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Sunday, February 23, 2014 - 12:10am
El Paso (KDBC) — One of the world's most powerful drug lords is behind bars.
Joaquin 'El Chapo' Guzman was captured by Mexican and American authorities Friday night in a hotel in Mazatlan Mexico.
Mexican marines and agents with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration worked together to capture Guzman.
United States Marshal Robert Almonte said the take-down will weaken the drug war's impact internationally and here at home.
"This is great news. Not just for law enforcement, but for everybody in Mexico and the United States," said Almonte.
He said Mexico and the United States worked together to nab him. The U.S. helped track Guzman down and Mexican authorities made the actual arrest.
"This goes to show that Mexico truly is serious about addressing the drug trafficking cartel problems in Mexico," Almonte said.
Guzman is accused of leading the powerful Sinaloa drug cartel, an empire that stretches throughout North America and reaches as far away as Europe and Australia.
"There is no doubt that his arrest is going to cause a disruption in the drug trafficking business," he explained.
The Borderland is no exception.
"His activities stretched into the El Paso Juarez area,” Almonte said. “In the battle against the Juarez cartel and frankly was successful in overtaking the Juarez cartel."
When news broke about Guzman's arrest, some people couldn't believe it.
"I thought it was a lie. It's not true. It's impossible," said Irene Nunez.
'El Chapo' was once on the DEA’s most wanted list and faces multiple drug trafficking charges in several cities across the United States.
"He's the cartel leader. So the cartel is not going to know what to do," said Andrea Robledo.
Almonte said there are a number of different changes that could happen within the Sinaloa cartel. The most likely is a fight between members to become the new leader.
"What usually happens, there is some type of power struggle that begins to occur,” he said. “People fighting within the organization to try to win leadership of that organization.
But no matter who the leader, Almonte said the drug war is always a one-way street.
"It’s not a matter of if we are going to arrest you, it's a matter when. That's exactly what happened here," he said.
Almonte also said it's very likely that Guzman will be extradited to the United States for prosecution and the chances of him escaping again are slim.