Attorney General Jesús Murillo Karam told reporters that Guzman was captured at early on Saturday morning in"an impeccable operation" carried out by the Mexican navy with "no shots fired."
Murillo Karam recognised the collaboration of the US government in tracking Guzmán to a network of safe houses with reinforced metal doors and escape tunnels that made use of the city drainage system and allowed the criminal to escape from an initial operation.Update (3:45 PM): Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto confirmed the capture of Sinaloa drug gang head Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman:
"There were several moments when we could have detained him after that," Murillo Karam said. "We waited until the best moment," he added, claiming this ensured there were no unnecessary civilian casualties.
Reconozco la labor de las instituciones de seguridad del Estado mexicano, para lograr la aprehensión de Joaquín Guzmán Loera en Mazatlán.
— Enrique Peña Nieto (@EPN) February 22, 2014
Peña Nieto also mentioned via his Twitter account that his administration will "work to guarantee the security and State of Law" in Mexico.
Guzman was reportedly captured at a Mazatlan hotel during an operation led by the Mexican marines and with the help of counternarcotics officials from the U.S. and Mexico.
Since escaping from prison in 2001, Guzman led the Sinaloa Cartel to become one of Mexico's most powerful and violent drug gangs. His personal fortune is estimated to be at more than $1 billion and he was named among the "world’s most powerful people" by Forbes magazine.
Guzman has been named in multiple federal drug trafficking indictments in the U. S. and has been on the most-wanted list of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). Thus, "El Chapo" could be extradited from Mexico to the U.S. and stand trial.
"It is a significant arrest provided he gets extradited immediately to the United States," said ex-DEA agent Phil Jordan to CNN. ""If he does not get extradited, then he will be allowed to escape within a period of time."
Over the last few months several senior members of the Sinaloa drug gang have been either captured or killed. Yet it remains to be seen what effect this has in a country where 25,000 people have died in drug-related violence over the last few years.
"For Mexico in general it's also a boost, long-term — the less kingpins around, the harder it is for drug trafficking organizations/cartels to operate," Malcolm Beith, a journalist and author of a book on Guzmán, said to USA TODAY. "Short-term, however, it's quite likely violence will plague Sinaloa, as lower-level narcos battle it out for Chapo's turf."