El Chapo, the most notorious drug kingpin of the modern era, was recently recaptured and sentenced to life behind bars yet again. Yet, if a disturbing video recently uncovered by police is to be believed, he will be able to make another escape in 2017 whenever he wants to.
The New York Times reports that Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman is being held at the Metropolitan Correctional Center, a prison located in Manhattan that it claims is more secure and less hospitable than Guantanamo Bay. He had to be extradited from Mexico to the U.S. just to be put in one of the secure American federal prisons, but that is mainly because he has already broken out of Mexican prisons several times in the past. In 2001, he escaped a high-security prison by hiding in a load of laundry, and he escaped again in 2015 by digging a secret tunnel underground.
Regardless of where someone as vastly influential and widely feared as El Chapo is being held, though, there are always going to be an army of underlings eager to provide for him a means of escape. In this case, the group leading up that charge is a group of prisoners at the federal lockdown in Taft, California.
They recently released to the news a terrifying video telling the authorities and the public that, with the help of all the people dedicated to helping him, El Chapo will indeed be easily able to escape easily from even the most secure of American prisons.
The message in the video is delivered by a prisoner with sunglasses hiding his eyes and a scarf wrapped around his face. It is spoken in Spanish, and it is fairly unnerving.
According to the Los Angeles Times, the prisoner notifies viewers that El Chapo has 3,500 “soldiers” waiting to aid him in an escape during 2017. All he needs to do is say the word, the man claims, and he will be “removed” from the prison immediately.
This might sound preposterous on the surface — how can anyone, even someone with as many loyal followers as El Chapo, simply be “removed” from the most secure prison in the United States in 2017? Well, the man in the video explains, the U.S. prison system can be bought, and that is exactly what El Chapo’s Sinaloa cartel plans to do to aid their leader in his escape.
He went on to say that at the facility where he and the other prisoners are being held, the people in charge are already being paid to go easy on the prisoners.
“In this prison, I run things,” he says in Spanish, implying that the same kind of deal can be arranged at any prison with enough money. “Here, everything is controlled.”
“Everything is ready for you. What you say is the law.”
Not only will El Chapo be able to escape anytime he wants to, the video warned, but he will be given anything he wants during his time in prison. The speaker said it is not difficult to smuggle in drugs, cell phones, or even prostitutes when the guards are being paid to look the other way.
The video really stresses the point that this is not a joke or a bluff. To emphasize this, the camera is pointed briefly at the prison yard outside the window and the surrounding group of prison cells. The leader of the prisoners also says several times that the message in the video is to be taken seriously, unlike the “messing around by the fools on Facebook.”
Is this promise of a 2017 El Chapo escape plan really to be taken as seriously as the video would have us believe, or is it just an intimidation tactic with no real goods to back it up?
[Featured Image by Rebecca Blackwell/AP Images]