A video released by the Mexican Navy shows marines firing their assault rifles and tossing smoke grenades during an operation to recapture notorious drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman.
Mexico’s most wanted drug boss was apprehended after Friday’s fierce pre-dawn gunfight in Guzman’s native state of Sinaloa.
As the marines moved inside the house in Los Mochis, they arrested one man. They screamed at a woman who was hiding in a bathroom, asking her where the kingpin was. “I don’t know, sir,” she answered.
When the dust settled, five gunmen were dead, one marine wounded and six suspects detained.
The 58-year-old kingpin, meanwhile, was nowhere to be seen. His security chief, Orso Ivan Gastelum, was also missing.
Suspecting that Guzman had fitted the home with a tunnel, the soldiers scoured the house. They moved the refrigerator, which had bullet holes, but no tunnel was there.
“Since we know that his modus operandi is tunnels, the soldiers moved the fridge to see if there was one back there,” the official said.
Their suspicions were justified since Guzman used a 1.5 kilometre tunnel to secretly flee prison in July.
Meanwhile, he had an escape hatch into drainage systems in his home in another Sinaloa city.
In Los Mochis, the drug lord’s last underground escape route was in a bedroom where the bed’s mattress was nearly on the ground and men’s clothing was strewn about the floor.
Inside the closet, a mirror opened into a 20-metre long tunnel leading to a steel hatch door, which officials said opens to the city’s storm drain system.
Guzman and Gastelum fled through the drainage network for about one kilometre until they finally escaped out of a manhole.
They stole a car but were finally intercepted by the marines, flown to Mexico City and taken to the same maximum-security prison that Guzman escaped from six months ago.
Authorities launched the extradition process on Sunday, based on two US petitions on a clutch of charges, including drug trafficking and homicide.