The world’s most-wanted criminal, Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman escaped from jail with the aid of imprisoned drug baron “La Tuta,” who suffered an apparent heart attack, leaving only two guards to monitor 200 cameras.
Prosecutors believe the notorious Mexican prisoners worked together on the perfectly executed plan, with Servando “La Tuta” Gomez distracting guards so Guzman could flee. La Tuta, the head of the Knights Templar cartel, was taken to hospital with severe chest pains, but was back in his cell only a few hours later.
CCTV footage has revealed that the two agents responsible for monitoring Guzman’s cell played solitaire on their computers as the infamous prisoner slipped away. Both guards had previously claimed that their screens froze during the incident.
Mexico has arrested 20 people in connection with Guzman’s brazen escape through an underground tunnel equipped with a motorbike, air vents and electric light.
Former national prison director Celina Oseguera is among those detained. Another inmate testified that she regularly visited Guzman. The witness, Sigifredo Najera Talamantes, later died of a heart attack in his cell, raising suspicions of murder.
The government has been accused of hiding a video that includes loud drilling sounds in the moments before Guzman is shown escaping through a hole in his shower floor. The video could prove prison staff were aware of what was happening.
According to magazine Proceso: “the blows of metal against concrete are heard in Guzman’s cell minutes before he disappeared from view.”
Guards took 18 whole minutes to reach Guzman’s cell after realizing he had left. It was another three hours before the prison issued a “code red” alert which automatically closes the nearby airport outside Mexico City.
Mexico’s president Enrique Peña Nieto was reportedly playing dominoes on an airplane to France when he learned of the escape.
Much like George Bush, who carried on reading to schoolchildren after news broke of the World Trade Centre attacks, the Mexican president insisted his stunned advisers finish the game, which he won.
Mexico has offered a 60 million pesos ($3.8 million) reward for information leading to Guzman’s recapture.
Since his escape, the fugitive has openly mocked authorities. Photos circulating online apparently show him drinking beer and riding in an aircraft. Guzman even appeared to threaten Donald Trump, who has directed insulting remarks at Mexico. “I’ll make you eat your words,” he tweeted to the presidential candidate.