Mexican drug baron Joaquin 'El Chapo' Guzman has been extradited to the United States to face charges a year after he was recaptured in his home state of Sinaloa, Mexico. Guzman heads the Sinaloa cartel, which is an international drug trafficking, money laundering, and organized crime syndicate.
The drug baron had fought desperately against extradition since being recaptured almost exactly a year ago in his home state of Sinaloa following his second daring jailbreak.
Who is El Chapo?
He was was born into a poor family in the rural community of La Tuna, Badiraguato, Sinaloa, Mexico. Exact date of his birth is disputed, some say he was born on December 25, 1954, while others report he was born on 4 April 1957. Guzmán has two younger sisters and four younger brothers.
He dropped put of school in third grade and ran away from home. He turned to the cultivation of opium poppy, a common practice among local residents and also sold marijuana.
Guzmán left his hometown in search of greater opportunities in his teens. He then came in contact with his uncle Pedro Avilés Pérez, one of the pioneers of Mexican drug trafficking. This paved way for El Chapo's entry into the organized crime.
In the 1970s, Guzmán first worked for the drug lord Héctor "El Güero" Palma by transporting drugs and overseeing their shipments from the Sierra Madre region to urban areas near the US-Mexico border by aircraft.
His ruthless attitude and business acumen saw hiom rise fast in the Guadalajara Cartel. In 1980's, Guzmán met Félix Gallardo, one of the major drug lords in Mexico at that time. Gallardo later made Guzmán in-charge of his logistics.
In the mid 1980's, the anti-drug operations by the US and Mexico led to the weakening of Guadalajara Cartel, which split into Tijuana Cartel, Juárez Cartel and Sinaloa Cartel. Guzmán was the top member of Sinaloa Cartel which operated in the drug corridors of Tecate, Baja California, Mexicali and San Luis Río Colorado, two border crossings that connect the states of Sonora and Baja California with Arizona and California.
Guzmán was captured for the first time in Guatemala on June 9, 1993, and extradited to Mexico, where he was sentenced to 20 years, nine months in prison. He continued to control his drug business despite being in prison and finally escaped a decade later.
He became Mexico's undisputed top drug kingpins in 2003 after the arrest of his rival Osiel Cárdenas of the Gulf Cartel.
In 2013, the Chicago Crime Commission named Guzmán "Public Enemy Number One" for the influence of his criminal network in Chicago. He was subsequently arrested in 2014, but escaped again on July 11, 2015.
A massive manhunt was launched and he was finally arrested on January 8, 2016, after 17 marines from the Mexican Navy's Special Forces raided his residence in the city of Los Mochis in northern Sinaloa.