Battering ram and grenades: New video of violent raid on ‘El Chapo’ hideout

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A battering ram breaks the silence, giving way to the sounds of gunfire as a commando screams.

The target: Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, the man considered to be the most wanted drug lord in the world.

The Mexican government released video Monday of the daring early morning raid on the kingpin’s hideout in Sinaloa, Mexico, showing a frantic final stand between members of the Mexican navy and Guzman’s loyal henchmen.

By the time the operation is completed, Guzman and six of his men are in custody, the bodies of five more — all members of the notorious Sinaloa cartel — are left strewn across the compound floor.

Incredibly, just one member of the Mexican military force is injured, shown in the video screaming, “They got me, they got me.”

Another commando is heard comforting the injured man with the words: “Stay calm, little guy, stay calm.”

In the background, a constant volley of gunfire can be heard, along with intermittent explosions as grenades hit the floor and the Mexican navy special forces team methodically clear each room in the two-story house.

Still, Guzman managed to slip through the authorities’ grasp.

Amidst the chaos, the two-time prison escapee used his Houdini-like tactics to steal out of the house through a secret passageway, dropping into a manhole that led him to a maze of drains below the streets of Los Mochis.

At least 90 minutes passed before Mexican authorities would find the passageway, a senior Mexican law enforcement source told CNN.

According to authorities, soldiers chased him and his accomplice through the sewer tunnels, playing a cat-and-mouse game that Guzman would eventually lose.

Emerging from his underground escape route, authorities said the fugitive duo stole a car — but the effort would be his undoing.

As he tried to flee in the getaway vehicle, police spotted him speeding along a highway outside of the city.

He was nabbed by authorities who detained him in a nearby budget motel, photographing one of the world’s richest men handcuffed on a bed in front of a poster of a scantily clad woman.

Police eventually led Guzman away in an undershirt covered in the filth of the sewer from which he came. The capture came just three days shy of six months after he stepped into his cell shower and tunneled out of a maximum security prison.

Despite his decision to run, the contents of Guzman’s hideout suggested he and his men were ready for battle, with the navy saying its forces found a massive arsenal of weapons alongside the bodies of the slain cartel fighters. The haul included loaded rocket launchers, eight rifles, semi-automatic weapons, grenades and four armored vehicles, authorities said.

Yet, the aftermath of the raid also provides clues to daily life in the compound.

A video of the compound shot by CNN en Español shows kitchen counters littered with trash — water bottles, coffee grounds, carryout boxes and cans of Coke. Cooking pots sit on a stove, along with a half-eaten banana.

In a bedroom are DVDs of the the popular Spanish-language TV series, “The Queen of the South.” The telenovela, based on a novel of the same name, depicts the rise of a young woman from Mexico who becomes the most-powerful drug trafficker in southern Spain.

Guzman has been returned to the very same Mexican prison from which he last absconded, but the Sinaloa cartel leader could be extradited to the United States, where he faces seven drug-related indictments in various jurisdictions.

Continuing coverage here. 

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