'El Chapo' prison break: Mexico offers $3.8m reward

MEXICO CITY - Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman's whereabouts are anyone's guess. And the clock is ticking.

The leader of the Sinaloa cartel stepped into a shower at the maximum security prison in Almoloya de Juárez, crawled through a hole and vanished through a mile-long tunnel apparently built just for him.

That was Saturday night.

By early Tuesday morning -- despite a $3.8 million reward -- there was still no sign of Guzman.

"The first 72 hours (after the escape) are extraordinarily important here," said Mike Braun, a former chief of operations for the Drug Enforcement Administration who spent years tracking and gathering evidence on Guzman.

"And if they don't get their hands on him then, I don't know, we may never see this guy again."

On Monday night, the the country's attorney general announced a reward of up to 60 million pesos ($3.8 million) for information leading to Guzman's capture.

She also released what she said was a recent photograph of the cartel kingpin. The image shows Guzman with a shaved head and face -- and without the trademark mustache he sported when authorities nabbed him last year.

Authorities have questioned 34 people in connection with the escape. And the prison director and other prison officials have been fired.

Mexican Interior Minister Miguel Ángel Osorio Chong said Monday it was likely prison workers played a role.

Guzman, he said, was inside a cell with 24-hour hour closed circuit video surveillance and a bracelet that monitored his every move. The video system, he said, had two blind spots that Guzman exploited. And he left the bracelet behind before he crawled into the tunnel and made his getaway.

Post a comment

Readers are kindly requested to refrain from using abusive, vulgar, racist, tribalistic, sexist, discriminatory and hurtful language when posting their comments on the Daily News website.
Those who transgress this civilised etiquette will be barred from contributing to our online discussions.
- Editor

Your email address will not be shared.