Four Mexican officials charged over drug lord's jailbreak

Number of officials charged over jailbreak of Mexican drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman rises

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Mexican Marines conduct a search operation to locate drug lord Joaquin ''El Chapo'' Guzman, at the neighbourhood where he was detained in 2014, in Mazatlan, Mexico, July 15, 2015

Four public officials have been charged for their suspected roles in the jailbreak of Mexican drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, the country's federal courts system said on Monday, bringing the total number of officials charged in his escape to seven.

Guzman broke out of a maximum-security prison in central Mexico in July, escaping in a tunnel built right into his cell. The incident was a humiliating blow to Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto.

Two members of Mexico's intelligence agency, CISEN, and two guards at the Altiplano prison from where Guzman escaped, have been charged with helping a prisoner escape, the federal courts board said in a statement.

According to the charges, the four officials did not activate mechanisms to alert others of Guzman's escape, despite the fact all the technological systems needed to do so were working normally.

Three other officials were previously charged in Guzman's escape. Last month, the acting head of the US Drug Enforcement Administration said he thought Guzman was still in Mexico, adding he was "not terribly surprised" to find out he had broken out of prison.

Guzman also escaped from prison in 2001 and was only recaptured last year.