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Seven prison workers charged in 'El Chapo' escape

By Amy R. Connolly
Seven prison workers charged in 'El Chapo' escape
Joaquín "El Chapo" Guzman is arrested by Mexican marines on February 22, 2014. Photo courtesy of PGR/Mexican Federal Government

MEXICO CITY, July 18 (UPI) -- Seven employees of the maximum-security prison where Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman was being held have been charged in his escape.

Mexico's attorney general said Friday the prison workers will be jailed in the state of Guanajuato as the investigation continues. Officials did not release the names of the suspects or their role in the prison. Federal sources told Mexican daily Reforma seven men and two women, who worked security at the prison, helped Guzman escape on July 12.

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Earlier this week, Mexican officials said it took guards 18 minutes to respond to Guzman's cell the night he escaped. Investigators are interviewing dozens of others who may have aided in Guzman's escape. Among them is prison director Valentin Cardenas.

"That is part of what the attorney general's office is looking at -- if the protocols were fulfilled in the correct times," Interior Minister Miguel Angel Osorio Chong said at a news conference.

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Guzman was last seen at the Altiplano Federal Prison in the town of Almoloya de Juarez of the State of Mexico at 8:52 p.m. He escaped through a mile-long tunnel in a shower area shielded by a short wall for privacy.

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Closed-circuit video shows him entering the shower area twice fully clothed and bending down. The second time, he never resurfaced.

There is a $3.8 million reward for information leading to his arrest.

RELATED 10,000 police officers, 48 dogs hunt for Joaquín 'El Chapo' Guzman

Guzman, the country's most notorious drug lord escaped from prison in 2001, reportedly while hiding in a laundry cart. He was captured after 13 years and was held at the federal prison since February 2014. before escaping again on July 12.

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