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Mexico AG: 'El Chapo' spent 'very large sum of money' in escape

By Andrew V. Pestano
Mexico AG: 'El Chapo' spent 'very large sum of money' in escape
Drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman spent a "very large sum of money" in his escape, according to Mexico's Attorney General's Office. On July 11, Guzman escaped from a Mexican maximum security prison for the second time using a mile-long tunnel, which could have taken a year to build. Photo courtesy of Mexico's Attorney General

MEXICO CITY, Dec. 14 (UPI) -- Drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman spent a "very large sum of money" in his escape, according to Mexico's Attorney General's Office.

Arely Gómez González, Mexico's attorney general, told the Milenio newspaper that her office has not figured out how much Guzman spent, but knows he spent heavily.

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She said an affiliated agency was attempting to determine how many people were involved in his escape, both inside and outside the Altiplano Federal Prison.

"The exact amount of how much was spent has not been fully documented, but we know it is a very large sum of money," Gómez González said. "But we have not exhausted this investigation and we continue to work on other matters relating to the same subject."

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Gómez González also said the government is preparing its criminal case against those accused of helping Guzman escape, including prison officials. More than 30 people have been arrested.

On July 11, Guzman escaped from a Mexican maximum security prison for the second time using a mile-long tunnel, which could have taken a year to build.

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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 hiding in a laundry cart after bribing prison guards, and was re-captured in February 2014.

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RELATED Mexican musician reveals man in music video is not 'El Chapo' but his father

In October, an unedited leaked video of Guzman's escape shed further light into the suspicious circumstances surrounding the prison break.

Mexican television channel Televisa broadcasted the CCTV footage of Guzman's escape, the longer version of a video authorities previously released but without sound and only showing the moments before Guzman disappeared.

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