'El Chapo' hideout was ordinary house near local politicians' homes

LOS MOCHIS, Mexico -- The house where Mexican drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman last sought refuge was not out of the way or out of the ordinary.

See Full Article

It occupies a corner lot on a busy four-lane boulevard in a neighbourhoodfavoured by local politicians. Guzman's house looks more like a doctor's office than a residence. The two-story building is set back from the street and completely obscured by the tops of thick trees. A Montessori school is around the corner.

The mother of Sinaloa Gov. Mario Lopez Valdez has a home two blocks away with a round-the-clock local police presence. Lopez said on Saturday that he was shocked by the fact Guzman was capture here in Los Mochis, a city of some 250,000 people near the shores of the Gulf of California.

"I've been here 50 years and in 50 years there was never a rumour, a hint, I never saw a story saying that this person (Guzman) could be found in Mochis or could be living in Mochis," Lopez said.

But Guzman's men appeared to have made preparations in case he ever needed the house.

More than a year ago, two brothers who had lived there while running a Baptist church in town either sold or rented the property, said a woman who has worked on the street for years, but declined to give her name for safety concerns. Until then it looked much like the other homes in the neighbourhood, with an open carport protected by a metal gate.

But a month or two of intensive renovations transformed the house into an architecturally unremarkable but completely enclosed structure. Windows and glass doors with horizontal grating were installed and the new walls that advanced right to the sidewalk.

On Friday night, following a gun battle, the tiled foyer beyond that glass door was smeared with blood as white-suited forensic technicians worked inside.

The new owners also installed surveillance cameras. Still, for months after the renovations were completed the property appeared uninhabited. It was only after leaving work Thursday evening that the woman said she noticed a large black pickup parked in front of the home. She had never seen the truck before.

Around 4 a.m. on Friday, marines raided the house, which the government officials said had been under surveillance for weeks. Neighbors say an intense shootout ensued, lasting about two hours. They only ventured out later after hearing on the news what had happened. Five gunmen were killed and six arrested.

At least one of those killed fell in a house under construction on the other side of the block.

Heavily armed marines kept onlookers at a distance from the crime scene on Saturday while a contingent of reporters blocked one lane of the boulevard a few blocks away from the house. At an intersection, someone had lifted a manhole cover from a storm sewer and found an abandoned assault rifle. Eventually a team of marines arrived, pulled what reporters remained out of the sewer and secured the rifle.

Guzman had apparently fled from the home into the sewer and emerged blocks away, where he commandeered a vehicle and continued his escape until authorities eventually caught him.

The area's notoriety already has been growing. A family stopped and posed for photos outside the Hotel Doux on the outskirts of Los Mochis where marines took Guzman briefly after his capture.



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Arkansas executes Jones; plans second lethal injection of night

    World News Toronto Sun
    LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Two condemned Arkansas killers who admit they’re guilty but fear their poor health could lead to extreme pain during lethal injections set for Monday might become the first inmates put to death in a double execution in the U.S. Source
  • April showers? Southern Manitoba hit with snow instead

    Canada News CTV News
    People in southern Manitoba might have been expecting April showers, but in the last day they’ve seen snow instead. Up to 25 centimetres of snow could cover parts of Manitoba, including Winnipeg, according to Environment Canada. Source
  • Arkansas kills 1st inmate in Monday double execution

    World News CBC News
    Arkansas has executed inmate Jack Jones by lethal injection, the first of what is set to be the only double-execution in the U.S. since 2000. Jones was pronounced dead at 7:20 p.m. local time Monday at the state's Cummins Unit in southeast Arkansas, about 120 kilometres from the state capital, Little Rock. Source
  • Trump backs away from demand for border wall money

    World News CTV News
    WASHINGTON - U.S. President Donald Trump appears to be stepping back from demanding a down payment for his border wall, which could remove a major obstacle to a bipartisan deal on must-pass spending legislation just days ahead of a government shutdown deadline. Source
  • Allan Shyback testifies he grabbed spouse to defend himself when he 'realized she was gone'

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    The Calgary man accused of murdering his wife and stashing her body in his basement told court on Monday he was a chronically abused spouse who fatally defended himself. Allan Shyback testified he was trying to stop a knife attack by his common-law wife Lisa Mitchell in their Ogden home Oct. Source
  • Court ruling on funding for Catholic schools can't stand, Wall says

    Canada News CTV News
    REGINA - Saskatchewan will look at all the options after a court ruling said the province can't provide Catholic schools funding for students who aren't Catholic, says Premier Brad Wall. "This simply cannot stand," Wall said Monday. Source
  • Armed robbers use explosives to break into Paraguay vault, escape by boat

    World News CTV News
    ASUNCION, Paraguay -- Dozens of attackers armed with assault rifles used explosives to blast open the vault of an armoured car company early Monday and apparently escaped by boat into Brazil with a haul of cash, authorities said. Source
  • Aviation officer gives his version of United flight removal

    World News CTV News
    CHICAGO - The Chicago aviation police officer who pulled a man off a United Airlines flight describes the man as physically and verbally combative during the incident. In response to a Freedom of Information Act request by The Associated Press, the aviation department released the officer's version of the April 9 incident for the first time and named the officer for the first time. Source
  • Chinese leader calls for restraint over North Korea

    World News CTV News
    WASHINGTON - As the world braces for a possible North Korean nuclear test, Chinese President Xi Jinping on Monday urged restraint in a call to U.S. President Donald Trump. American's UN envoy warned of a strike if Pyongyang attacks a U.S. Source
  • Venezuelans stage sit-in on roads to protest government

    World News CTV News
    CARACAS, Venezuela -- Protesters sprawled in lawn chairs, worked on math homework and played cards on main roads around Venezuela's cities Monday, joining in sit-ins to disrupt traffic as the latest slap at the socialist government. Source