I’ve had a running thesis here at this blog that Shorty Guzman runs much of Mexico, and the occasional bust of a drug kingpin is invariably a rival of Guzman. Such moves serve to appease U.S. calls for ‘action’ and also to consolidate Guzman’s $1 billion+ reign on Mexico’s brutal narco trade.
What the sheer power of virtually unlimited resources can do (Forbes notes that Guzman is a billionaire), in terms of corruptive influence, surveillance of your enemies (including the state), and purchasing anything you want is… well, Cormac McCarthy hinted at it in No Country For Old Men and The Counselor.
My thesis was momentarily disproven when, in early 2014, Guzman was captured. Oh well, I thought, I guess Guzman is not all powerful, after all.
Suddenly, methinx my thesis still has some life to it:
MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Mexico’s most notorious drug lord, Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, broke out of a high security prison on Saturday night for the second time, escaping in a tunnel built right under his cell, and heaping embarrassment on President Enrique Pena Nieto.
The kingpin snuck out of the prison through a subterranean tunnel more than 1.5 km (1 mile) long that ended in a building site in the local town, National Security Commissioner Monte Alejandro Rubido told a news conference on Sunday.
Guzman, who had bribed his way out of prison during a previous escape in 2001, was seen on video entering his shower area at 8.52 p.m. on Saturday (9.52 p.m. ET), then disappeared, the National Security Commission (CNS) said.
Wanted by U.S. prosecutors and once featured in the Forbes list of billionaires, Guzman was gone by the time guards entered his cell in Altiplano prison in central Mexico, the CNS said…
Beneath a 50 cm (20 inch) by 50 cm hole in the cell’s shower area, guards found a ladder descending some 10 meters (32 feet) into the tunnel, which was about 1.7 meters (5.6 feet) high and 70-80 centimeters (28-31 inches) wide.
Prison workers were quickly detained over the escape.
Rubido said 18 officials from the penitentiary had been taken in for interrogation at the unit specializing in organized crime at the Attorney General’s office…
Inside the passage used for Guzman’s latest escape, guards found a motor bike mounted on rails probably used to cart off soil, Rubido said, as well as equipment to aerate the tunnel.
He did not comment on why authorities had apparently failed to notice a long tunnel being built under the prison.
In 2001, Guzman paid guards to help him slip out of the high security Puente Grande prison near the city of Guadalajara following a previous arrest in 1993. After eluding capture for 13 years, Guzman was arrested in February 2014 in his home state of Sinaloa.