The son of Mexico’s most wanted man, drug Lord Joaquin ‘El Chapo’ Guzman, has been captured, officials have claimed.
By Nick Allen, Los Angeles
Jesus Alfredo Guzman Salazar, 26, was detained by marines in an early morning raid in the western state of Jalisco, the MexicanNavy said in a statement.
Earlier this month the US Treasury placed financial sanctions on Guzman Salazar and several other family members.
That allowed authorities to freeze any assets they had in the US and barred Americans from doing business with them.
Guzman Salazar, who is suspected of links to drug trafficking, was taken to Mexico City amid a heavy security force presence.
Joaquin Guzman, 55, whose nickname means “Shorty” and refers to his 5ft 6 ins stature is the head of the Sinaloa cartel, arguably Mexico’s most powerful gang.
The US considers him the leading drug trafficker in the world and Forbes magazine estimates his wealth at $1 billion (£630 million).
The arrest of one of his seven children comes just over a week before Mexico votes for a new leader.
President Felipe Calderon is constitutionally barred from seeking a further term, and his ruling National Action Party has lost support due to the drug violence ravaging the country.
There has been mounting speculation that the government would try to find Guzman, who has a $7 million bounty on his head, before the election on July 1.
In February police just missed him at a million dollar beach side mansion where he had been staying in Los Cabos, which this week hosted the G20 summit Drug violence in Mexico has exploded over the last decade, and there have been more than 55,000 drug-related killings since December 2006.
Guzman escaped from a maximum security jail in 2001 after being pushed out in a laundry cart. He has been on the run ever since and is believed to be moving between locations in Mexico, Guatemala and Argentina.
The head of the agency that regulates horse racing in New Mexico on Wednesday said he was deeply concerned about allegations that the notorious Los Zetas drug cartel had fixed the 2010 running of the state’s most prestigious race.
“It’s very problematic if the allegations are true,” said Vince Mares, executive director of the New Mexico Racing Commission. “We do find this allegation a very serious issue.”