He was gone in less than a minute.
The escape of Guzman, Mexico’s most notorious drug lord, is a major embarrassment for president Enrique Pena Nieto, and was the second time the drug kingpin had broken out of prison in 14 years.
He then walks to the shower and toilet area, behind a low dividing wall of about waist height, and simply disappears.
The only evidence of Guzman’s escape is the tunnel itself, and this recently released video that shows the moment he fled to freedom. Whoever dug the tunnel likely used architectural plans of the prison to help them find Guzman’s cell.
The cell contains two beds and on one, there appears to be an illuminated iPad or other type of electronic screen.
“He is an expert at tunnel construction because he’s built many that tunnel under the US Mexico border to bring drugs into the United States“, Tom Fuentes, CNN Law Enforcement Analyst said.
The tunnel runs almost a mile underground from his cell in the Altiplano maximum-security prison to the outside world. According to Rubio, Guzman might have been tried, convicted and held in a more secure facility if he was prosecuted in the U.S. However, The Washington Post reports that US officials had tried to push for extradition, but they were denied by Mexico City. And just the noise alone as they bored the final 30-foot (10-meter) vertical shaft directly under the prison to reach Guzman’s cell would have generated some attention.
Standing alongside, Mexico’s Attorney General Arely Gomez said authorities would offer 60 million pesos ($3.82 million) for information leading to Guzman’s capture.
DEA documents obtained by The Associated Press on Monday showed that USA agents had seen signs that work on plotting Guzman’s escape began nearly immediately after his arrest in February 2014.
Another video filmed after the escape shows the gaping square hole cut into what appears to be the floor of the shower.
Prosecutors investigating the escape formally placed 22 prison officials in custody over suspicions the infamous fugitive had inside help. That’s where the entrance to his escape tunnel was hidden. Not only had Joaquin Guzman Loera broken out of prison before, in 2001, the Mexican leader had publicly sworn that the most feared drug lord since Pablo Escobar would never see the light of day again.
The cartel has smuggled billions of dollars worth of drugs into the United States and has been blamed for thousands of deaths. But Riley says he’s pretty sure Guzman will remain in Mexico, returning to his roots in the rural Sinaloa Mountains of western Mexico.