' Guzman could have escaped from the Altiplano prison, in Almoloya de Juarez, Mexico, on July 12, 2015. Guzman has escaped from a maximum-security prison, the government said Sunday, his second jail break in 14 years. The kingpin was last seen in the shower area of the Altiplano prison in central Mexico late Saturday before disappearing. 'The escape of Guzman was confirmed', the National Security Commission said in a statement. AFP PHOTO / YURI CORTEZ (Photo credit should read YURI CORTEZ/AFP/Getty Images)
MEXICO CITY, MEXICO - JULY 12: Federal Police men patrol near of the Maximum Security Prison of 'El Altiplano' during an operation on the surroundings of Mexican Maximum Security Prison of 'El Altiplano' after the confirmation of the eescape of Mexican drug trafficker Joaquin 'El Chapo' Guzman on July 12, 2015 in Mexico City, Mexico. 'El Chapo' was seen last time around 20:52 on the video security system when he got close to the showers where he normally takes his shower and washeses his essentials. (Photo by Manuel Velasquez/LatinContent/Getty Images)
MEXICO CITY, MEXICO - JULY 12: View of a tunnel terminated in a house under construction in a neighborhood near the prison which was allegedly used Joaquin El Chapo Guzman to eescape, during an operation on the surroundings of Mexican Maximum Security Prison of 'El Altiplano' after confirming the escape of Mexican drug trafficker Joaquin 'El Chapo' Guzman on July 12, 2015 in Mexico City, Mexico. 'El Chapo' was seen last time around 20:52 on the video security system when he got close to the showers where he normally takes his shower and washeses his essentials. (Photo by Manuel Velasquez/LatinContent/Getty Images)
Picture of the yellow tape put by security forces of the Office of the Attorney General around the house at the end of the tunnel through which Mexican drug lord Joaquin 'El Chapo' Guzman could have escaped from the Altiplano prison, in Almoloya de Juarez, Mexico, on July 12, 2015. Guzman has escaped from a maximum-security prison, the government said Sunday, his second jail break in 14 years. The kingpin was last seen in the shower area of the Altiplano prison in central Mexico late Saturday before disappearing. 'The escape of Guzman was confirmed', the National Security Commission said in a statement. AFP PHOTO / YURI CORTEZ (Photo credit should read YURI CORTEZ/AFP/Getty Images)
MEXICO CITY, MEXICO - JULY 12: View of a tunnel terminated in a house under construction in a neighborhood near the prison which was allegedly used Joaquin El Chapo Guzman to eescape, during an operation on the surroundings of Mexican Maximum Security Prison of 'El Altiplano' after confirming the escape of Mexican drug trafficker Joaquin 'El Chapo' Guzman on July 12, 2015 in Mexico City, Mexico. 'El Chapo' was seen last time around 20:52 on the video security system when he got close to the showers where he normally takes his shower and washeses his essentials. (Photo by Manuel Velasquez/LatinContent/Getty Images)
Picture of the yellow tape put by security forces of the Office of the Attorney General around the house at the end of the tunnel through which Mexican drug lord Joaquin 'El Chapo' Guzman could have escaped from the Altiplano prison, in Almoloya de Juarez, Mexico, on July 12, 2015. Guzman has escaped from a maximum-security prison, the government said Sunday, his second jail break in 14 years. The kingpin was last seen in the shower area of the Altiplano prison in central Mexico late Saturday before disappearing. 'The escape of Guzman was confirmed', the National Security Commission said in a statement. AFP PHOTO / YURI CORTEZ (Photo credit should read YURI CORTEZ/AFP/Getty Images)
MEXICO CITY, MEXICO - JULY 12: Arelly Gomez General Attorney of Mexico walks during an operation on the surroundings of Mexican Maximum Security Prison of 'El Altiplano' after te confirmation of the eeescape of Mexican drug trafficker Joaquin 'El Chapo' Guzman on July 12, 2015 in Mexico City, Mexico. 'El Chapo' was seen last time around 20:52 on the video security system when he got close to the showers where he normally takes his shower and washeses his essentials. (Photo by Manuel Velasquez/LatinContent/Getty Images)
Security forces of the Office of the Attorney General secure the house at the end of the tunnel through which Mexican drug lord Joaquin 'El Chapo' Guzman could have escaped from the Altiplano prison, in Almoloya de Juarez, Mexico, on July 12, 2015. Guzman has escaped from a maximum-security prison, the government said Sunday, his second jail break in 14 years. The kingpin was last seen in the shower area of the Altiplano prison in central Mexico late Saturday before disappearing. 'The escape of Guzman was confirmed', the National Security Commission said in a statement. AFP PHOTO / YURI CORTEZ (Photo credit should read YURI CORTEZ/AFP/Getty Images)
