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Mexican drug lord Joaquin 'El Chapo' Guzman escapes

  1. RoboCodeine7610
    (CNN)Mexican authorities have launched a manhunt to find drug kingpin Joaquin Guzman, who has broken out of prison again, the country's National Security Commission said Sunday.

    Guards at the Altiplano Federal Prison discovered during a routine check on Saturday that Guzman, who known as "El Chapo," was missing, a statement from the commission said.

    Guzman was captured in early 2014 after having eluded capture for more than a dozen years.

    Guzman is the storied boss of one of the world's most powerful and deadly drug trafficking operations.

    He escaped in 2001 from a high-security prison in a laundry cart, and was not apprehended again until February, 2014, when he was arrested at a Mexican beach resort.

    Guzman wanted in the U.S.
    Guzman heads the Sinaloa cartel, which, according to an opinion piece by the author Don Winslow that was published last month by CNN, is by far the most dominant drug trafficking organization in Mexico today.

    The heroin epidemic in the northeastern United States is supplied largely by the Sinaloa cartel, Winslow wrote.

    In Mexico, the diminutive Guzman became a larger-than-life figure as he eluded authorities while expanding a drug empire that spanned the world. His life story became the topic of best-selling books and the subject of adoring songs known as narcocorridos.

    In the United States, he is wanted on multiple federal drug trafficking and organized crime charges.

    His nickname, which means "Shorty," matches his 5-foot-6-inch frame.

    A second laundry-related escape
    The statement from the National Security Commission said that, at 8:52 Saturday evening, surveillance cameras at the Altiplano federal prison saw Guzman approaching a shower area in which prisoners also wash their belongings.

    When Guzman was not seen again for some time, officials checked his cell, found it empty, and issued an alert.

    Altiplano is a maximum security prison in south central Mexico.

    Officials not only launched a manhunt, they also closed Toluca International Airport, a 45-minute drive away.

    By Ed Payne and Don Melvin, CNN
    July 12, 2015


  1. Rob Cypher
    Again, eh? Why do I suspect both times were really in-depth "inside jobs"? Wonder what they'll say when he manages to do it again sometime in the future?
  2. Rob Cypher
    The notorious drug kingpin who escaped from a maximum-security Mexican prison on Saturday loved gourmet food so much that, before his February 2014 arrest, he would emerge from hiding in the Sierra Madre mountains just to eat at his favorite restaurants.

    Joaquín Guzmán Loera — known as "El Chapo," or "Shorty" — was "maddeningly obscure" and a master at evading the Mexican police, Patrick Radden Keefe reported in The New Yorker last year.
    Guzmán eventually became overly confident, and he wanted to spend his millions rather than live like a pauper in the mountains: "There is a saying in the Mexican drug trade that it is better to live one good year than 10 bad ones," according to Keefe.

    Still, while he risked being seen in public to eat at elegant restaurants, Guzmán took the same extensive security precautions every time.

    "The choreography was always the same," Keefe writes. "Diners would be startled by a team of gunmen, who would politely but firmly demand their telephones, promising that they would be returned at the end of the evening. Chapo and his entourage would come in and feast on shrimp and steak, then thank the other diners for their forbearance, return the telephones, pick up the tab for everyone, and head off into the night."
    El Chapo owned hundreds of legitimate businesses throughout Mexico and was hyperaware of all police efforts to capture him.

    His nationwide network of informants was unrivaled, and he was known to pay off his captors with drug money. In 2001, Guzmán escaped the high-security Puente Grande prison near the city of Guadalajara by paying guards to help him slip out.

    He was also fond of secret tunnels and intricate escape routes. In February 2014, Guzmán fled the police through a network of underground tunnels accessible via a secret door beneath the bathtub in his Sinaloa home. Mexican marines caught him shortly after he arrived in the city of Mazatlan.
    El Chapo once evaded authorities by using a tunnel hidden under a bathtub that exited into the city of Culiacan's drainage system.

    Guzmán employed a similar tactic to escape from his prison cell last weekend. While in the shower, Guzmán slipped down a shaft into a mile-long ventilated tunnel he had constructed over the course of a year.

    Before Guzmán's escape, the US had been pressuring Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto to have him extradited for smuggling billions of dollars worth of cocaine, marijuana, and methamphetamines across the border.

    El Chapo's escape is a major embarrassment for Nieto's administration, which has been trying to convince the US that it can deal with the drug war on its own and does not need to extradite its drug lords. "It's shocking, embarrassing, a huge blow, almost everything under the sun," Eric L. Olson, a scholar at the Mexico Institute of the Wilson Center who follows crime trends in Latin America, told The New York Times. "It is almost Mexico's worst nightmare, and I suspect many in US law enforcement are apoplectic right now."

    Natasha Bertrand
    Business Insider
    June 13, 2015

  3. redwhiteandblue
    What fuking idiot gave him access to the bottom flat?

    I've been an a few maximum security prisons. No way would an escape risk be allowed on the bottom flat exactly for this reason.

