Mexico, a country notably known for its tacos, tequila, and of course, the world’s most infamous drug lord, Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman. El Chapo, the leader of the relentless Sinaloa Cartel, was captured for the third time on January 8, 2016 after having escaped Mexico’s “high security” prison in July, 2015. After his second capturing, the Mexican authorities deemed it the last, but we all know how that played out. Personally, the recent recapturing of El Chapo did not induce a feeling of assurance. What if he escapes again? It would not seem to be anything out of the ordinary because it has occurred one too many times. So how is it that a 5’6 male is able to escape the countless bodybuilding guards of a high security prison on two different occasions?

The first time El Chapo was captured was on June 10, 1993. Two years after his capturing he was transferred to Mexico’s high security prison, Puente Grande where he established his new base of operations and continued to manage his business affairs. El Chapo stayed behind bars for eight years (which to this date is the longest time he has been confined) up until his escape in January, 2001.

The 2001 escape was uncomplicated, El Chapo’s cell room door was opened, he jumped into a basket of dirty laundry and was hauled out to the parking lot where he hopped into the back of a Chevy and was never to be seen again…until 2014. Then, in February, 2014 El Chapo was recaptured but contrary to U.S. advice, was thrown into Mexico’s most secure prison, Altiplano. However, not long after his imprisonment he does the unthinkable, and this time in the most elaborate of ways, he escapes through his shower cell in July, 2015. The escape started off in his shower cell where he climbed down into a mile long tunnel equipped with electricity, ventilation, and a motorcycle that was his ultimate ride to freedom.

I must admit, the escapes were quite theatrical in the sense that they all happened in such a fictional and uncanny way. There is no way that any inmate can escape from a high security prison through a dirty laundry basket or a hole in their shower cell with such finesse and success. El Chapo has made the process look so easy; he has simply mastered the art of escape. Having said all this, I want to address my initial question, the real topic at hand, how is it that a 5’6 male is able to escape the countless bodybuilding guards of a high security prison on two different occasions? Well, it is quite simple, he had inside help. The escapes were so elaborately played out that it makes sense for him to have had help. Who opened his cell door? Who pushed the laundry cart? Who’s computer decided to freeze during his shower cell escape? These escapes would have not gone according to plan without having received help from the only other people that were not prisoners. The guards, they are the obvious culprits of his theatrical escapes, for they helped orchestrate the plans. They opened the cell doors, they pushed the laundry cart, their computers froze. It was they who let it happen, but why? The wealth and influence of El Chapo. It was easy for El Chapo to get the guards on his side, he bribed them. Bribery is a common act in a corrupt country like Mexico. There is no incentive for people in corrupt infected countries to deny bribes because there are no harsh consequences, making it easier for people like El Chapo to always get their way.

Originally published at on February 19, 2016.

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