According to Mexican journalist Jesus Esquivel, the U.S. government offered to capture Sinaloa Cartel leader, Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman in a “simple, fast and surgical” operation.
“The U.S. intelligence services have located him, they know where he is and are ready to trap him,” Esquivel said.
However, the Mexican military blocked the effort.
President Felipe Calderon, who governed Mexico from 2006 to 2012, wanted the United States to capture the top boss of the Sinaloa drug cartel, but the Mexican army and navy “were opposed and stopped the operation” because only U.S. personnel would take part, Esquivel said.
Esquivel interviewed Drug Enforcement Administration agent Jose Baeza, who told him the DEA provided the Mexican government on two occasions with all the information it needed to capture Guzman, but the drug lord got away both times in four-wheel drive vehicles in the mountains.
The Mexican government knows where Guzman is hiding because it has received intelligence reports from the DEA and other agencies, as well as information from its own military and civilian intelligence services, and officials have a list of the drug lord’s properties, Esquivel said.
The Pentagon prepared a plan to capture Guzman in an operation similar to the one that ended with the death of Osama bin Laden in Pakistan, Esquivel said.
“Washington has not discarded the plan” and will propose it to Enrique Peña Nieto, who became Mexico’s president on Dec. 1, the journalist said.
“The capture of this drug trafficker, if the Mexicans allow it, would be as easy as taking candy from a baby,” Esquivel said.
The United States considers this mission a “priority” because Guzman is the leader of the world’s most powerful criminal organization, Esquivel said, citing a U.S. Treasury Department analysis.
In 2011, Guzman was named to Forbes’ Magazine’s Most Powerful People in the World list.
The billionaire criminal ranked 55th on that year’s list of the world’s most powerful people.
Among others, the drug lord beat out for the distinction were Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and House Majority Leader John Boehner.
Then-Mexican President Felipe Calderón failed to make the list.
In 1993, Guzman (aka Shorty) was arrested on murder and drug charges, but escaped from a Mexican federal prison in 2001, and has remained at-large ever since. He is believed to be directing the powerful Sinaloa Cartel from the mountains of Mexico’s Pacific coast, surrounded by a virtual army of bodyguards.
The U.S. government currently has a $5 million bounty on Guzman, alleging that the Sinaloa organization is responsible for bringing most of the cocaine into this country from Mexico and Colombia.
In February, the Chicago Crime Commission named Guzman, as the city’s latest ‘Public Enemy No. 1.’
So, how does a Mexican crime boss earn such a title in a city more than 1,200 miles from the Mexican border?
By turning that city into a distribution hub for narcotics.
Jack Riley, the head of the DEA’s Chicago office, recently told the Associated Press: “This is where Guzman turns his drugs into money.”