Guatemalan Interior Deputy Minister Elmer Sosa shows a picture of Mexican drug trafficker Joaquin 'El Chapo' Guzman Loera during a press conference in Guatemala City on July 12, 2015. The security authorities of Guatemala are in alert after the escape of the leader of the powerful Sinaloa cartel, reported Sunday an official source. AFP PHOTO / Johan ORDONEZ (Photo credit should read JOHAN ORDONEZ/AFP/Getty Images)
Mexican federal police guard near the Altiplano maximum security prison in Almoloya, west of Mexico City, Sunday, July 12, 2015. Mexico's most powerful drug lord, Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, escaped from a maximum security prison through a tunnel that opened into the shower area of his cell, the country's top security official announced. (AP Photo/Marco Ugarte)
Drainage pipes lie outside of the Altiplano maximum security prison in Almoloya, west of Mexico City, Sunday, July 12, 2015. Mexico's most powerful drug lord, Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, escaped from a maximum security prison through a tunnel that opened into the shower area of his cell, the country's top security official announced. (AP Photo/Marco Ugarte)
View of the Altiplano maximum security prison in Almoloya, west of Mexico City, Sunday, July 12, 2015. Mexico's most powerful drug lord, Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, escaped from a maximum security prison through a tunnel that opened into the shower area of his cell, the country's top security official announced. (AP Photo/Marco Ugarte)
Mexican navy marines guard a half-built house near the Altiplano maximum security prison in Almoloya, west of Mexico City, Sunday, July 12, 2015. Mexico's most powerful drug lord, Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, escaped from a maximum security prison through a tunnel that opened into the shower area of his cell, the country's top security official announced. (AP Photo/Marco Ugarte)
Authorities investigate a half-built house near the Altiplano maximum security prison in Almoloya, west of Mexico City, Sunday, July 12, 2015. Mexico's most powerful drug lord, Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, escaped from this maximum security prison through a tunnel that opened into the shower area of his cell, the country's top security official announced. (AP Photo/Marco Ugarte)
Police inspect a vehicle as they search for escaped drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, around the Almoloya de Juarez prison in Toluca, Mexico, Sunday, July 12, 2015. Mexico's most powerful drug lord, Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, escaped from a maximum security prison through a one mile long tunnel that opened into the shower area of his cell, the country's top security official announced Sunday. (AP Photo/Marco Ugarte)
Federal police inspect a drainage pipe outside the Altiplano maximum security prison in Almoloya, west of Mexico City, Sunday, July 12, 2015. Mexico's most powerful drug lord, Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, escaped from a maximum security prison through a tunnel that opened into the shower area of his cell, the country's top security official announced. (AP Photo/Marco Ugarte)
Mexican police cordon a home near a maximum security prison Altiplano in Almoloya, west of Mexico City, Sunday, July 12, 2015. Mexico's most powerful drug lord, Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, escaped from a maximum security prison through a tunnel that opened into the shower area of his cell, the country's top security official announced. (AP Photo/Marco Ugarte)
A Federal police inspects a drainage pipe outside the Altiplano maximum security prison in Almoloya, west of Mexico City, Sunday, July 12, 2015. Mexico's most powerful drug lord, Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, escaped from a maximum security prison through a tunnel that opened into the shower area of his cell, the country's top security official announced. (AP Photo/Marco Ugarte)
Federal police patrol near the maximum security prison Altiplano in Almoloya, west of Mexico City, early Sunday, July 12, 2015. Mexico's most powerful drug lord, Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, escaped from a maximum security prison through a tunnel that opened into the shower area of his cell, the country's top security official announced. (AP Photo/Marco Ugarte)
View of the covers of Mexican newspapers in Mexico City, on February 23, 2014, after Mexican drug trafficker Joaquin Guzman Loera aka 'el Chapo Guzman' was arrested yesterday by Mexican marines. Guzman is the Sinaloa cartel leader and the most wanted by US and Mexican anti-drug agencies. AFP PHOTO/Alfredo Estrella (Photo credit should read ALFREDO ESTRELLA/AFP/Getty Images)
