Mexican drug kingpin Joaquín Guzmán Loera, who was captured last year, stepped into the shower in his cell in the most secure wing of the most secure prison in Mexico and never came out.
They discovered a 2-by-2-foot hole in his cell through which apparently Guzmán, known as El Chapo, or Shorty, had disappeared.
The prison break had humiliated President Enrique Peña Nieto’s government, which had claimed Guzmán’s arrest and other leaders as achievements in restoring law and order.
The opening led to a tunnel, which led to a construction site in Santa Juanita in Almoloya de Juárez, west of Mexico City. The tunnel was over two feet wide and five feet high and was dug 30 feet underground. It was had been with lighting, ventilation and a motorcycle on rails probably used to transport digging material.
The government began a sweeping manhunt, calling states of emergency in surrounding areas and shutting down the airport in city of Toluca. Police and military personnel, many wearing body armor and carrying automatic weapons, stopped vehicles near the prison, Altiplano, 55 miles west of Mexico City, and tightened security along the Mexican borders. The authorities also held 30 prison employees for questioning.
Days after Guzmán’s arrest in February last year, Peña Nieto said that he would be asking his interior minister daily day Guzmán was being well guarded. “It’s the government’s responsibility to ensure that the escape that occurred a few years ago is never repeated,” he said.
A video camera watched over the prisoner’s cell, but didn’t record how Guzmán was able to tunnel out undetected.