It seems a third escape from prison is not going to be on the cards for infamous drug trafficker Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán anytime soon. The kingpin has been placed in a newly rebooted high security prison block at El Altiplano, the same institution from which he escaped six months ago.
The new block has under floor steel enforcement, electronic locks, tanks, cameras and soldiers guarding it around the clock, according to BBC Mundo.
“There is an elite team personally observing him (Guzmán) 24-hours-a-day with cameras,” said government spokesman Eduardo Sanchez.
“There are no longer blind spots existing within the cells,” he added.
Sanchez said that in addition to significantly increasing the number of cameras inside the prison, “El Chapo” is constantly changing cell without a set pattern. The drug lord could spend hours or days in each cell and has has already been moved around eight times since he was recaptured.
In addition to the arrest of a dozen prison officials, President Peña Nieto’s Government added new security cameras and metal bars placed on the floor of the prison to prevent the construction of new tunnels.
Armored vehicles and light tanks will stand guard outside the prison, while security forces set up checkpoints with sandbags at the prison gates.
BBC’s Mexico correspondent, Alberto Najar, said his contact with lawyers and family members will be restricted and that he will not have access to television.
For how long?
But what of the drug baron’s future?
How long will the boss of the notorious Sinaloa cartel be in prison?
Some question whether Guzmán will try to star in another spectacular escape or could soon face extradition to a U.S. jail.
Mexican media and international agencies reported that the Mexican Attorney General’s Office will work as quickly as possible for a successful extradition, which could take place by mid-year. He faces charges in six U.S. states.
El Chapo is considered public enemy number one in the city of Chicago and the largest introducer of illicit drugs into U.S. territory.
In addition, his criminal organization is accused of causing thousands of deaths from drug-related violence.
It is still not known what El Chapo’s legal strategy will be.
Just as he counts on an authentic army of armed men, Joaquin Guzmán also counts on a gang of high profile lawyers.
The U.S. attorney general Loretta Lynch said Friday, January 8, that the drug lord will have to answer for his crimes and confirmed that an earlier extradition request remains
Out of luck
In his July escape, worthy of a Hollywood movie, Guzmán’s accomplices seemingly obtained the structural plans for Altiplano prison, constructing a tunnel equipped with lighting and a rail system as well as a motorcycle, during his 17 month imprisonment. The underground structure led to a house some 1.5 kilometers away and subsequent freedom.
But on Friday, his good luck ran out as he and his security chief were intercepted by members of the federal police while fleeing in a stolen car, after evading authorities by escaping through the drainage network of the city of Los Mochis, in the state of Sinaloa.