"El Chapo" Escapes From High Security Prison

Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman has done it again! He's escaped from the high security prison in Altiplano, through a tunnel. Several prison workers are being held.

The articles say if he makes it home to Culiacan in the mountains, he's unlikely to be captured. [More...]

The tunnel was built from a 50 centimeter hole in the shower. It then widened, and extended for a mile. It was about 33 feet deep.

President Nieto is in France, and his Administration will be very embarrassed by this.

Here's a photo of the tunnel.

The tunnel led to a property under construction in the nearby town of Santa Juanita. Inside the house police found furnishings and other objects indicating the recent presence of workers and guards.

< Saturday Open Thread | El Chapo: Post-Escape Photos on Airplane >
  • The Online Magazine with Liberal coverage of crime-related political and injustice news

  • Contribute To TalkLeft

  • Display: Sort:
    New Yorker: (5.00 / 3) (#6)
    by oculus on Sun Jul 12, 2015 at 05:53:24 PM EST
    Well, there's a shower drain (5.00 / 2) (#12)
    by nycstray on Mon Jul 13, 2015 at 01:48:49 AM EST
    That won't clog! Dang . . .

    calling this an escape is laughable (5.00 / 1) (#21)
    by Dadler on Mon Jul 13, 2015 at 10:29:06 AM EST
    He was given an early subterranean release that was only slightly deeper than the pockets he filled.

    What a great story. (none / 0) (#1)
    by Mr Natural on Sun Jul 12, 2015 at 01:10:05 PM EST
    El Chapo is a first rate executive.  He could have run anything.  Not for El Chapo the belly crawling and suffocation that you see in old prison escape films - that tunnel is a work of art.

    When I get back home I'll look for a new narco-corrida about this escapade.  The tunnel alone earns him a place in the narcotrafficante pantheon.  

    Not a Great Story... (5.00 / 1) (#19)
    by ScottW714 on Mon Jul 13, 2015 at 09:20:02 AM EST
    ...they estimate that he or his Cartel under his reign was responsible for 100,000 deaths.  Whether that is true, who knows, but a lot of people died under his leadership.

    Going forward I would imagine he's got a lot of scores to settle since his capture and many more people are going to die, including law enforcement and the military.

    I don't think it's particularly hard to run a 'business' using intimidation, coercion, and brutality.  It takes special skills, but skills that are more in tune with the mafia and serial killers than executives running legitimate businesses.


    Next you'll claim (none / 0) (#22)
    by Mr Natural on Mon Jul 13, 2015 at 10:29:33 AM EST
    that The Godfather, Goodfellas, White Heat, Bonnie and Clyde, Breaking Bad, The Killers, Asphalt Jungle, High Sierra, Scarface, and Wall Street weren't great stories either.

    No, Those Are Movies... (none / 0) (#23)
    by ScottW714 on Mon Jul 13, 2015 at 10:52:13 AM EST
    ...this is actual life, where the blood, torture, and death is real.

    "Goodfellas" was from life (none / 0) (#29)
    by scribe on Mon Jul 13, 2015 at 12:30:20 PM EST
    based on the book "Wiseguys";  they got into a [legal] fight in preproduction and changed the name.  Henry Hill, the Ray Liotta character, died only recently.  
    Similarly, "Casino" (a movie) was based on real life.  
    "Donnie Brasco", based on real life  (some years ago, an acquaintance knew the real Joe Pistone).  
    "The Godfather" contains a lot sieved out of real life, though in the process it became pretty much fiction.

    I could go on....


    and unfortatly (none / 0) (#34)
    by nyjets on Mon Jul 13, 2015 at 12:36:14 PM EST
    Several of those movies glorify  the criminals.

    lol. What we have here, Scribe, (none / 0) (#37)
    by Mr Natural on Mon Jul 13, 2015 at 12:53:50 PM EST
    is a failure... to communicate.

    Cool Hand Luke was a great story too.

    Would we be safer if there were no crime and we were all emotionless obedient zombies?  Sure.  But who wants to live that way?  Sitting around the burbs talking about our perfect lawns and how perfectly our children color inside the lines? Camping around the blog fire talking up our perfectly progressive or consumingly conservative posturing?  No thanks.

    If El Chapo didn't exist, we'd have to invent him.


