Mexican judge jails prison officers in Guzman case

Mexican judge jails three prison officers for helping drug lord Joaquin 'El Chapo' Guzman’s escape

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Updated Jul 28, 2015

Three Mexican prison officers are facing charges for assisting drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman in his prison break.

While four other prison guards were released from custody, prosecutors said they have the burden of proof for three other officers proving their connection with Guzman’s escape.

The head of the Sinaloa cartel, Joaquin Guzman, escaped on July 11 through a one-mile tunnel from his cell. Mexico is offering $3.8 million for the notorious drug lord. 

One of the prison officers jailed was in charge of monitoring the prison and the other two were guards.

The officer who was in charge of the surveillance at the time was said to have given a conflicting testimony, while the other two officers did not answer their phone at the time of Guzman’s escape.

The Mexican government says that the tunnel could have only been built with the collaboration of prison guards and officials, as it was pinned to a blind spot in the cell, suggesting that the building’s plan was leaked to Guzman’s affiliates.

The incident was a huge disappointment for the country’s President, Enrique Pena Nieto, who was devastated with the level of corruption in the public sector.

The Mexican government had dismissed the head of the prison following the escape,interrogated 30 prison officials and arrested seven.

Guzman, who was wearing a monitoring bracelet was said to have escaped despite the 24-hour surveillance.

Guzman, a billionaire, was first captured in Guatemala in 1993 and extradited to Mexico. He was serving a 20-year sentence for murder and trafficking when he escaped in 2001 with the help of prison guards, from Puente Grande, a maximum security prison in the state of Jalisco.

He was recaptured in February 2014 in Mazatlan, a Pacific resort in the Sinaloa state.

On the DEA’s most wanted list, Guzman faces multiple federal drug trafficking indictments in the United States.

TRTWorld and agencies