Published On: Tue, Jul 21st, 2015

El Chapo Escape: Evidence of Inefficiency and Corruption Among High-Level Prison Officials

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Top-level federal officials have revealed a record of inefficiency and corruption among the personnel currently under investigation for their involvement in Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán’s escape from the El Altiplano penitentiary on July 11.
Despite having been removed from other positions, several officials now linked with Guzmán’s escape were re-assigned  to key positions within the Administrative Office for Prevention and Social Readaptation (OADPRS) as recently as six months ago.

Interviewed by Milenio, the unnamed officials also explained that many administrative positions in the federal penitentiaries were entrusted to people who were completely unprepared, while staff in other positions were “imposed” by senior federal agencies.

Building tunnel didn’t require prison plans (Photo: Mexico News Daily)

Building tunnel didn’t require prison plans (Photo: Mexico News Daily)

One of the cases cited was that of José Francisco Layesca, director of public works of the OADPRS, who had control of the architectural plans of the El Altiplano penitentiary.

Layesca had been removed from that position in 2012 after he was allegedly caught demanding payments of up to 2 million pesos from federal contractors, threatening them with breach-of-contract fines if they refused.

Some considered Layesca was unfit to hold a federal position and demanded he be deemed ineligible from that point on. But the case against him was dropped without explanation and he was reinstated —to the same position — in the second half of last year.

Another example was that of Celina Oseguera, coordinator of the Federal Centers for Social Readaptation (Ceferesos), who was let go after Guzmán disappeared.

Oseguera left a trail of accusations against her during her tenure at the penitentiary undersecretariat in Mexico City. It was believed in federal circles that she had covered up a prostitution ring in the capital’s prisons, and was accused of being responsible for the deaths of two inmates who had denounced a corruption network within the capital’s Reclusorio Oriente prison.

 

Experts say that building the tunnel did not require prison plans

El Chapo’s tunnel builders did not need the architectural plans of the El Altiplano federal prison to plan his escape, according to experts consulted by the newspaper Milenio, contradicting claims made earlier this week by National Security Commissioner Monte Alejandro Rubido García. Google Earth would have sufficed.

Motorcycle on tracks inside Guzmán's tunnel (Photo: Mexico News Daily)

Motorcycle on tracks inside Guzmán’s tunnel (Photo: Mexico News Daily)

The El Altiplano penitentiary, home until last Saturday of Sinaloa Cartel leader Joaquín Guzmán until he escaped through a tunnel, is one of Mexico’s three maximum security prisons, or Ceferesos, Federal Centers for Social Readaptation. The three share the same architectural design, which can be seen on Google Earth.

In addition to El Altiplano, in the State of México, there are Ceferesos in Matamoros, Tamaulipas, and Puente Grande, Jalisco. Their architectural design is exactly the same, according to the experts, who said “if you know one, you know them all.”

19 meter (60 foot) deep shaft (Photo: Animal Politico))

19 meter (60 foot) deep shaft (Photo: Animal Politico))

Milenio said the experts have experience in the management and configuration of the federal penitentiaries.

They claim that in order to plan El Chapo’s escape, all they needed was a GPS geolocator and Google’s publicly available satellite maps and georeferencing service, accurate to within three meters. With those tools, the 1.5-kilometer-long tunnel could have been easily planned and constructed.

Cell #20, where the drug lord was kept, appears to be strategically located in a corner of the penitentiary complex and its general location easily identifiable, according to information offered by Commissioner Rubido during a press conference earlier this week.

The federal experts said that in other countries high-security facilities like El Altiplano appear blurred in the Google satellite maps by request of their governments, due to their strategic importance.

For the experts it was also clear that the escape tunnel could have been built without requiring dump trucks to remove the excavated soil, which could have been spread around the house at one end. To support the claim, they referred once more to the most recent satellite imagery, where the area surrounding the end of the tunnel is considerably lighter than the wider, general area.

Those interviewed also charged that federal prisons have been mismanaged since the beginning of the current federal administration in 2012. Key positions within the penitentiary system were entrusted to people whose only experience was in local penitentiaries, and they were unprepared to assume the larger scale of the federal system.

“Security protocols weren’t followed,” they said, “because El Chapo remained in the same cell instead of being rotated periodically within the prison. Cell #20 is located on the ground floor when he should have been located at a higher level.”

For its part, the Attorney General has opened another line of inquiry after learning that the alert at the Toluca airport wasn’t raised until 2:00am Sunday, five hours after Guzmán was last seen in his cell. Airports at Querétaro, Guadalajara, Michoacán, Hidalgo and Morelos didn’t receive the alert until just before noon Sunday.

It has also been revealed that at least 18 minutes passed between the moment Guzmán disappeared from sight on a surveillance video and the time guards arrived at his cell.

An international search is under way for Guzmán, leader of the Sinaloa Cartel, who fled from his prison cell through a 1.5-kilometer tunnel.

 

– Source: http://mexiconewsdaily.com/

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