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Six key people, who allegedly helped fugitive drug cartel leader Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman escape from jail in July, have been arrested in Mexico.

Among those detained is El Chapo Guzman’s brother-in-law and one of the two pilots who flew Guzman to his home state.

Mexico’s attorney general said a member of Guzman’s legal team, described as the mastermind, was also arrested.

El Chapo Guzman, aka Shorty, head of the Sinaloa cartel, escaped from a high-security prison through a specially dug tunnel.

Attorney General Arely Gomez told reporters on October 21 that the suspected mastermind of the escape had repeatedly entered Altiplano prison to visit El Chapo Guzman and update him on the operation’s progress.

She also said El Chapo Guzman’s brother-in-law had supervised the construction of the mile-long escape tunnel and organized transport.El Chapo Guzman escape arrests

“Today we are able to affirm that the group responsible for planning, organizing and carrying out the escape from outside the prison has been broken up,” Arely Gomez said, without naming the suspects.

The development comes days after officials revealed the drugs lord had suffered face and leg injuries when he narrowly evaded a police operation to recapture him in north-west Mexico earlier this month.

Arely Gomez confirmed on October 21 that after his escape, El Chapo Guzman traveled by land to the city of Queretaro, from where he caught a small plane to his home state of Sinaloa.

The drug lord’s escape was an embarrassment for Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto, who El Chapo Guzman taunted on Twitter after the event.

Several prison officials have already been arrested under suspicion of giving inside help to El Chapo Guzman, who fled through a tunnel that ran one mile from under a shower in his cell to outside the prison.

He was first arrested in Guatemala in 1993 and spent nearly a decade in another maximum-security Mexican jail before escaping, reportedly in a laundry basket.

El Chapo Guzman was on the run for 13 years before being held again in 2014 after a series of high-profile arrests of associates and covert surveillance by the US authorities.


Further details of the escape of Mexico’s most infamous drug lord, Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, aka Shorty, have been shown in a new video broadcast by Mexican TV station Televisa.

The leaked footage shows that 26 minutes passed between El Chapo Guzman’s escape from his cell through a tunnel in the shower and guards noticing he was gone.

The hapless guard first on the scene reports a “big” hole – but does not clarify that the prisoner is missing.

El Chapo Guzman has been on the run since his jailbreak on July 11.

The CCTV footage is a longer version of that shown by the government shortly after El Chapo Guzman’s escape and has audio – which the one shown by government officials did not.

It reveals the reaction of the guards as they reach the cell and find no sign of the inmate – and a large hole in the floor of the shower area.

The guard, who is standing just outside the cell, repeatedly calls “Guzman? Guzman?” and receives no answer.

He then alerts his commander, telling him that there is “a hole in the shower drain”.

Asked by his commander how big, the guard says: “Big, boss, big.”

It is only then that the commanding officer says: “Listen, and the inmate is not there?”

“No, boss, he’s not,” the guard replies.El Chapo Guzman escape CCTV

Televisa showed side-by-side shots of the CCTV footage from Shorty Guzman’s cell and from the control centre where guards monitored the prisoners.

Prior to his escape, the sound of loud hammering can be heard and El Chapo Guzman is seen turning up the volume of his TV.

Despite the sound of drilling that could be heard underneath the noise from El Chapo Guzman’s TV, the guards monitoring the screens seem unmoved.

However, it is not clear what the guards could see on their individual monitors.

The staff in the monitoring centre also apparently fail to notice the moment Shorty Guzman disappeared behind a small wall dividing the shower from the rest of his cell.

He had previously apparently used the toilet, inspected the shower area, then put his shoes on.

El Chapo Guzman’s escape from the maximum-security Altiplano jail was a huge embarrassment to the government of President Enrique Pena Nieto.

Not only was it the second time that El Chapo Guzman had broken out of a top security jail, it came just months after the then-attorney general said Guzman did not pose a flight risk.

Dozens of people have been arrested in connection with the escape, including many guards and the prison’s director.

On October 14, the governor of north-western Sinaloa state said extra soldiers had been deployed to the border region with Durango state to search for the fugitive drug lord.

Joaquin Guzman was born in Sinaloa and is the leader of the powerful cartel of the same name which has smuggled huge amounts of drugs from South and Central America to the US.

The international crime gang is also engaged in myriad other criminal activities such as money laundering and extortion, and has been blamed for countless murders.


According to Mexican authorities, drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, aka “Shorty”, used an elaborate tunnel to break out of a maximum security prison.

El Chapo Guzman’s escape route from Altiplano jail was more than 1 mile long and had ventilation and stairs, the national security commissioner said.

Eighteen guards are being questioned.

Joaquin Guzman was last seen in the showers of the jail on July 11. It was the second time he had escaped from a top security prison.

In 2001, El Chapo Guzman broke out by hiding in a laundry basket after bribing prison officials.

He had been serving a sentence of more than 20 years after being arrested in Guatemala in 1993.

His recapture in 2014 was hailed as a victory for Mexico’s government.El Chapo Guzman jailbreak

Officials say that El Chapo Guzman’s escape was discovered when officers checked his cell in the jail, which is near the capital, Mexico City.

They found a hole around 32ft deep with a ladder, which led to the tunnel, with lighting, ventilation and stairs.

It came to an end at a construction site outside the prison walls, security commissioner Monte Alejandro Rubido said at a news conference.

A motorcycle was also discovered, which police believe was used to transport tools and remove earth from the space.

A manhunt has been launched and flights suspended at a nearby Toluca airport.

Mexico’s President Enrique Pena Nieto has ordered a full investigation to establish whether any officials helped Joaquin Guzman escape.

“I was profoundly shocked by the news. This is an affront to the Mexican state,” he said.

El Chapo Guzman’s wealth is estimated at $1 billion.

His rise to head of the Sinaloa cartel made him the world’s most wanted drug trafficker. It smuggles huge amounts of cocaine, marijuana and methamphetamine into the US.

Before his recapture in 2014, the US state department had offered a reward of up to $5 million for information leading to his arrest.

Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch issued a statement saying the US government shared Mexico’s concern regarding the escape of El Chapo Guzman.

“In addition to his crimes in Mexico, he faces multiple drug trafficking and organized crime charges in the United States,” she said.

Loretta E. Lynch said the US government is ready to co-operate with Mexico to help recapture El Chapo Guzman.