SAN FRANCISCO - JULY 2: Golden Gate National Recreation Area worker Edwin Sera walks through the hospital of the Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary on Alcatraz Island July 2, 2003 in the San Francisco Bay, California. The National Park Service, which manages Alcatraz as one of San Francisco's most popular tourist attractions, has started selling boxed chunks of concrete rubble for $4.95 which were left over from a 7.7 million dollar retrofit of a decaying cell block and guards quarters. Park staff came up with the idea as a cost-effective alternative to ferrying tons of rubble off Alcatraz and to bring in an extra $20,000 to $40,000 a year. (Photo : Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
As more details about Sinaloa Cartel leader Joaquín "El Chapo" Guzmán Loera's capture emerge, it was learned that Mexican authorities were close to losing the drug kingpin from their grasp on the morning they finally caught the most wanted man in the world.
According to Fox News Latino, Guzman had once again used a tunnel to escape. The Mexican Marines, however, managed to discover this and went in hot pursuit of the druglord.
After about 2 hours, the Marines finally caught up with Guzman and his security chief, Orso Iván Castelúm. Both had emerged from the tunnel about a mile away from the Los Mochis home-cum-hideout in Sinaloa. They later commandeered a vehicle and tried to continue their getaway, but was eventually overtaken by authorities. They had no other choice but to surrender.
"The operation was extremely well planned and more than well resourced, with equipment and a vast number of Mexican Marines who slowly saturated the state of Sinaloa and the drug area known as the Golden Triangle," former U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration chief of operations Mike Vigil told the news source.
"Through fixed and mobile roadblocks along strategic choke points and intense searches of suspect ranches and homes, the pressure on Chapo escalated,"he went on. "It began to constrict the area in which he was able to maneuver and hide."
"Eventually, it forced him into Los Mochis, and he now, once again, was placed in a precarious situation that led to his capture," he explained. "The marines were like a giant anaconda that smothered Chapo's lifeline."
Some had observed that El Chapo could have fled to another country and go into hiding anywhere else in the world. However, he chose to stay in Sinaloa, where he "felt safe" and "untouchable," author Anabel Hernandez opined.
Perhaps the drug lord's hold of the area is slipping, as it was also learned that the tip that eventually led to his capture last week "came from a neighbor reporting suspicious activity at the house where the fugitive drug lord was hiding," the Los Angeles Times said.
While some reports insinuate actor Sean Penn's rendezvous with Guzman may have aided in his capture, the tip-off by the neighbor was reportedly the one that ultimately got the fugitive caught.
It can be recalled that a raid carried out days after Penn's interview with El Chapo in October yielded an unsuccessful result. However, according to a source in Mexican Attorney General Arely Gomez's office, the authorities did manage to track Guzman when he met up with the Hollywood actor, but the troops decided not to engage when they saw he had two women and a child in his company.