A semi-submersible which was seized with seven and a half tons of cocaine, is exhibited at a military unit in Tegucigalpa on February 24, 2014. Hoduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez congratulated the Mexican government for the capture of Mexican drug trafficker Joaquin 'El Chapo' Guzman, who had extended his power to Central America, linked for over two decades to groups that control vast territories for the passage of drugs to the US. AFP PHOTO/Orlando SIERRA (Photo credit should read ORLANDO SIERRA/AFP/Getty Images)
Drug lord Joaquin 'El Chapo' Guzman escaped his captors by walking along this drainage canal and tunnel behind a house in Culiacan, Mexico, last week. Guzman was finally captured on Saturday in the nearby city of Maz. Photo was taken Feb. 24, 2014. (Tim Johnson/MCT via Getty Images)
Members of the press take photographs as drug trafficker Joaquin 'El Chapo' Guzman is flown by a Federal Police helicopter, blue helicopter in center, from a Navy hangar at Mexico's International Airport in Mexico city, Mexico, on Saturday, Feb. 22, 2014. Mexico's apprehension of the world's most-wanted drug boss struck a blow to a cartel that local and U.S. authorities say swelled into a multinational empire, fueling killings around the world. Photographer: Susana Gonzalez/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman is escorted to a helicopter in handcuffs by Mexican navy marines at a navy hanger in Mexico City, Mexico, Saturday, Feb. 22, 2014. A senior U.S. law enforcement official said Saturday, that Guzman, the head of Mexicoís Sinaloa Cartel, was captured alive overnight in the beach resort town of Mazatlan. Guzman faces multiple federal drug trafficking indictments in the U.S. and is on the Drug Enforcement Administrationís most-wanted list. (AP Photo/Eduardo Verdugo)
View of the inside of a semi-submersible -seized with seven and a half tons of cocaine- exhibited at a military unit in Tegucigalpa on February 24, 2014. Hoduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez congratulated the Mexican government for the capture of Mexican drug trafficker Joaquin 'El Chapo' Guzman, who had extended his power to Central America, linked for over two decades to groups that control vast territories for the passage of drugs to the US. AFP PHOTO/Orlando SIERRA (Photo credit should read ORLANDO SIERRA/AFP/Getty Images)
Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman is escorted to a helicopter in handcuffs by Mexican navy marines at a navy hanger in Mexico City, Mexico, Saturday, Feb. 22, 2014. A senior U.S. law enforcement official said Saturday, that Guzman, the head of Mexico?s Sinaloa Cartel, was captured alive overnight in the beach resort town of Mazatlan. Guzman faces multiple federal drug trafficking indictments in the U.S. and is on the Drug Enforcement Administration?s most-wanted list. (AP Photo/Eduardo Verdugo)
Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman sits inside a federal police helicopter at a navy hanger in Mexico City, Saturday, Feb. 22, 2014. The world's most-wanted drug lord, Guzman, arrived at the Mexico City airport after his arrest early Saturday and was being taken directly to prison, said Attorney General Jesus Murillo Karam. (AP Photo/Eduardo Verdugo)
Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman is escorted to a helicopter in handcuffs by Mexican navy marines at a navy hanger in Mexico City, Saturday, Feb. 22, 2014. A senior U.S. law enforcement official said Saturday, that Guzman, the head of Mexicoís Sinaloa Cartel, was captured alive overnight in the beach resort town of Mazatlan. Guzman faces multiple federal drug trafficking indictments in the U.S. and is on the Drug Enforcement Administrationís most-wanted list. (AP Photo/Dario Lopez-Mills)
Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman is escorted to a helicopter in handcuffs by Mexican navy marines at a navy hanger in Mexico City, Saturday, Feb. 22, 2014. A senior U.S. law enforcement official said Saturday, that Guzman, the head of MexicoÌs Sinaloa Cartel, was captured alive overnight in the beach resort town of Mazatlan. Guzman faces multiple federal drug trafficking indictments in the U.S. and is on the Drug Enforcement AdministrationÌs most-wanted list. (AP Photo/Marco Ugarte)
Mexican Navy Marines guard the entrance to a navy hangar where Mexican drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman is expected to arrive in Mexico City, Saturday, Feb. 22, 2014. A senior U.S. law enforcement official said Saturday, that Guzman, the head of Mexico?s Sinaloa Cartel, was captured alive overnight in the beach resort town of Mazatlan. Guzman faces multiple federal drug trafficking indictments in the U.S. and is on the Drug Enforcement Administration?s most-wanted list. (AP Photo/Dario Lopez-Mills)
