The United States has announced that the son of the man at the center of a massive Mexican drug cartel has been captured. The development comes just days before the country is set to have an election.
Mexican marines said on Thursday that they had detained the son of Mexico's most-wanted drug lord, Joaqin "Shorty" Guzman Loera.
Marines captured 28-year-old Jesus Alfredo Guzman Salazar in Jalisco state after following through on intelligence, said the Navy in a statement. No details were given on the circumstances of the arrest.
The breakthrough comes after the US Treasury Department hit Guzman Salazar and his mother with sanctions, which freeze their assets and prohibit Americans from striking business deals with them.
Both Salazar and his father, who heads the Sinaloa Cartel and is wanted by the United States, were indicted on charges of drug trafficking by a district court in Illinois in 2009, according to the Treasury Department. More specifically, the indictement claimed that the cartel had shifted 200 metric tons of cocaine from 1990, to a worth of $5.8 billion (4.6 billion euros).
America's most wanted
Guzman Loera was detained in a maximum security prison until he managed to escape in 2001, concealing himself in a laundry truck. Since then, he has been on the run whilst continuing to coordinate his drug empire and fend off rivals, an endeavour which has resulted in thousands of deaths.
In 2009, Guzman Leora was famously mentioned in the Forbes Magazine world's richest people list. He is estimated to be worth $1 billion.
The arrest of Guzman Leora's son comes barely a week before Mexico is scheduled to vote for a new president. The current president, Felipe Calderon, cannot run for re-election because of constitutional rules.
sej/rc (AP, Reuters)
Editor's note: The German dpa news agency reported that this may have been a case of mistaken identity and that it was possibly not the sun of Guzman Loera who was captured after all. (rg, 25.06.2012)