    For Someone Who... (5.00 / 2) (#40)
    by ScottW714 on Mon Jul 13, 2015 at 02:46:54 PM EST
    ...has made many comments about torture as it related to the previous administration's crimes, it's rather remarkable how flippant you are with a kingpin who regularly dismembered people and left the parts on the streets and burned people alive.

    This is a bad guy who will most certainly ensure many people suffer for his profits.

    I would not need to invent anyone, the idea that I need some sort of sinister anti-hero in real life is absurd as your anti-hero worship of Guzman.

    The movies, were at best, loosely based on actual events that many dispute, they are in no way some sort of historical records, they were for profit movies, aka as fiction.

    Would we be safer if there were no crime
    Yes, only a demented fool thinks Guzman represents something we all need in life to make it enjoyable.  While I can't speak for anyone else, my mental state would greatly improve if I didn't have to read or see the death and destruction of human beings every single day over dollars and religion.

    You're the guy who turned my comment, (none / 0) (#41)
    by Mr Natural on Mon Jul 13, 2015 at 04:24:46 PM EST
    that it was a great story, into my personal approval and worshipful encomium of his career.

    Go beat up someone else with your strawmen.


    Sure... (none / 0) (#42)
    by ScottW714 on Mon Jul 13, 2015 at 04:33:46 PM EST
    ...the straw man called it a great story, not you.

    I was simply pointing out that it is in no way great that a mass murdered escaped from prison.  You disagree, fine, but don't act like you didn't call it great, it's right there, in the thread.


    Let me try (none / 0) (#43)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Jul 13, 2015 at 04:40:14 PM EST
    it is a fascinating story.  That said, sans this thread I might have called it a great story.

    It really is a pretty good story.  No matter what you think about the escapee.


    I said it was a great story. (none / 0) (#44)
    by Mr Natural on Mon Jul 13, 2015 at 04:42:28 PM EST
    I didn't say that it was great that he escaped.

    And you can't stop talking about it.  



    i dont think I understand (none / 0) (#39)
    by nyjets on Mon Jul 13, 2015 at 01:15:21 PM EST
    Are you saying that people who obey the law and dont want to hurt anybody are emotionless zombies?
    You want to live in a society where crime exists and people are hurt?

    As for your comments about executive talent (none / 0) (#25)
    by Mr Natural on Mon Jul 13, 2015 at 11:07:37 AM EST
    and the moral superiority of "legitimate business" executives, here's William Banzai's take.  The man in cuffs is Teflon Jon Corzine, former U.S. Senator, former Head of Goldman Sachs, and the former Head of MF Global.  All in all, a paragon of American executive talent.

    Corzine used his morally superior executive talents to steal a cool billion in customer funds to prop up failed speculation at MF Global.  

    Of course, Corzine "looks" more like Donald Trump than El Chapo.


    My Point Wasn't... (none / 0) (#26)
    by ScottW714 on Mon Jul 13, 2015 at 11:37:30 AM EST
    ...executives are all ethical, only that running a business based on violent felonies doesn't prove anything other violent sociopaths can amass great fortunes using fear, intimidation, and murder.  Guzman's enterprise closer resembles ISIS than Goldman Sacks.

    Your example only proves my point, sucess is much easier when you don't confine yourself with ethics and/or the law.


    The only difference between an executive (none / 0) (#32)
    by scribe on Mon Jul 13, 2015 at 12:33:16 PM EST
    at some large investment bank and of a cartel is that the investment bankers don't have to "call a guy" to take care of a problem.  The executives are still sociopaths.  They have lawyers and courts to do their dirty work.

    Or, as was said in one of the gangster movies derided upthread, "you can steal more with a pen than a knife".


    these compariosns are silly (none / 0) (#35)
    by nyjets on Mon Jul 13, 2015 at 12:37:06 PM EST
    Just because the bankers do wrong does not make the actions like the escaped prisoner any better.

    of course (none / 0) (#2)
    by nyjets on Sun Jul 12, 2015 at 01:37:18 PM EST
    Of course it still is horrible that a dangerous criminal escaped. There is really nothing great about the story.

    I think it's really great (none / 0) (#13)
    by Jeralyn on Mon Jul 13, 2015 at 03:53:50 AM EST
    But I won't jump up and down or yell "Run, Chapo, Run!". I'll always like to see someone who has been trounced by the system without a trial

    I (14 mos in solitary so far) get to  reverse the tables for a while.

