MEXICO (CNN) – We have new details of an operation which almost captured one of the most wanted men in the world, Joaquin ‘El Chapo’ Guzman.
Sources say the kingpin of the Sinaloa drug cartel, Joaquin ‘El Chapo’ Guzman, was nearly captured, in a scene taken right from the movie ‘The Fugitive’.
A Mexican official with knowledge of the manhunt telling CNN, “Mexican special forces had spotted the ruthless drug lord earlier this month, near the town of Cosala in the Mexican mountains.”
Guzman was with a child, a young girl, possibly his daughter, the source says, and authorities were reluctant to close in and start a fire fight.
Later, when El Chapo was spotted without the child, Mexican Marines gave chase. That’s when El Chapo either fell or jumped off a small cliff, injuring his face, and possibly breaking his leg. At that point, the official says Guzman’s bodyguards rushed to the bottom of the cliff, carried him out and got away through the dense forest.
“They have him pinned in if you will, right in his area, his backyard,” said Carl Pike, Former DEA Special Agent.
One source says Mexican Marines weren’t able to catch El Chapo at that moment because they were on foot as well.
CNN has also learned, three-days before that chase, the drug kingpin known for killing thousands of people was spotted in a nearby town on a motorcycle and in a Ferrari, with his sons. Weeks earlier, one son allegedly tweeted a photo, supposedly showing El Chapo brazenly eating at a restaurant. Now, however, he may no longer be as bold because of his injuries falling from that cliff.
“This involves bringing in people who weren’t in the normal ring. So now they got to find a medical person or a nurse or someone like that- that can actually tend to his injuries. And it slows him down, puts him in one particular spot that he wasn’t planning on being in before,” said Pike.
El Chapo is known as a master of high-stakes escapes. He broke out of a high-security Mexican prison in July through this elaborate tunnel. Previously he eluded police, through a trap-door hidden under his bathtub.
Authorities could be tracking him through his wife, Emma Coronel, a former beauty queen, believed to be seen in some photos posted online.
“I would imagine that U-S authorities, intelligence services, and Mexican authorities are tracking her very, very closely. And that they have good ways of doing that. So I would have thought that it’s in most likelihood that they are separate for the time being,” said Duncan Wood, The Woodrow Wilson Center.
Officials don’t discount the network of support El Chapo has in his home state. His hometown considers him a Robin Hood figure.
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