(CNN) — Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman eluded arrest for so long that the stories about him veered closer and closer to the stuff of legend.
So powerful is he, people said, that he can bribe anyone. He commands so much loyalty, the story goes, that he is always tipped off when the heat is close. He’s so fearless that he can live his life without concern of being caught.
Of course, now we know his influence has its limits. Guzman was arrested overnight in a hotel in the Pacific beach town of Mazatlan, in his home state of Sinaloa.
He had been on the lam since escaping from prison in 2001, and no one — that we know of — came close to catching the drug lord who regularly appears on Forbes magazine list of most powerful people.
The rumor was that with that kind of money, he could be hiding anywhere in the world. In the end, he was caught just 140 miles from the city of Culiacan, the home base for his Sinaloa drug cartel.
Mexican Marines (touted by Mexico as the least susceptible to corruption) and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (who have a hand in nearly all major busts) carried out the joint operation.