Drug kingpin Joaquin 'El Chapo' Guzman escapes Mexican prison again

By Andrew V. Pestano Follow @AVPLive9 Contact the Author   |  July 12, 2015 at 10:21 AM
Leer en Español
share with facebook
share with twitter
1 of 2

ALMOLOYA DE JUáREZ, Mexico, July 12 (UPI) -- Drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman escaped from a maximum-security Mexican prison on Saturday through a 5,000-foot tunnel.

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 tunnel in a shower area, {link:reported Excelsior newspaper, where inmates are also allowed to wash clothing.

"As the inmate's non-visibility was prolonged, the cell was accessed, which was found empty, so an immediate corresponding alert was emitted for the probable escape of the mentioned prisoner," Mexico's National Security Commission said in a statement Sunday.

The entrance of the tunnel measured about 20-by-20 inches and the tunnel itself was about 5 feet deep. PVC piping, likely used for ventilation and lighting, were found throughout the tunnel. A motorcycle was also found inside, apparently used to dig and to transport materials for the tunnel, according to National Security Commissioner Monte Alejandro Rubido, who visited the prison.

Mexican security forces have launched a manhunt for Guzman in the area and the highways of surrounding states. Operations at the nearby Toluca airport, about 17 miles away, have been suspended.

Guzmán was the head of the Sinaloa Cartel and was estimated to be worth about $1 billion.

El Chapo -- meaning "The Short One" or "Shorty" -- so dubbed because of his 5-foot-6-inch frame, was captured in Guatemala in 1993 and then extradited to Mexico to face murder and drug trafficking charges. He escaped from prison in 2001 by bribing prison guards and was re-captured in February 2014.

Related UPI Stories
Trending Stories