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The ghost of ‘El Chapo’ arrested in Sinaloa

February 11, 2013

The Mexican military announced the arrest of Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman’s alleged head of security on Sunday.

Francisco Javier Rodriguez Picante, also known as Jonathan Salas Aviles or “El Fantasma,” (“The Ghost”) was captured near the town of Costa Rica in Sinaloa on Saturday.

General Moises Melo Garcia said the suspect was arrested without a shot being fired, in an operation that involved three helicopters and at least eight navy vehicles, just south of the state capital of Culiacan at around 6 a.m. Saturday.

The suspect is accused of protecting Guzman, the fugitive billionaire who heads the Sinaloa Federation and is considered Mexico’s most wanted drug lord. Melo Garcia described him as “a person who controlled a group of assassins and ‘hawks’ (informants) who were trafficking drugs and weapons.”

Sinaloa Governor Mario Lopez Valdez mistakenly announced that “El Fantasma” had been killed in a clash with the Navy in March 2012, but it later emerged that he had escaped the confrontation unharmed.

Federal police deny ‘El Chapo’ near miss

Mexico’s federal police has denied carrying out an operation in which the elusive Guzman was almost captured in Baja California last year.

Jose Cuitlahuac Salinas, then head of the organized crime division (SIEDO), had revealed last year that Guzman escaped from a mansion in the resort of Los Cabos minutes before it was raided by federal forces on February 21.

According to a report by the Federal Police, do not have any record of an operation carried out on February 21, 2012 who participated in the federal police to arrest the drug dealer in a mansion that is located in Punta Ballena, in Los Cabos, Baja California.

Yet it response to a request made under Mexico’s freedom of information laws, the federal police released a report this week stating that “This agency has no record of any operation carried out on 21 February 2012.”

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