TIME Mexico

Timeline of El Chapo’s Major Escapes and Captures

Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman
Eduardo Verdugo—AP Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman is escorted to a helicopter in handcuffs by Mexican Navy marines at a navy hanger in Mexico City on Feb. 22, 2014.

The drug lord was re-captured seven months after his prison escape

Drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman has been recaptured seven months after he escaped from prison, Mexican authorities announced Friday.

But this isn’t the first time El Chapo, leader of the Sinaloa cartel, has been on the lam. The drug kingpin has a long history of capture, escape and recapture.

Here are some major dates in Guzman’s timeline (with some information from the Associated Press):

  • June 10, 1993: Mexico announces Guzman’s first capture in Guatemala. But even after Guzman was imprisoned, “He continued to manage his affairs from prison with scarcely a hitch,” writes Robert Saviano in his book ZeroZeroZero. “The maximum security prison Puente Grande, where he was transferred in 1995, became his new base of operations,”
  • Jan. 19, 2001: With the help of bribed guards, Guzman escapes from his top-security prison. Saviano describes the escape: “One of them—Francisco Camberos Rivera, known as El Chito, or the Silent One—opened the door to El Chapo’s cell and helped him climb into a cart of dirty laundry. They headed down unguarded hallways and through wide-open electronic doors to the inner parking lot, where only one guard was on duty. El Chapo jumped out of the cart and leaped into the trunk of a Chevrolet Monte Carlo.”
  • Feb. 22, 2014: El Chapo is captured in Mazatlan after hiding in tunnels for days. The success was touted as a huge win for authorities, who by then had deemed Guzman the “most powerful drug trafficker in the world.”
  • July 11, 2015: Guzman escapes through a tunnel from Mexico’s top-security prison. You can see the path he took to escape here.
  • Jan. 8, 2016: He is once again re-captured in Los Mochis, Sinaloa after a shootout with Mexican marines. Five people were killed and one marine was wounded in the fight.
Tap to read full story

Your browser is out of date. Please update your browser at http://update.microsoft.com


Dear TIME Reader,

As a regular visitor to TIME.com, we are sure you enjoy all the great journalism created by our editors and reporters. Great journalism has great value, and it costs money to make it. One of the main ways we cover our costs is through advertising.

The use of software that blocks ads limits our ability to provide you with the journalism you enjoy. Consider turning your Ad Blocker off so that we can continue to provide the world class journalism you have become accustomed to.

The TIME Team