Despite Mexico's embarrassment over allowing Mexican drug lord Joaquin Guzman to escape from a maximum security prison, officials on Tuesday made good on a promise to release surveillance video of El Chapo's escape. As you watch it, you can't help but think how brazen the drug lord acted in the moments leading up to his escape. Guzman, aka "El Chapo" broke out of Altiplano prison in Mexico on Saturday, and this isn't the first time the head of the Sinaloa Cartel has escaped from prison. Guzman evaded authorities for 13 years after breaking out a different federal facility in 2001, so this video could be the last look we have of the dangerous cartel leader for some time.
Guzman was under 24-hour surveillance in his "special treatment" unit, but officials previously acknowledged the camera angles did not cover the entire prison's cell. There were two blind spots intended to give prisoners privacy while they use the bathroom. And, as it turns out, that area was exactly where the tunnel's entrance began.
In the video, Guzman paces back and forth from his bed to the far corner of his cell where his shower and toilet are. Wearing all his clothes, he hovers around the latrine and repeatedly ducks down, where he's largely blocked from the camera's view because of the shower's short wall. Some seconds later, Guzman emerges from behind the wall to sit on his bed and adjust something around his feet, which may have possibly been when he removed his ankle bracelet. Then, without hesitation, Guzman stands, returns to the shower area, bends down out of view, and never comes back up.
Another video released by authorities Tuesday gave the first detailed look at the elaborate man-made passageway Guzman used in his prison break. The video shows Guzman escaped through a 20-by-20-inch hole dug from the bottom of his shower. He then entered a narrow tunnel outfitted with electric lights, ventilation, and a custom motorcycle that ran on tracks from the prison to a half-built house a mile away.
Why no one noticed he was missing from his cell until Sunday morning is beyond me, since you'd assume there'd be both guard monitoring the cameras as well as the cells in person. Officials said Guzman could not have escaped without some help from the inside, and the national prisons director and head of Altiplano prison were fired over the debacle Monday night. The Mexican government is currently offering a $4 million reward for Guzman's capture.