Tags: Mexico | crime | drugs | Guzman | US

'El Chapo' Entered US Twice While Fugitive: Report

Friday, 04 Mar 2016 03:48 PM

Mexican drug kingpin Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman snuck into the United States twice to visit relatives while he was a fugitive, one of his daughters told The Guardian newspaper.

Rosa Isela Guzman Ortiz, who lives in California, said her 58-year-old father entered the US state last year shortly after his now-notorious October meeting with US actor Sean Penn, evading a manhunt with the complicity of corrupt Mexican officials.

She did not disclose the exact dates of his visits but told the British daily that Guzman crossed the border to visit relatives and see her five-bedroom house, which he bought for her and her four children.

"My dad deposited the money in a bank account with a lawyer and a while after he came to see the house, his house. He came twice," the 39-year-old woman, who has US citizenship and runs small businesses in California, told The Guardian.

She declined to say how the world's most wanted drug lord managed to enter the United States.

"I asked him the same, believe me," she said.

Guzman's Sinaloa drug cartel has used sophisticated tunnels to ship massive amounts of narcotics to the United States, so such secret passages would have been available to him.

Jackie Wasiluk, a spokeswoman for US Customs and Border Protection, told AFP that the agency "has no information that substantiates the claims in news reports."

Guzman Ortiz said her father bought protection at the highest official level in Mexico, sending representatives to meet with senior politicians.

"All I know is that my dad told his lawyer to deliver some checks to (a politician's) campaign, and asked that he respect him," she said, adding that the family was considering releasing copies of the checks, as well as names of officials and politicians who accepted his support.

Guzman escaped twice from maximum-security prisons.

The first time was in 2001 and he was captured in February 2014. His second escape took place in July last year, using a 1.5-kilometer (one-mile) tunnel in a brazen prison break that left President Enrique Pena Nieto's administration red-faced.

His daughter claims that Guzman's second escape had the blessing of senior officials, whom she did not name.

"My dad's escape was an agreement," she said.

The warden of the Altiplano prison near Mexico City and the head of Mexico's penitentiary system are among the more than 30 people detained over the escape.

Guzman was sent back to Altiplano following his January 8 recapture.

His lawyer, Jose Refugio Rodriguez, said this week that his client, who claims to be sleep-deprived in the prison, has decided to drop his opposition to extradition to the United States in the hope of negotiating a "relatively reasonable" sentence in a medium-security prison.

Meanwhile, his wife, Emma Coronel, will go to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights in Washington to lodge a complaint about the "torture" he allegedly endures in prison, Rodriguez told Radio Imagen on Friday.

He did not say when she would go to the commission.

Coronel, 26, has dual Mexican-US citizenship and she gave birth to their twin daughters in California in 2011.

Two other Guzman lawyers, Jose Luis Gonzalez Meza and Juan Pablo Badillo, launched a hunger strike outside his prison on Friday to demand better conditions for the drug lord, saying they feared for his life.

 

© AFP 2017

 
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Mexican drug kingpin Joaquin El Chapo Guzman snuck into the United States twice to visit relatives while he was a fugitive, one of his daughters told The Guardian newspaper.Rosa Isela Guzman Ortiz, who lives in California, said her 58-year-old father entered the US state...
Mexico, crime, drugs, Guzman, US
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2016-48-04
Friday, 04 Mar 2016 03:48 PM
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