    Put him up one flight of stairs and he would never have escaped.
  4. rawbeer
    ^^^ I'm sure they put him there to make it easier to escape. Or more likely, a guard unlocked his cell and led him to the front door of the prison where he stepped into a limo and drove away. There is not even the faintest doubt in my mind that this was an inside job born of the rotten corruption in Mexico. This is all just Drug War Theater.
  5. RoboCodeine7610
    (CNN)Hearing "I told you so" always stings, perhaps never more than when one of the world's most-wanted men slips out of a maximum-security prison through a mile-long tunnel that took months in the making.

    Former Drug Enforcement Administration agent Phil Jordan told everyone so.

    When Sinaloa cartel chief Joaquín Archivaldo Guzmán Loera, aka "El Chapo," was arrested in February 2014 -- after 13 years on the lam following another prison escape -- the ex-head of the DEA's El Paso Intelligence Center told CNN that the arrest was a big deal, but only if Mexico shipped the kingpin to its neighbor to the north.

    "It is a significant arrest, provided he gets extradited immediately to the United States," Jordan said. "If he does not get extradited, then he will be allowed to escape within a period of time. ... If he is, in fact, incarcerated, until he gets extradited to the United States, it will be business as usual."

    Suffice to say, Jordan, who spent more than 30 years with the DEA, was not shocked by this week's news that Guzman had escaped.

    "No, I'm surprised it took a year for him to escape," he said, interrupting his thought to correct himself. "Before he was allowed to escape."

    Opinion: No light at end of tunnel

    Like many observers, Jordan says he believes Guzman had help in his jailbreak, and not just from those who dug the tunnel, ventilated it and laid tracks for a modified motorcycle. No, Jordan thinks Guzman had help on the inside, much like he did during his 2001 escape in which dozens of prison workers, including the warden, were prosecuted.

    In fact, Jordan suspects Guzman's entire arrest was a sham, "a little show and tell" to project the impression that Mexico was making strides in its fight against the cartels. Why else would a man who traveled at times with an 800-member security detail be caught with his family and a single bodyguard in the resort town of Mazatlán?

    The story of Guzman's 2014 capture was "absolute BS," he said. "They don't capture Guzman unless they've made a deal with Guzman not to extradite him to the United States."

    And the extradition? "It was never going to happen," Jordan said.

    A matter of sovereignty or pride?
    There is no shortage of hypotheses about why Guzman wasn't extradited to the United States. Some analysts say Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto wanted to, contrary to his predecessor, limit U.S. involvement in Mexico's drug war and felt having the United States try and imprison Mexico's top criminal would be a blow to the country's ego and sovereignty.

    "It was, I believe, a source of national pride to say that, 'We've got this. This is our situation and we can handle it,' " said Sylvia Longmire, author of "Cartel: The Coming Invasion of Mexico's Drug Wars."

    Ex-President Felipe Calderón had been viewed as weak because he relied so heavily on U.S. assistance, and Longmire said she believes Peña Nieto "wanted to take control of the drug war back."

    A sounder hunch is that former Attorney General Jesús Murillo Karam scuttled any potential deal. While there's no shortage of conspiracy theorists alleging Mexican officials feared El Chapo might dish dirt on the country's politicians, Murillo Karam publicly said he disapproved of the United States cutting deals with criminals -- as it did in 2013 with Jesús Vicente "El Vicentillo" Zambada Niebla, the son of Guzman's top lieutenant -- and not sharing with Mexico the fruits of the kingpins' cooperation.

    Officially, Murillo Karam said Guzman would not be extradited until he finished serving his time in Mexico, a sentiment echoed by Ambassador Eduardo Medina-Mora. When Guzman escaped in 2001, he had served only seven of a more than 20-year sentence, and he racked up eight more charges before being recaptured last year.

    From power tools to helicopters: Five famous prison escapes

    The specter of a Supermax
    The United States, where at least eight federal districts have rendered indictments against Guzman, submitted its formal request for Guzman's extradition in January or February, said CNN legal analyst Philip Holloway. Before Murillo Karam even received the paperwork, he "quite flippantly" said the United States could have Guzman in 300 or 400 years, when he finished serving his time in Mexico, Holloway said.

    Mexican officials were "assuming he would serve out his prison time," the CNN analyst said. "We know better than that. We wanted to get him here so we could get him into a Supermax, where he'd spend 23 hours a day in a cell and not really be able to get out."

    Like Jordan, Holloway believes that Guzman's reach extends into "all facets of the Mexican government and the entire Mexican criminal justice system," he said. While Guzman also wields influence in the United States, he's not nearly as persuasive north of the border.

    "We know that he has his tentacles into the U.S., but probably not to the degree that you could tunnel beneath the Supermax in Colorado," Holloway said.

    U.S. officials angry over jailbreak

    Guzman was well aware of U.S. hopes to bring him before an American judge and jury, said Jordan, who is of the mind that Guzman's capture was orchestrated and the decision not to extradite him was made before he set foot in his cell.

