Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzmán, the infamous Mexican drug lord, escaped a maximum-security prison over the weekend, marking his second jail break in the 21st century.
At the Altiplano federal prison on Saturday, Guzmán crawled through a hole in the shower, vanishing through a tunnel one mile in length, Forbes reported
The tunnel, which officials believe was especially made for him, has lighting, ventilation, and modified motorcycle tracks, which Mexican National Security Commissioner Monte Alejandro Rubido said “[were] likely used to remove dirt during the excavation and transport the tools for the dig," according to CNN
At the end of the underground pathway is a half-constructed house, the last known location of Guzmán.
“This represents, without a doubt, an affront to the Mexican state,” Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto said, according to CNN. “I am confident that the institutions of the Mexican state, particularly those in charge of public safety, are at the level . . . to recapture this criminal.”
Mexican authorities told CNN that 18 workers at the penitentiary were taken to Mexico City for questioning, though it's unclear how many could have played a role in the escape.
It’s not just Mexico that is concerned, however. Guzmán’s multibillion-dollar drug empire was the top supplier of marijuana, cocaine, and heroin to the United States, Forbes reported.
“The U.S. government stands ready to work with our Mexican partners to provide any assistance that may help support his swift recapture,” U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch said, according to CNN.
Guzmán is the leader of the Sinaloa Cartel, a powerful and dangerous group deemed by the U.S. Justice Department. Until his arrest, Guzmán was considered the world’s most powerful drug lord.
The last time Guzmán escaped a high-security prison, he left unnoticed in a laundry cart in 2001. Authorities spent 13 years tracking him until finally catching the drug lord sleeping at a Mexican beach resort.
His capture last year caused the United States to request extradition because of prison escape concerns. Mexico, however, refused, promising to prosecute Guzmán and maintain the country’s judicial independence, The Washington Post reported
“This is exactly why we argued for his extradition,” a U.S. law enforcement official told CNN. This second prison break shows “the strength of the cartel and his ability to pay people off.”
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