Mexican authorities report the capture of more people who allegedly helped “El Chapo” Guzmán in his epic prison breakout in July.
The detained suspects are an airlplane pilot; “El Chapo’s” brother-in-law (who is believed to have supervised construction of the mile-long (1.5-kilometer) escape tunnel and organised transportation; a person who negotiated the purchase of the plot of land near “El Altiplano” maximum security prison where the tunnel emerged; and the drug lord’s lawyer, the man considered to be the “mastermind” behind the great escape.
Attorney General Arely Gómez officially declared on Wednesday October 21st, that this group of people planned, organized and carried out all the necessary actions in order to make the jailbreak possible. Gómez confirmed the information indicating that El “Chapo” traveled by land to the town of San Juan del Río in the state of Queretaro, where he took a Cessna aircraft to his home state of Sinaloa.
Two planes took off from San Juan del Río on that night of July 11th, one of them acting as a “decoy”, and the other one had on board the once again most wanted man in Mexico.
Gomez did not name any of the suspects but said they planned, organized and carried out the jailbreak in cahoots with officials inside the maximum-security lockup.
About 23 prison officials and employees have also been arrested; some face criminal charges.
Security agents have focused their manhunt in recent weeks on Sinaloa and neighboring Durango state, part of Mexico’s notorious drug-producing Golden Triangle region. Officials say Guzman was injured in the leg and face there while evading a dragnet in rugged terrain.
“El Chapo’s” July 11 escape through a tunnel dug to the shower in his cell was his second brazen flight from prison. In 2001, he slipped out of another maximum-security facility, purportedly hidden in a laundry cart.
The latest jailbreak made him once again Mexico’s most-wanted fugitive and was a huge black eye for the government of President Enrique Pena Nieto, which had dismissed the possibility that Guzman could escape a second time.
Washington had called for Guzman’s extradition to face charges in U.S. federal courts, fearing that Mexico might have trouble keeping him behind bars. But Mexican officials said he would only be extradited after first serving out long prison sentences for crimes committed in his home country.
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