    I wonder where he's going --Culiacan or a flight out of the country. I bet every prisoner here and in Mexico is cheering at the TV tonight seeing this on the news.


    the citizen of mexico (5.00 / 2) (#15)
    by nyjets on Mon Jul 13, 2015 at 05:36:35 AM EST
    I doubt that the citizens of Mexico is cheering his escape. There is nothing good about him escaping.

    Well... (5.00 / 2) (#45)
    by Reconstructionist on Tue Jul 14, 2015 at 10:47:47 AM EST
    I think it's really great

    But I won't jump up and down or yell "Run, Chapo, Run!". I'll always like to see someone who has been trounced by the system without a trial
    I (14 mos in solitary so far) get to  reverse the tables for a while

       That's a rather inscrutably garbled comment, but I can certainly see how it could be construed not as suggesting the escape would provide for a good movie plot but rather that the writer is pleased the person escaped.

       This is not the first time that the writer has expressed at what can be most charitably be described as a very naïve and overly romanticized view of celebrity criminals.


    And what about all the people ... (5.00 / 1) (#46)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Wed Jul 15, 2015 at 08:30:49 AM EST
    ... that El Chapo allegedly "trounced" -- and likely much, much worse -- without a trial? Sorry, but I find nothing at all that's either romantic, heroic or entertaining about this guy which would induce me to cheer for him. Frankly, I'm appalled that he was allowed to escape.

    An estimated 110,000 people have lost their lives in Mexico over the last ten years, thanks to the resultant chaos, violence and corruption which men and women like El Chapo have inflicted on that poor country. Many are innocents whose only fault was getting caught in the crossfire. Let's please not ignore or dismiss that entirely relevant fact when we're discussing this story.



    Clearly, a much superior tunnel (none / 0) (#3)
    by Zorba on Sun Jul 12, 2015 at 02:01:28 PM EST
    to that made by the New York prison escapees.  
    Stephen King should write a new version of "Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption," and Tim Robbins needs to learn Spanish so he can star in the new film.    ;-)

    I wonder if (none / 0) (#14)
    by Jeralyn on Mon Jul 13, 2015 at 03:56:29 AM EST
    Telemundo or Unimas will bump up its new narco- novelaon El Chapo. The ratings would be sky high.

    I wouldn't be surprised. (none / 0) (#16)
    by Zorba on Mon Jul 13, 2015 at 07:02:05 AM EST
    As you said, the ratings would soar.

    LMFAO (none / 0) (#4)
    by scribe on Sun Jul 12, 2015 at 04:47:47 PM EST
    and still rooting for the crocodile.

    A MILE!

    One has to marvel at the ingenuity involved in constructing this tunnel so that it wound up not just in the right county, but at the right cell.  That's some awesome engineering.

    More info and pics from (none / 0) (#5)
    by Mr Natural on Sun Jul 12, 2015 at 05:28:28 PM EST
    Borderland Beat.

    Be careful where you wander on the Borderland Beat site.  Some of the narco-mensajes (messages sent by one group of narcos to their competition) center on extremely uncensored images of cartel cruelty that are the equal of anything ISIS has done.  When a description says "graphic," they mean it.

    i heard something (none / 0) (#7)
    by CaptHowdy on Sun Jul 12, 2015 at 07:07:56 PM EST
    about a motorcycle that ran on rails?  Wtf?

    Viva Mexico (none / 0) (#8)
    by fishcamp on Sun Jul 12, 2015 at 07:51:20 PM EST
    so much for "Life Without Parole" (none / 0) (#9)
    by thomas rogan on Sun Jul 12, 2015 at 09:06:52 PM EST
    Oh well.

    Right, since most of those (none / 0) (#10)
    by NYShooter on Sun Jul 12, 2015 at 11:10:32 PM EST
    convicted felons are give ten billion dollars to spend at the prison commissary while doing their time.

    Was it money? (none / 0) (#11)
    by BarnBabe on Mon Jul 13, 2015 at 01:14:50 AM EST
    So the head guy is sitting in prison and he tells his 'staff' Ger me out of here. So the staff either hires the guards and workers with BIG money or their lives and family are threatened with death. I'm betting on the death as a few are being held already. Not time to buy the Lear Jet for their escape no matter how much denaro was exchanged. This reminds me of when I was living in Fla and Murf the Surf use to get captured and escape from fool proof jails.

