How Did Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman Escape from Prison in Mexico?

CNN’s Juan Carlos Lopez explains how Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman escaped from a prison in Mexico.

Guzmán escaped from Federal Social Readaptation Center No. 1 — a maximum security prison — on July 11, 2015. After receiving medication, Guzmán was last seen by security cameras at 8:52 p.m. near the shower area — the only part of his cell that was not covered by the security camera. When cameras did not detect him for two hours, an alert was issued at 8:55 p.m. and prison personnel began a search operation. When prison guards reached his cell, they discovered Guzmán escaped through a tunnel leading from the shower area to a home construction site in a Santa Juanita neighborhood almost one mile away. The tunnel was almost 33 feet deep underground, and Guzmán used a ladder to climb to the bottom. The tunnel was 5.7 ft tall and 29.5 in wide. The tunnel had artificial light, air conditioning, and was made of high-quality construction materials. A motorcycle was found in the tunnel.

In 2013, the Chicago Crime Commission named Guzmán “Public Enemy Number One” due to the influence of his criminal network in Chicago, though there is no evidence that Guzmán has ever been in Chicago. Guzmán has been ranked by Forbes magazine as one of the most powerful people in the world every year since 2009, ranking 41st, 60th and 55th respectively. Guzmán was named the 10th richest man in Mexico (1,140th in the world) in 2011, with a net worth of roughly US$1 billion. He has been known at the biggest supplier of heroin and cocaine in the United States. Forbes magazine also named him the “biggest drug lord of all time”, and the DEA believes Guzmán has surpassed the influence and reach of “the King of Cocaine” Pablo Escobar, who died in a shootout with the Colombian National Police in 1993.

CNN’s Sara Ganim looks into the dark history of Joaquin ‘El Chapo’ Guzman — the head of the Sinaloa cartel.


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