mexico policija meksiko el chapo.jpg
Photograph: EPA/STR

Fugitive drug lord Joaquin Guzman, known by the nickname "El Chapo," has been recaptured six months after a brazen prison break, Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto said Friday.

"Mission accomplished. We have him," the president wrote on Twitter.

Nieto credited Mexican security agencies for the "important success."

Guzman, allegedly one of the world's most powerful drug lords, made his second escape from a high-security prison in July using a series of sophisticated tunnels.

The suspected head of the Sinaloa cartel was recaptured in the town of Los Mochis near the Pacific Coast in his home state of Sinaloa, the Milenio newspaper reported citing Mexican security authorities.

Mexican marines engaged in a morning shootout with Guzman's gang, killing five and arresting six. It was not clear if Guzman was captured at that time.

In the United States, federal authorities hailed the arrest.

On Twitter, the US Drug Enforcement Agency said it was "extremely pleased at the capture of Chapo Guzman," congratulated the Mexican government and saluted "the bravery involved in his capture."

US Attorney General Loretta Lynch called Guzman's apprehension "a victory for the citizens of both Mexico and the United States and a vindication of the rule of law in our countries."

Guzman was able to evade capture when the military closed in on him in October, firing from helicopters at a ranch in the so-called Golden Triangle between the states of Sinaloa, Durango and Chihuahua.

Initially arrested in 1993 in Guatemala and sentenced to 20 years in prison, Guzman served eight years before his first prison break, allegedly in a laundry cart, in 2001. After years on the run, he was re-captured in February 2014 in a hotel in the Sinaloan port city of Mazatlan.

Born into a poor family in the Sinaloan town of La Tuna de Badiraguato, Guzman ascended into the world of drug trafficking in the 1980s as an aide to drug lord Miguel Angel Felix Gallardo. He is believed to be between 58 and 60 years old.

Guzman's nickname of "Chapo," or short, references his height of 1.68 metres.

He faces extradition to the United States.

Related stories

Mexican drug boss "El Chapo" back behind bars

Mexican officials to pursue "El Chapo" extradition to US

Sean Penn met with fugitive Mexican crime boss Guzman

Latest news

Greece's creditors want sweeping reforms before next bailout payment

Greece must make sweeping reforms to its labour market, pension system and collective bargaining agreements in order to receive its next vital bailout payment, the country's European creditors said Monday.

President wants to recall "politically appointed ambassadors", can't do it without gov't

President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic said that many politically appointed Croatian ambassadors were not carrying out state policies but that she could not replace them without the government to appoint career diplomats who would fight for Croatia's interests.

Izetbegovic hopes ICJ will confirm Serbia's responsibility for genocide

The Bosniak member of the tripartite presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bakir Izetbegovic, on Monday rejected criticism stirred up by the announcement that the International Court of Justice (ICJ) would be requested to review its judgement made after Bosnia sued Serbia for genocide.

British lawmakers locked in heated debate over Trump's state visit

Allowing US President Donald Trump to visit Britain would be akin to "pimping out the Queen," one British lawmaker said Monday during a heated debate in British parliament over two petitions concerning the US leader's future state visit.

Vitaly Churkin, Russia's sharp-tongued ambassador to the UN, dies

Russia's long-time ambassador to the United Nations, Vitaly Churkin, died in New York on Monday, following a career that spanned four decades and saw Russia emerge from the Soviet Union and experience many turbulent events in its relations with the West.

French police raid National Front over European Parliament payments

France's far-right National Front Monday said that investigators had searched its offices in relation to allegations that it misused European Parliament funds.

Unhappy Presidents' Day: Trump still manoeuvring after Sweden comment

Donald Trump used his first Presidents' Day in office to continue trying to talk his way out of comments implying a terrorist attack in Sweden that never happened.

Croatia supports Kosovo's territorial integrity - Grabar-Kitarovic

Croatia's President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic on Monday expressed the support to Kosovo's territorial integrity and Euro-Atlantic aspirations during her talks with the visiting Kosovo Foreign Minister Enver Hoxhaj.

Petrov rules out early parliamentary election

Parliament Speaker and Bridge party leader Bozo Petrov on Monday dismissed speculation about a reshuffle of the parliamentary majority, saying an early election was likelier, but that right now he did not see "such a scenario."

First local elections in 20 years to be held in Nepal on May 14

Nepal's government announced the dates for forthcoming local elections on Monday, nearly 20 years after polls were last held for municipalities and village councils in the country.

US Defence Secretary: We are not in Iraq to seize Iraqi oil

US Defence Secretary Jim Mattis said on Monday that the United States does not intend to seize Iraqi oil, in reference to comments made by President Donald Trump last month.

Bryan Adams to play Zagreb

Canadian rock star Bryan Adams, who has sold more than 100 million albums in his 40-year-long career, will perform in Zagreb on November 9, according to his website and Facebook account.