Drug boss ‘El Chapo’ is in­jured while elud­ing author­i­ties, Mex­ico says

The Washington Post Sunday - - THE WORLD - BY E. ED­UARDO CASTILLO — As­so­ci­ated Press

mex­ico city — The world’s most wanted drug boss, Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán, nar­rowly evaded se­cu­rity forces search­ing for him in north­west Mex­ico in re­cent days, sus­tain­ing in­juries to his face and leg, Mex­i­can of­fi­cials said.

Guzmán, the head of the Si­naloa drug car­tel, es­caped from his max­i­mum-se­cu­rity pri­son cell in July through a spe­cially dug tun­nel, caus­ing a ma­jor em­bar­rass­ment for Mex­i­can Pres­i­dent En­rique Peña Ni­eto.

“It’s im­por­tant to clar­ify that th­ese in­juries were not a prod­uct of a di­rect clash,” a gov­ern­ment state­ment re­leased Fri­day said, with­out giv­ing fur­ther in­for­ma­tion.

A Mex­i­can of­fi­cial said Satur­day that Guzmán es­caped to a moun­tain­ous re­gion of his home state of Si­naloa af­ter his July 11 pri­son break.

Based on this in­for­ma­tion, the search for Guzmán has fo­cused in re­cent weeks on a rugged area that stretches from Si­naloa into neigh­bor­ing Du­rango state, part of Mex­ico’s famed “Golden Tri­an­gle” drug-pro­duc­ing re­gion that is con­sid­ered Guzmán’s home turf, said the of­fi­cial, who spoke on the con­di­tion of anonymity be­cause the in­ves­ti­ga­tion is on­go­ing.

Guzmán es­caped through a so­phis­ti­cated tun­nel that opened in the floor of his cell’s shower. A sur­veil­lance video shows him walk­ing to the shower — where there was a blind spot in the se­cu­rity cam­era’s view — crouch­ing and then van­ish­ing.

Mex­ico has is­sued ar­rest war­rants for 23 former of­fi­cials, guards or po­lice of­fi­cers who are ac­cused of par­tic­i­pat­ing in his es­cape.

The of­fi­cial said that af­ter Guzmán es­caped from the pri­son, he was taken to the cen­tral state of Quere­taro. From there, he was flown on a small plane to the Si­naloan moun­tains, the of­fi­cial said. Sev­eral days ago, Mex­i­can At­tor­ney Gen­eral Arely Gómez told the na­tion’s congress that author­i­ties had cap­tured a pi­lot who aided Guzmán af­ter his es­cape.

Guzmán pre­vi­ously es­caped from an­other max­i­mum-se­cu­rity pri­son in 2001. His most re­cent es­cape strained re­la­tions with Wash­ing­ton, which had for­mally re­quested the drug king­pin’s ex­tra­di­tion just weeks ear­lier.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.