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

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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
by
Jason M. Breslow Digital Editor

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.

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