Mexican drug kingpin Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman has evaded authorities once again, this time from his hometown village, where he was believed to have been hiding since his successful jail break in July.
Several Mexican naval Special Forces were reportedly deployed in the mountainous region of Sinaloa to surround La Tuna, in the municipality of Badiguatro, after receiving intel that the fugitive, El Chapo, was hiding there. Mexican naval troops arrived at Badiguatro on Saturday, but they only enforced a strict curfew on Monday, which prevented residents from leaving and entering La Tuna, according to RioDoce.
Reports claim that a number of civilians were killed during the raid. However, the number of deaths has not yet been specified.
— Ríodoce (@Riodoce_mx) December 18, 2015
El Chapo’s mother, Consuelo Loera, his brother Aureliano, and other relatives live in La Tuna, the town where he was born and raised.
The armed Mexican marines took hold of the ranch owned by the drug lord’s brother, but there was no trace of the fugitive. Mobile phones, medicines, and two-way radios were seized during the siege. No arrest was made during the manhunt, as the notorious drug leader was rescued by his men, local reports claimed.
El Chapo was said to have been hiding in that area since his last encounter with authorities in October, when he was pursued by armed troops. At the time, officials said they had almost captured Guzman when they saw him with a young girl, but they refrained from arresting him. Afterwards, military reports claimed they pursued the fugitive when they spotted him alone, but El Chapo escaped after falling off a small cliff, injuring his leg and face in the process. Pursuers said El Chapo was rescued by his cohorts and stayed in Sinaloa, his stronghold, where he was said to be protected by the residents and local officials.
— Alvaro Valderrama (@AlValderramaCNN) October 21, 2015
The Mexican drug syndicate leader had escaped authorities many times through his extensive connections and the use of elaborate underground passages, which he and his team dug up from his prison cell.
In July, the drug cartel leader successfully escaped from jail using a complex tunnel dug under his maximum-security prison cell in Altiplano, Mexico. This led to the arrest of several jail officials who had served as accessories to his grand escape.
Video Footage of El Chapo’s Escape from Altiplano Prison
The opening of the tunnel has a square shape that measures about 20 inches. Reportedly, El Chapo used the hole to enter a 4,921-foot tunnel. The channel was well-designed, complete with all the necessary equipment. Fluorescent lights were found hanging in the tunnel to make navigation easier for people passing through. There were PVC pipes installed in the tunnel, which served as ventilation ducts. Metal tracks, which allowed a makeshift underground motorbike to be driven from one end of the passageway to the other, had been laid on the ground.
Check Out the Tunnel That El Chapo Used to Escape Maximum Security Prison
A small farm house in a field served as the exit point of the elaborate passageway, where an escape vehicle was waiting for him. Inside the house were the tools and machineries used to build his escape tunnel.
His group, the Sinaloa drug syndicate, is known for building sophisticated “supertunnels” that, according to federal agents, cost millions of dollars to build. Some high-end tunnels have elevators, ventilation channels, and disguised entry and exit points. The Sinaloa drug cartel constructed the first cross-border narcotunnel in 1989. Authorities have discovered more than 180 illegal cross-border passages, many of which are used in the elaborate trade of narcotics around the country.
Last year, El Chapo was able to get away from the pursuit of Mexican marines in Culiacán by using a network of subterranean passageways which connected seven houses. These tunnels had been used by criminals and guerillas for many years.
[Image via YouTube]