MEXICO CITY – (AA) The most powerful drug lord in Mexico escaped from a maximum security prison, Mexican authorities said Sunday.
Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, leader of the famous Sinaloa cartel, fled through a tunnel, according to officials, who said he was last seen Saturday at approximately 9 p.m.
National Security Commissioner Monte Alejandro Rubido García said a search was underway after Guzman disappeared from security cameras.
Authorities found a hole in the shower drain of Guzman’s cell at Altiplano prison that lead to a tunnel that ended inside a building under construction.
Authorities are questioning 18 prison employees for any possible connection to the escape.
President Enrique Pena Nieto, who is on a four-day visit to France, characterized the escape as “an outrage for the Mexican government”.
In a video broadcast from the Paris, Pena Nieto said he was “aghast” by the escape but said he would not shorten his French tour.
Guzman, head of the Sinaloa Cartel,
was first arrested in 1993 under drug-trafficking charges.
He escaped from the Puente Grande jail in 2001, while serving a 20-year sentence.
He was caught a second time in February 2014 in Mazatlan, in the state of Sinaloa and was serving time in Altiplano.
The government of the U.S. had asked for that Guzman be extradited for crimes in the U.S. but Mexican authorities denied the request, insisting that Guzman could not escape again.
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