09/07/11– On Tuesday, September 6, Mexican authorities recaptured one of the most wanted men in Baja California. Héctor Eduardo Guajardo Hernández, 33, known as ‘el Güicho’, a high-ranking and close associate of the Sinaloa cartel leader, Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán Loera, was found and arrested in Zapopan in the state of Jalisco by federal police.
According to the Secretary of Public Security (Secretaría de Seguridad Pública, SSP), Guajardo was originally arrested last May in Mexicali during a shootout and high speed chase with Baja California’s State Preventative Police (Policia Estatal Preventiva, PEP) and transported to a hospital in Mexico City after sustaining bullet wounds. On July 27, 2011, Guajardo escaped the hospital secured by federal police and fled to Jalisco where he continued smuggling operations in Tepatitlan and Guadalajara.
The SSP reports that the man known as ‘el Güicho’ in the Sinaloa Cartel has been accused of transporting cocaine from Colombia to Mexico and the United States, and controlled all operations of the Sinaloa cartel in Baja California, northern Mexico, and the cities of Mazatlán, Mexicali, Puerto Penasco, and Tijuana.
State prosecutors allege that ‘el Güicho’ is also responsible for 43 other crimes including an October 2010 massacre at a drug rehabilitation center, and is reported to be responsible for at least 465 murders in the Baja California area. Guajardo began as a member of the Arellano Felix drug cartel and later joined the group headed by Teodoro Garcia Simental, ‘el Teo’. After the arrest of Garcia Simental, ‘el Güicho’ became the leader of the Sinoloa cartel’s Baja California operations. Guajardo is currently in the custody of the Office of Special Investigations on Organized Crime (Subprocuraduría de Investigación Especializada en Delincuencia- SIEDO) in Mexico City.