Published On: Tue, May 17th, 2016

‘El Chapo’ has a new home as he faces possible extradition to U.S.

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The residence of Mexican narco baron Joaquín “el Chapo” Guzman has changed again, from the Altiplano prison in Central Mexico to Ciudad Juarez, across the border from El Paso, Texas.

And there may be a future move north of the border for Guzman, as a judge has approved Chapo’s extradition to the United States.

As a service for any readers who just returned from a few decades on a desert isle, Joaquin “Chapo” Guzman Loera, a billionaire drug lord of Mexico’s Sinaloa Cartel, was captured in Guatemala in 1993, extradited to Mexico, and sentenced to prison for a twenty-year term.  In 2001, Chapo escaped from the State of Jalisco Puente Grande prison.

In February of 2014, Chapo was captured anew in Mazatlan. (See Mexican Drug Lord ‘Chapo’ Guzman Captured in Mazatlan, Sinaloa; and Mexican Drug Lord ‘El Chapo’ Guzman remains in the Limelight.)

In July of 2015, Chapo escaped from Mexico’s Cefereso Number 1.  (Cefereso is a Spanish acronym for Centro Federal de Readaptación Social – Federal Social Readaptation Center).  It’s Cefereso No. 1 “Altiplano,” the famous prison near Almoloya in the State of Mexico.

Chapo escaped through a mile-long tunnel, the construction of which had been going on for quite some time and right under the noses of prison authorities. That of course strongly indicates some heavy-duty collusion with some prison officials.

The escape was especially embarrassing to Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto, who was out of the country at the time.  (See Our 2015 Summer Visit to Mexico; and Could Mexico’s Escaped Drug Baron Chapo Guzman be Back Home?)

On January 8, 2016, Chapo was recaptured by the Mexican Navy in the city of Los Mochis, Sinaloa, then re-imprisoned in Federal Social Readaptation Center No. 1, Altiplano, the same prison he previously escaped from.

On May 7th, el Chapo was transferred from Altiplano to the Centro Federal de Readaptación Social #9, located in Ciudad Juarez.

It’s been announced that Chapo’s move is a part of rotational program of over 7,400 inmates nationwide.

Also, they’re doing some work on the Altiplano prison to improve security, and of course if they’re doing some work there they don’t want Chapo escaping during the work.

El Chapo Guzmán may be headed for Brooklyn when his extradition process is complete. (PHOTO: nydailynews.com)

El Chapo Guzmán may be headed for Brooklyn when his extradition process is complete. (PHOTO: nydailynews.com)


Apparently, Chapo wasn’t even aware of the move until 9 p.m. on May 6th, when authorities barged into the prisoner’s cell and told him to pack up his belongings (in transparent bags, of course).  At 1:30 a.m. on the 7th, Guzman was flown out by helicopter to Mexico City, from whence he flew in a police plane to Ciudad Juarez.  They didn’t even tell him where he was going until he arrived.

In 2015, Chapo’s new residence, Cefereso #9, received the lowest rating of all federal Mexican prisons by the country’s National Human Rights Commission (the CNDH, for Comisión Nacional de Derechos Humanos).

The group gave it a rating of 6.63 out of 10, as compared to the Altiplano (with 7.32 out of 10), while the national average for federal prisons was 7.36 out of 10.

Some big problems in the Cefereso #9 are overcrowding (1,012 inmates in a prison designed for 848), health problems, lack of discipline for inmates, violence and illegal activities within the prison.

Be that as it may, #9 is now Chapo’s home for a time.  But he may be moving again, north of the border, sometime in the future.

A couple of days after el Chapo’s move, on May 9th, a judge in Mexico ruled that Guzman can be extradited to the United States.  So now it’s up to President Enrique Pena Nieto.

Meanwhile, in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S.A., el Chapo Guzman and his 2015 escape from Altiplano is the subject of a temporary exhibit in The National Museum of Organized Crime and Law Enforcement, the “Mob Museum.”  For more information on the museum, click here and here, and for the museum’s web page specifically about the exhibit click here.

The exhibit, entitled “El Chapo’s Great Escape,” includes a model of theAltiplano prison and Chapo’s escape route (see photos here), details of his previous escape and, according to the web page, “Implications of (Chapo’s) bizarre interview with actor Sean Penn.”  (See The Spectacle of Sean Penn and the Drug Lord ‘El Chapo’ Guzman: A Review).

The exhibit is scheduled to be on display until August, in case any of our readers would like to visit it in Las Vegas.

By Allan Wall for TYT

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Allan Wall, an educator, resided in Mexico for many years.  His website is located at http://www.allanwall.info.

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