Even behind bars, notorious billionaire kingpin Chapo Guzman is still living the good life. Following El Chapo’s recent capture, the Sinaloa Cartel boss has received preferential treatment from his newest federal prison lockup in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico –just outside the United States border.
On May 7, Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman was transferred from the reputedly harsh Altiplano prison to his current facility, some 15 minutes away from El Paso, Texas. Luckily for Mexico’s second-most-powerful man, officials in charge of Ceferoso prison have removed and reassigned six rival inmates of “El Chapo.”
These inmates –whose names and location have been withheld– are known members of the Juarez Cartel. Furthermore, officials at Ceferoso have allotted a massive 40 cellblock specifically for Guzman. Penitentiary spokesmen claim the 40-cell measure is strictly preventative in case Chapo Guzman opts for another prison break.
— Business Insider (@businessinsider) May 14, 2016
And what global controversy El Chapo’s previous escapes have generated. Proclaimed by the United States Department of the Treasury as “the most powerful drug trafficker in the world,” El Chapo Guzman has gained worldwide fame and celebrity with his exorbitant wealth and pension for evading the penitentiary.
The Business Insider reports Mexican government officials transferred Chapo Guzman in expedient fashion due to grounded fears concerning another escape attempt. While incarcerated at Altiplano prison, just outside of Mexico City, a power outage on Guzman’s wing prompted officials to authorize a quick transfer.
With two prior escapes, El Chapo garnered the nickname “master of the tunnel.” Pursuant to finding his way from imprisonment in 2001 and 2015, El Daily Post editor Alejandro Hope surmised the situation leading to Chapo Guzman’s transfer with the following quote.
“Even if it is likely El Chapo had nothing to do with the power outage, that might have been enough for the government to order his transfer to another prison. Better safe than sorry.”
Certainly, the Mexican government was sorry after Guzman’s 2001 break from Puente Grande prison. Conflicting accounts of Guzman’s escape claim he either hid in a dirty clothes hamper or simply walked out of the jail dressed as a police officer. However the method, it resulted in 13 years of prolific freedom for El Chapo.
During that time, Guzman was able to resume his profitable kingpin activities, shipping more illegal drugs across the United States border than any previous drug trafficker. From 2009 to 2011 Forbes magazine ranked El Chapo as one of the most powerful people in the world. Guzman was listed 41st, 60th, and 55th on the coveted list during that span.
In 2011, Chapo was named Mexico’s 10th wealthiest man, with a net worth approaching $1 billion.
Lauded as “the godfather of the drug world” and “biggest drug lord of all time,” El Chapo Guzman has surpassed legendary drug-world figures such as Pablo Escobar.
As Chapo Guzman sits in his cell, surrounded by 39 empty prison enclosings, there is strong rumor Chapo will eventually be extradited to the United States, per request of his defense team.
If that comes to fruition, El Chapo Guzman’s celebrity and maximum security lockup will be as fervid as ever.
[AP Photo/Eduardo Verdugo]