    The Murf (5.00 / 1) (#38)
    by ragebot on Mon Jul 13, 2015 at 01:11:30 PM EST
    was a very colorful guy, but I never got the feeling he paid off guards, rather he was athletic and able to crawl through already existing small holes.

    Well (none / 0) (#17)
    by Uncle Chip on Mon Jul 13, 2015 at 08:55:23 AM EST
    obviously "maximum security" in Mexico does not mean the same thing as "maximum security" north of the border.

    It wouldn't surprise me to find out that the mile long pipeline was accommodated with a 4 star Hilton Hotel/Spa/Restaurant at the halfway point to make El Chapo's escape as comfortable as possible on his way out.

    What, you mean like (none / 0) (#28)
    by Zorba on Mon Jul 13, 2015 at 12:05:10 PM EST
    The maximum security Clinton Correctional Facility in New York that David Sweat and Richard Matt escaped from recently?

    Here is a List... (none / 0) (#31)
    by ScottW714 on Mon Jul 13, 2015 at 12:32:24 PM EST
    ...of Prison escapes, notice that most of them happened in the US.   LINK

    Dillinger, much like Guzman escaped twice, the last prison was escape proof and had extra guards just for Dillinger.


    If this was a "pitch" for a movie (none / 0) (#18)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Jul 13, 2015 at 09:10:37 AM EST
    it would never get made.

    I Bet it Does... (none / 0) (#24)
    by ScottW714 on Mon Jul 13, 2015 at 10:54:44 AM EST
    ...get made into a movie.

    FWIW, there is an endless barrage of prison escape movies in which the villain is a homicidal maniac.


    Usually looking to get the guy who put him there (none / 0) (#33)
    by scribe on Mon Jul 13, 2015 at 12:35:46 PM EST
    Like the rolling co-defendant of one of the NY cons, who gave an interview from his living room about how much he feared for his life while the escapees were both on the run and how relieved he was one the one (who would have been coming for him) was shot dead.

    I Don't Believe That is the Tunnel (none / 0) (#20)
    by ScottW714 on Mon Jul 13, 2015 at 10:02:09 AM EST
    I can't find it now, but yesterday I was reading that it was 2 ft wide and 5ft tall, customized to the short Guzman's build.  It also mentioned there were ventilation pipes and conduit for lighting.  It also had tracks for for a motorcycle that hauled dirt and aided in the escape.  The pipe above fits none of the descriptions.

    Here is a picture of the end of it.


    After Guzman made his getaway from Mexico's Altiplano prison over the weekend, authorities say they made a shocking find underground: a lighted and ventilated tunnel, replete with tracks and a modified motorcycle inside.

    The tunnel, Mexican National Security Commissioner Monte Alejandro Rubido said Sunday, began with a 50 x 50 centimeter (20 x 20 inch) opening inside the shower of Guzman's cell that connected to a vertical passageway going about 10 meters (33 feet) underground. The passageway, outfitted with a ladder, led to a tunnel that was about 1.7 meters (5.5 feet) tall and more than 70 centimeters (28 inches) wide.

    It stretched for more than a mile and ended inside a half-built house.

    The prison has a wiki page (none / 0) (#27)
    by Mr Natural on Mon Jul 13, 2015 at 11:54:15 AM EST
    Centro Federal de Readaptación Social Número 1 "Altiplano"

    Its guest list is a Who's Who of Cartel leadership - all the cartels.  That would be an extremely dangerous place to be a guard, but lucrative.

    El Chapo dining out (none / 0) (#30)
    by Mr Natural on Mon Jul 13, 2015 at 12:32:14 PM EST
    After de-cloaking and descending from his Sierra Madre hideout...

    "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."

    If the New Yorker link doesn't work, here's where I found the story first.

    Abe Hisrchfeld, respected operator of parking (none / 0) (#36)
    by scribe on Mon Jul 13, 2015 at 12:38:09 PM EST
    lots, developer of NYC real estate, and partner on many projects with Donald Trump, took the entire jury of his attempted murder trial (of a different partner) out for a major party after they returned, acquitting him.