Mexico's attorney general has said in an interview that officials used DNA tests and telling physical features to identify Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, the world's most wanted drug trafficker, though it remains to be seen whether even this will put to rest the inevitable rumors of deception.
Attorney General Jesus Murillo Karam said tests performed by specialists from his office shortly after the arrest found that the man captured late in the night of February 21 had fingerprints and ears that matched those of the infamous Sinaloa Cartel leader, and DNA matching that of his son.
"If any doubts remain after that, then I'm not me," Murillo told Radio Formula 103.3 FM.
Regarding the question of extradition to the US, he said the government was analyzing the best option, but that he "does not think it will happen anytime soon." Guzman is facing organized crime charges in his home country, but a Mexican court has said there is not currently enough evidence to try him for drug trafficking, reported RCN.
According to Murillo, Guzman's arrest represents just the beginning of a coordinated effort to take down the Sinaloa Cartel's structure.
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The attorney general's comments are likely designed to dispel rumors that began swirling shortly after Guzman's capture. According to Quien, some Mexican celebrities initially questioned the capture, stating that the photo of the man arrested did not resemble Chapo. A satirical piece published on website Huzlers, meanwhile, created confusion in the media with claims the man arrested was really named Gregorio Chavez, and was kidnapped by authorities who passed him off as Guzman.
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Given the levels to which Chapo rose, and the widespread networks of corruption and collusion that got him there -- which many believe reached as far as the president's office -- it is not surprising that some will be skeptical about his arrest.
Such doubts over the fall of Mexican drug lords that had once seemed untouchable are commonplace, and have become part of the mythology surrounding drug trafficking in the country. Those that believe Mexican police have arrested a Chapo ringer would no doubt point to persistent rumors that the supposed corpses of Juarez Cartel leader Amado Carrillo Fuentes, alias "The Lord of the Skies," and Chapo's former Sinaloa ally "Ignacio "Nacho" Coronel were not the infamous drug lords but unfortunate substitutes.
However, the proof offered by the attorney general should now quiet all but the most determined conspiracy theorists.