A Craving For Tacos Is What Finally Led Authorities To El Chapo

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The New York Times has a phenomenal post-mortem on Mexican authorities hunt for El Chapo, which culminated in his arrest in Los Mochis in Sinaloa.

Many reported it was the drug lord’s interview with Sean Penn that did him in, but according to the Times, that only led to a failed raid. However, the noose around the world’s most wanted man was tightening.

What did him in was tacos, man. Tacos.

In early January, he arrived in the coastal city of Los Mochis, in Sinaloa, at a home where the authorities had trailed one of the chief tunnel diggers from his escape. Construction crews had been hard at work on the house for weeks. Telephone intercepts indicated that someone big was about to arrive.

The final bit of evidence was a food order, Mexican officials said.

Just two blocks away, a big order of tacos was picked up after midnight on Jan. 8 by a man driving a white van, like the one believed to be driven by Mr. Guzmán’s associates, witnesses said.

Dude wanted some tacos, and he wound up in jail. Just like this guy. Happens to the best of us.

There’s no word on whether he got to consume them, but he did have a few hours with the food before getting popped.

Hours later, at 4:30 a.m., the marines stormed the compound, meeting a knot of doors and fierce resistance from gunmen. Like many of Mr. Guzmán’s homes, this one was equipped with elaborate escape hatches: a decoy beneath the refrigerator, and another behind a closet mirror, which he used to flee as the battle raged.

The article also has details on the post-Sean Penn arrest attempt.

On Oct. 2, the parties met for the first time, in the remote reaches of the Golden Triangle, near the city of Cosalá in Sinaloa. Mr. Guzmán left afterward for Durango, where he had a ranch.

Six days later, a detachment of marines swept in to capture Mr. Guzmán on his ranch, acting with information from American authorities. During the raid, Mr. Guzmán, who always took his two cooks with him wherever he went, darted into a gully as he fled, injuring his face and leg.

A Black Hawk helicopter circling the scene spotted him as he darted away, accompanied by his two female cooks and holding one of their children in his arms. A Mexican marine Special Forces sniper trained his rifle on the fugitive drug lord, but was told to stand down. Mr. Guzmán, upon seeing the Black Hawk, leaned back with the child in his arms, Mexican officials said, obscuring himself as a target. The likelihood of hitting one of the women or the child while firing on Mr. Guzmán was too high, they said.

What a pussy.

Give the whole excellent article a read here.

[H/T Gawker]