The Rise and Fall of the Tunnel Rat King

Guzmán’s Underground Underworld was his Undoing

Where we’re going we don’t need roads.
We had the bathroom redecorated with white tile, a 600 meter tunnel to the sewer, and there’s also a full shower and bath.

Escape Tunnels Are Kinda My Thing, Baby

Like some demented Bond villain, el Chapo fell hard for escape tunnels. Every house he owned ended up with some variety of tunnel. He had so many dug, they became his signature move.

Sink, squat toilet, cold water shower, and hole to freedom.

Undisputed World Tunnel Champion, Prison Escape Division

We know Guzman has a thing for tunnels. He used them to run his business, he used them to evade capture, and he used them to escape jail. This last one was a masterpiece of illicit tunnel art. It was a mile long, had ventilation, lighting, and a motorbike powered light rail. It ran from a property within sight of the prison walls to exactly underneath Guzman’s shower, behind the modesty wall built to give him some privacy. That is extremely precise engineering work.

I knew I shoulda taken that left at Albuquerque

Executives Gone Wild

Guzman was on the loose, shuttling around between his various safe houses in his native stronghold, and the security forces were constantly a step behind. Raiding houses that he had vacated. Arriving just as he was leaving (via tunnel, of course). This sort of game can go on for years with everyone getting tired and cranky from too little rest.

Federales Hate Him! Guzman Escapes With This One Weird Trick

The Mexican security forces tracked not just el Chapo himself, but also his associates. For example, the chief tunnel builder who architected the legendary prison escape tunnel. In September 2015, this master of tunnel construction was trailed to a house in Los Mochis. Shortly afterwards, extensive construction work began. Builders were onsite for weeks, working on “renovations.”

You must not fight too often with one enemy, or you will teach him all your art of war

At this point, it is clear to anyone who has been paying attention, this house is being converted into a classic Guzman safe house, complete with escape tunnels. Indeed, by now even Guzman knew they were onto his trick, so he had a fake tunnel constructed to throw security forces off the scent.

This property boasts convenient sewer access

Taco Tuesdays is on Thursday

After construction was complete, the safehouse was quiet. Until 7 January 2016, when a car arrives carrying unknown passengers. Security forces suspected that this was Guzman. There was one final indicator that someone important enough to require an entourage was inside. A white van went off, at midnight, to fetch enough tacos to feed a large group of people. The police raided the house 4 hours later.

Daryl Zero: A few words here about following people. People know they’re being followed when they turn around and see someone following them. They can’t tell they’re being followed if you get there first.



Information Security Researcher :: :: ::

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