FILE - This Feb. 14, 2013 file photo, shows a poster displayed at a Chicago Crime Commission news conference in Chicago, where Joaquin ``El Chapo'' Guzman, a drug kingpin in Mexico, was named as Chicago's Public Enemy No. 1, It is first time since prohibition, when the label was created for Al Capone, that anyone else has been named Public Enemy No. 1. Ruthless drug cartels have long been the nation?s No. 1 supplier of illegal drugs, but in the past, their operatives rarely ventured beyond the border. A wide-ranging Associated Press review of federal court cases and government drug-enforcement data, plus interviews with many top law enforcement officials, indicate the groups have begun deploying agents from their inner circles to the U.S. (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green, File)
FILE - In this June 10, 1993 file photo, Joaquin Guzman Loera, alias "El Chapo" Guzman, is shown to the media after his arrest at the high security prison of Almoloya de Juarez, on the outskirts of Mexico City. Joaquin Guzman spent months corrupting his guards at a Mexican prison, then tricked them into thinking they would get a cut of some gold being smuggled out of the prison the night of Jan. 19, 2001. Instead, he smuggled himself out on a laundry cart with the help of a maintenance worker on his payroll. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes, File)
Drug lord Joaquin 'El Chapo' Guzman escaped his captors by walking along this drainage canal and tunnel behind a house in Culiacan, Mexico, last week. Guzman was finally captured on Saturday in the nearby city of Maz. Photo was taken Feb. 24, 2014. (Tim Johnson/MCT via Getty Images)
View of the covers of Mexican newspapers in Mexico City, on February 23, 2014, after Mexican drug trafficker Joaquin Guzman Loera aka 'el Chapo Guzman' was arrested yesterday by Mexican marines. Guzman is the Sinaloa cartel leader and the most wanted by US and Mexican anti-drug agencies. AFP PHOTO/Alfredo Estrella (Photo credit should read ALFREDO ESTRELLA/AFP/Getty Images)
Jesus Murillo Karam, attorney general of Mexico, center, stands next to Vidal Francisco Soberon Sanz, an admiral of the Mexican Navy, right, and Salvador Cienfuegos Zepeda, Mexican secretariat of national defense, left, while speaking about the capture of drug trafficker Joaquin 'El Chapo' Guzman to members of the press outside a Navy hangar at Mexico's International Airport in Mexico city, Mexico, on Saturday, Feb. 22, 2014. Mexico's apprehension of the world's most-wanted drug boss struck a blow to a cartel that local and U.S. authorities say swelled into a multinational empire, fueling killings around the world. Photographer: Susana Gonzalez/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Members of the Mexican Navy stand guard during an operation to present Mexican drug trafficker Joaquin Guzman Loera aka 'el Chapo Guzman' to the press, on February 22, 2014 in Mexico City. The Sinaloa cartel leader - the most wanted by US and Mexican anti-drug agencies - was arrested early this morning by Mexican marines at a resort in Mazatlan, northern Mexico. AFP PHOTO/Alfredo Estrella (Photo credit should read ALFREDO ESTRELLA/AFP/Getty Images)
Members of the Mexican Navy stand guard near a helicopter transporting Mexican drug trafficker Joaquin Guzman Loera aka 'el Chapo Guzman', on February 22, 2014 in Mexico City. The Sinaloa cartel leader - the most wanted by US and Mexican anti-drug agencies - was arrested early this morning by Mexican marines at a resort in Mazatlan, northern Mexico. AFP PHOTO/Alfredo Estrella (Photo credit should read ALFREDO ESTRELLA/AFP/Getty Images)
One of the properties that was interconnected by tunnels in the city's drainage system that infamous drug boss Joaquin Guzman Loera, "El Chapo" used to evade authorities is shown, in Culiacan, Mexico, Sunday Feb. 23, 2014. A day after Mexican troops narrowly missed the infamous Guzman in Culiacan, one of his top aides was arrested. Officials said he told investigators that he picked up Guzman from a drainage pipe and helped him flee to Mazatlan but a wiretap being monitored by ICE agents in southern Arizona provided the final clue that led to the arrest of one of the world's most wanted men. (AP Photo/Adriana Gomez)
One of the properties that was interconnected by tunnels in the city's drainage system that infamous drug boss Joaquin Guzman Loera, "El Chapo" used to evade authorities is shown, in Culiacan, Mexico, Sunday Feb. 23, 2014. The grafiti on the garage door reads in Spanish "Secured by the PGR". A day after troops narrowly missed infamous Guzman in Culiacan, one of his top aides was arrested. Officials said he told investigators that he picked up Guzman from a drainage pipe and helped him flee to Mazatlan but a wiretap being monitored by ICE agents in southern Arizona provided the final clue that led to the arrest of one of the world's most wanted men. (AP Photo/Adriana Gomez)
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'A SURVIVOR'

