Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, known as the world’s most famous drug lord, has escaped from a maximum-security prison in Mexico. Guzman is the leader of the Sinaloa cartel, considered by the US as the most powerful organized crime group, and is responsible for up to 10,000 deaths. On July 11, Guzman crawled through a hole in the shower leading to a one-mile long tunnel out of the Altiplano Federal Prison.
This isn’t the first time Guzman has escaped prison, however. He was previously incarcerated from 1993 until 2001 when he escaped in a laundry cart after bribing workers in the prison. After his first escape, it took thirteen years for Mexican authorities to catch him again. At the time, capturing him again in 2014 was an overwhelming success for President Enrique Peña Nieto, who has been building a reputation for being hard on drug lords.
This recent escape, however, is a huge embarrassment to the President’s reputation. American officials had previously pushed for Guzman to be imprisoned in the US due to concerns that he would escape again, and they now see this week’s escape as a sign of the corruption in Mexico. The way that he escaped suggests that he did not act alone–Guzman almost definitely had the help of prison officials. The director of Altiplano has since been fired, and a manhunt has commenced to hopefully recapture Guzman.
Contributor: Mira Bajaj