From the moment six months ago when Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán popped out of his tunnel from prison and was whisked to a pair of waiting Cessnas, Mexican authorities chipped away at the vast network of accomplices that helped the billionaire drug lord escape. They arrested corrupt prison guards and officials, relatives who handed out bribes and oversaw tunnel construction, and his trusted pilots who flew him to safety in his home state of Sinaloa, the Washington Post reports. Those accomplices, plus Guzmán's apparent vanity (he had contacted producers and actresses about starring in a biopic based on his life) helped authorities recapture the chief of the Sinaloa drug cartel in a roadside motel.
By late December, authorities suspected that Guzmán had gone to the coast. They focused on a white concrete house in an upscale neighborhood of Los Mochis, a city in northern Sinaloa, where they suspected he was hiding out. By Friday morning, commandos from a Marine unit raided his house, setting off a gun battle that left five people dead. Guzmán and a top lieutenant used one of their signature moves, fleeing through the sewer system, a way Guzmán has used before to escape. They popped up through a manhole cover and stole a car but were pursued to a motel five miles north, where Guzmán was captured unharmed. Attorney General Arely Gómez Gonzalez said Guzmán would return to Altiplano, the same prison where he escaped six months ago.