Mexico’s most wanted drug lord, Joaquín "El Chapo" Guzmán Loera, managed to escape a maximum security prison for a second time last weekend, by using a blind spot in his cell's video surveillance system. Late Tuesday night, Mexico’s National Security Commission released footage showing the last few minutes before El Chapo escaped.
At the time of his escape, Guzmán was being held under 24-hour video surveillance at Mexico's Altiplano prison. However, the surveillance system did not extend into the cell's shower, where a one-mile underground tunnel began. Mexico’s Interior Minister Miguel Angel Osorio Chong told reporters on Monday that surveillance in the shower isn't allowed "for human rights reasons, to respect intimacy."
In the video footage, Guzmán walks over to the shower and then walks back to his bed and appears to change his shoes. He then goes back over to the shower, steps in, bends down and disappears. There also appears to be something that resembles an electronic device or tablet near his bed — or perhaps just a shiny thing.
Before he escaped, Guzmán was also wearing a tracking bracelet that monitored his movements inside the prison. However, the device lacked GPS technology, and the drug lord was able to remove it before crawling into a hole in his cell’s shower.
He then made his way through the underground tunnel that connected to a nearby warehouse, according to Mexican officials. Osorio Chong has said the Sinaloa cartel boss could not have escaped without “the complicity of staff members and officials” at Altiplano.
Mexican officials are currently questioning dozens of prison employees and inmates and a manhunt is underway, with Mexico’s armed forces and police searching houses, manning security checkpoints and intensifying surveillance along the country’s southern border with Guatemala and Belize.
A $3.8 million reward is now being offered for information leading to his capture.
- Check out Fusion's Drug Wars, airing Wednesdays on Fusion at 9:30pm ET
- Former Mexican official says leaked intel may have helped El Chapo escape
- 7 things you need to know about El Chapo's prison break
Rafa Fernandez De Castro is a Fusion consultant for Mexico and Latin America. He covers Mexican youth, politics, culture, narcos and funny stuff once in a while.