Date
20 January 2017
Mexican Attorney General Arely Gomez Gonzalez (second from right) looks into the entrance of a tunnel connected to the Altiplano Federal Penitentiary. The tunnel was used by drug lord Joaquin Guzman to escape. Photo: Reuters
Mexican Attorney General Arely Gomez Gonzalez (second from right) looks into the entrance of a tunnel connected to the Altiplano Federal Penitentiary. The tunnel was used by drug lord Joaquin Guzman to escape. Photo: Reuters

Mexican drug lord escapes through underground jail tunnel

A manhunt is under way after Mexico’s most wanted drug lord escaped over the weekend from a high-security prison through a tunnel built right under his cell.

Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, who bribed his way out of prison in 2001, used an underground tunnel dug under his shower to an abandoned property 1.5 kilometers away.

He was last seen on a video entering the shower at 8:52 p.m. on Saturday. By the time guards arrived, he was gone.

Guzman, who once made the Forbes billionaires list, is wanted by US prosecutors.

Reuters is reporting that prison workers were detained over the escape and 18 senior officials are being investigated.

The incident is a black eye for President Enrique Pena Nieto, Mike Vigil, Reuters reported, citing Mike Vigil, former head of global operations for the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.

“I don’t think they took into account the cunning of Chapo Guzman and the unlimited resources he has. If Chapo Guzman is able to make it back to the mountainous terrain that he knows so well in the state of Sinaloa … he may never be captured again,” he said.

Guzman ran the powerful Sinaloa Cartel, which has smuggled billions of dollars worth of cocaine, marijuana and methamphetamines into the United States and fought vicious turf wars with other Mexican gangs.

He became a legendary figure in villages scattered in the sierra where he grew up in northwestern Mexico.

US Attorney General Loretta Lynch said the government stands ready to work with Mexico for Guzman’st swift recapture.

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CG/RA

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