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Tunnel network couldn't save 'el Chapo' from being brought to justice

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
2/25/2014 (3 years ago)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Feared crime lord Joaquin Guzman had elaborate system of underground tunnels to facilitate escape

The world's Most Wanted Drug Lord, Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman nabbed at a beachside resort, tried to escape through an elaborate systems of tunnels. Intricate in scope, they failed to save him from the marines who caught him last week in a modest, $1,200-a-month condominium.

Fifty-six-year-old Joaquin Guzman was then marched outside and taken by helicopter to a maximum-security prison in Almoloya de Juarez, outside Mexico City. It's unclear whether Guzman will be tried in the U.S. or Mexico.

Fifty-six-year-old Joaquin Guzman was then marched outside and taken by helicopter to a maximum-security prison in Almoloya de Juarez, outside Mexico City. It's unclear whether Guzman will be tried in the U.S. or Mexico.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
2/25/2014 (3 years ago)

Published in Americas

Keywords: El Chapo, Joaquin Guzman, tunnels, capture


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Guzman, whose nickname means "Shorty," slipped out of the home through a secret door beneath a bathtub at his home at Culiacan.

The drug lord went to great lengths to ensure he could escape, and the tunnels worked - at first.

The drug lord went to great lengths to ensure he could escape, and the tunnels worked - at first.


Guzman climbed down a corrugated steel ladder into a network of tunnels and sewer canals that connect to at least seven other houses in Culiacan, officials said.

This beautiful print will look great in any home!

Way out: The drug lord went to great lengths to ensure he could escape, and the tunnels worked - at

Way out: The drug lord went to great lengths to ensure he could escape, and the tunnels worked - at first.


Photographs show the rather unremarkable looking houses. At each residence, however, the Mexican military found the same thing: steel reinforced doors and an escape hatch below the bathtubs.

Each of the trapdoors led to a series of foul, smelly interconnected tunnels in the city's drainage system.

One reporter who toured one of the tunnels had to dismount into a canal and stoop to enter the drain pipe, which was filled with water and mud and smelled of sewage. About 2,300 feet in, a trap door was open, revealing a newly constructed tunnel.

Guzman escaped firstly through an open steel reinforced door leading to a series of interconnected t

Guzman escaped firstly through an open steel reinforced door leading to a series of interconnected tunnels in the city's drainage system in the city of Culiacan. The above picture shows one of about seven of these doors.


Lined with wood panels like a mountain cabin, the passage had lighting and air conditioning. At the end of the tunnel was a blue ladder attached to the wall that led to another of the houses Guzman used as a hideout.

Information from wiretaps in addition to conversations with Guzman's bodyguards, who were also arrested in a series of raids from February 13, marines, swarmed the house of Guzman's ex-wife.

The tunnels in the city

The tunnels in the city's drainage system link seven homes, including this one.


They struggled to batter down the steel-reinforced door, which gave the cartel boss the time he needed to flee. Guzman had managed a quick getaway before the military could reach him.

U.S. intelligence came to the fore and knew that Guzman had been spending time at the beachside resort of Mazatlan. Intelligence was aware of his favorite hangouts there.

Officials arrested one of Guzman

Officials arrested one of Guzman's top aides a day after he fled and the aide told investigators that he picked up Guzman from a drainage pipe and helped him flee. This photo shows another home linked by tunnels.


As Guzman traveled south to Mazatlan, he left behind grenades, rifles, ballistic vests and armored cars. He was simply unable to bring them along due to a team of U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agents hot on his trail.

The DEA officers set up a base of operations with Mexican marines in the city. Guzman's reign came to an end Saturday morning without a shot being fired.

Marines closed the beachside road in front of the Miramar condominiums. Smashing down the door of the condo, they seized Guzman at 6:40 a.m. without further incident.

"He didn't put up any resistance," Mike Vigil, a retired senior DEA official briefed on the arrest told The Washington Post. "He was physically tired from the stress of being hunted."

The 56-year-old Guzman was then marched outside and taken by helicopter to a maximum-security prison in Almoloya de Juarez, outside Mexico City. It's unclear whether Guzman will be tried in the U.S. or Mexico.

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