Four Mexican Prison Workers Charged in the Escape of “El Chapo”


In this June 10, 1993 file photo, Joaquin Guzman Loera, alias "El Chapo Guzman," is shown to the press after his arrest at the high security prison of Almoloya de Juarez, outskirts of Mexico City. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes, file)

September 8, 2015

Suspicion runs deep in Mexico when it comes to the prison escape this summer of Joaquín Guzmán Loera, the drug kingpin known as “El Chapo” (or “Shorty”). In July, for example, a poll by the newspaper Reforma found that a whopping 88 percent of Mexicans believed Guzman’s escape — his second since 2001 — was an inside job.

On Monday, a Mexican court appeared to add weight to those suspicions, charging four criminal justice officials for their alleged roles in Guzman’s breakout from the maximum security Altiplano prison on July 12.

According to a federal judge in the central state of Toluca, the four security workers failed to follow “protocols and norms” by not sounding the alarm to superiors or other prison officials once Guzman had escaped. Two of those charged are members of Mexico’s secret service who were based at the prison at the time. The other two had been tasked with monitoring the video feed inside of Guzman’s cell.

Three others have already been charged in relation to the escape, though authorities appear no closer to finding Guzman, whose Sinaloa cartel is not only Mexico’s largest trafficker of cocaine, heroin and marijuana, but is also behind much of the violence that by some estimates, accounts for as much as 55 percent of all homicides in the country.

But speculation about his whereabouts took a new turn last week, when his son tweeted a photo with a caption that read, “August here, you already know with whom.”

The image attached to the message appeared to show a portion of his father’s face, with Costa Rica tagged as the image’s location. Left unclear is whether the location was set deliberately to serve as a decoy, or whether the man in the image was actually even his father.

The image is not the first alleged Guzman sighting, which means that for now, it remains as little more than just a clue.

Related film: Drug Lord: The Legend of Shorty

Two filmmakers set out to interview “El Chapo” Guzman, leader of one of the biggest drug cartels.

Jason M. Breslow

Jason M. Breslow, Former Digital Editor



In order to foster a civil and literate discussion that respects all participants, FRONTLINE has the following guidelines for commentary. By submitting comments here, you are consenting to these rules:

Readers' comments that include profanity, obscenity, personal attacks, harassment, or are defamatory, sexist, racist, violate a third party's right to privacy, or are otherwise inappropriate, will be removed. Entries that are unsigned or are "signed" by someone other than the actual author will be removed. We reserve the right to not post comments that are more than 400 words. We will take steps to block users who repeatedly violate our commenting rules, terms of use, or privacy policies. You are fully responsible for your comments.

blog comments powered by Disqus

More Stories

What’s the Status of Healthcare for Women in Afghanistan Under the Taliban?
Before the Taliban took control of Afghanistan in August 2021, many women and girls were already struggling to receive adequate healthcare. A year later, the situation has worsened, sources told FRONTLINE.
August 9, 2022
‘Say to the Whole World, They Don’t Let Us Talk’: Women Held for ‘Immoral Behavior’ at a Taliban Prison Speak Out
In the FRONTLINE documentary ‘Afghanistan Undercover,’ Ramita Navai reports the Taliban has jailed women for ‘immoral behavior’ and held them without trial. Watch an excerpt.
August 9, 2022
The Disconnect: Power, Politics and the Texas Blackout
In February 2021, days-long blackouts in Texas left millions shivering in the dark. Hundreds died. How has the Texas grid changed since then? And how has it changed how people think?
August 4, 2022
'You Feel Safe One Second and Then Boom': A Conversation With the Filmmakers of 'Ukraine: Life Under Russia's Attack'
The filmmakers of "Ukraine: Life Under Russia's Attack" spoke about documenting life under bombardment and why they felt it was important to bring this story to an American audience.
August 2, 2022