    "Tell me how many times John Gotti escaped or Al Capone escaped," he said. "(Guzman) knows that if he's sent to the U.S., the luxury hotel he built for himself in the Mexican prison is not going to happen."

    Could treaty be ignored?
    Article 15 of the U.S.-Mexico extradition treaty, signed in 1978, backs up Murillo Karam's claim that Guzman had to serve his time in Mexico before facing charges in the United States. That provision of the treaty states the U.S. or Mexico "may defer the surrender of the person sought" when the suspect is being tried or is already serving a sentence "until the conclusion of the proceeding or the full execution of the punishment that has been imposed."

    But ex-U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales said the treaty is more flexible than it may appear. Extradition requests are highly technical documents involving tricky, opaque and oft-controversial negotiations, he said, and it's possible Mexico would be willing to overlook the treaty in exchange for something -- not necessarily quid pro quo, but perhaps some useful intelligence or assets that it could employ in the drug war.

    "Mexico could waive that if it was in their interest to do so," said Gonzales, now the dean of Belmont University College of Law.

    Gonzales emphasized that he had no inside knowledge of the machinations surrounding Guzman, but the Office of General Prosecutor, Mexico's equivalent of the U.S. Justice Department, "has to deal with its own bureaucracy when it comes to extradition requests. ... The people that make decisions in Mexico, I'm sure they had to consult with a number of people."

    In 2007, when Gonzales headed President George W. Bush's Justice Department, Mexico agreed to extradite 15 suspected criminals, including Gulf cartel boss Osiel Cárdenas Guillén, in a move that was hailed as a great success in the U.S.-Mexico drug war partnership. It was the product of extended talks, the ex-attorney general said.

    Guillen vs. Los Zetas

    "That took time. It took a lot of secret negotiations and discussions," Gonzales said, explaining he notified neither DEA Administrator Karen Tandy nor Ambassador Antonio Garza that the talks were unfolding. "You want to keep the number very small in terms of who knows about possible extraditions."

    'Anything's possible'
    Gonzales suspects there were similar high-level discussions regarding Guzman, he said.

    Mexico is rightly defensive of its sovereignty, and there are several possible scenarios that might have played out, Gonzales said. Because Mexico has long bristled at paternalistic U.S. inclinations to wag its finger over corruption, it could have decided it didn't need the "interference of another country," or it could have played the pot-calling-the-kettle-black card, raising the issue of escaped convicts Richard Matt and David Sweat and asking, "What about what happened in New York a month or so ago?"

    Or Mexico could have, as Murillo Karam said, honestly wanted Guzman to serve his time in Mexico first, Gonzales said. It's tough to say for certain, but you can be sure that there was behind-the-scenes bartering over El Chapo's fate following his 2014 arrest, he said.

    What's less clear is what happens now.

    Speculation abounds over Guzman's whereabouts. Did he leave the country? Has he sought refuge in the unsavory mountainous terrain of Sinaloa state, where he was raised and from where he thwarted many attempts to apprehend him? If he's captured again, would an embarrassed Mexico finally agree the Americans are better equipped to keep Guzman incarcerated?

    "Anything's possible," said Holloway, the legal analyst.

    Yet there is one more possibility that looms large, he said.

    "I really don't think we're ever going to see him again."

    By Eliott C. McLaughlin, CNN
    July 14, 2015
  6. Diverboone
    The same kind of money could buy your way out of any prison in America. Money talks, especially to those making prison guard wages.
  7. Rob Cypher
    Drug lord 'El Chapo' threatens Donald Trump on Twitter over insults

    Donald Trump called the FBI today to report threats allegedly from Mexican drug kingpin Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman Loera following the El Chapo’s elaborate escape from a maximum security prison west of Mexico City this weekend.

    ‘If you keep pissing me off I’m going to make you eat your words you fucking blonde milk-shitter,” Guzman reportedly tweeted to Trump from his son, Ivan’s Twitter account today.

    A milk-shitter [caga leche], The Daily Mail explains, is a homophobic slur in Mexico. “And I still fucking make you swallow all your whores fucking words,” Guzman continued in Spanish.

    Guzman, who allegedly tunneled his way out of prison, targeted Trump after the billionaire went on a tweet storm attacking the Mexican criminal on Sunday and Monday [by among other things, suggesting that he would 'kick [El Chapo's] ass'].

    Sofia Tesfaye
    July 13, 2015

  8. Tulio_Hermil
    if it wasnt for the US up the border, dude wouldve probably already ousted the governemnt and take charge...which doesnt sound as a bad idea, since many mexicans think he is actually less worse than the mexican governemnt...at least he gets shit done, look at that tunnel...probably represents more work than what your average mexican governor does in a year for his state haha
  9. xxErikKartmanxx
    I wonder where he is now ...... :D
  10. TheBigBadWolf
    I'd so love two of our times biggest arsewipes, Guzman and Trump fight it out with punching each other with polystyrol rolls and throwing make-up pads at each others until they bleed.

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