Guzman was born in La Tuna, a village in the Sierra Madre mountains in Sinaloa state where smugglers have been growing opium and marijuana since the early 20th century.

In 1993, police arrested him in Guatemala and extradited him to Mexico. Guzman used money to ease his eight year prison stay, smuggling in lovers, prostitutes and Viagra, according to international and domestic media reports.

The kingpin's legendary reputation in the Mexican underworld began to grow in 2001, when he staged his first jail break, bribing guards in a prison in western Mexico, before going on to dominate drug trafficking along much of the Rio Grande.

Still, many people in towns and villages across Mexico remember Guzman better for his squads of armed gunmen who carried out thousands of brutal slayings and kidnappings.

After Guzman's first prison break, violence began to creep up in Mexico and the situation deteriorated during the 2006-2012 rule of Pena Nieto's predecessor Felipe Calderon, when nearly 70,000 people lost their lives in gang-related mayhem.

Guzman's reputation grew and in 2013 Chicago dubbed him its first Public Enemy No.1 since Al Capone.

El Chapo, or "Shorty", is believed to be 58 years old. The 5-foot, 6-inch gangster's exploits made him a hero to many poor villagers in and around Sinaloa, where he was immortalized in dozens of ballads and low budget movies.

Security experts concede Guzman has been a master of his trade, managing to outmaneuver, outfight or outbribe his rivals to stay at the top of the business for over a decade.

"El Chapo Guzman is a survivor," Anabel Hernandez, author of Narcoland: The Mexican Drug Lords and their Godfathers, said shortly after his July jailbreak.

(With reporting by Gabriel Stargardter, Christine Murray and Cyntia Barrera; Writing byFrank Jack Daniel; Editing by Simon Gardner and Mary Milliken)

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