El Chapo is no Andy Dufresne, but the drug lord’s daring prison escape is ranking right up there with the Shawshank Redemption hero’s break in terms of attention on screen. Andy Dufresne tunneled out of Shawshank through a wall and out a sewer pipe. El Chapo escaped through a mile-long tunnel that came up into his prison cell bathroom area and was equipped with lights and a bicycle on a track.
When Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman disappeared from from a Mexican maximum-security prison in July, the American public was both shocked and amused. But when the news finally became clear that this was the second time El Chapo had given his captors the slip, suspicions that things might not be what they seem started to emerge.
Footage of prison security video then released to the public showed El Chapo pacing his prison cell, then stepping into a toilet area. But he never came out. That short video clip contained no audio. Now a longer piece of video, this one with audio, has been made public.
The video begins with footage of El Chapo lying on his prison cell bed at 8:46 p.m. on July 11. His now-famous trip to the bathroom at 8:52 is seen, as in the previous footage, but it is the audio that tells the tale.
El chapo has his television in the cell turned up high. Still, at 8:46, loud hammering and drilling noises are heard coming from El Chapo’s cell. What is more, the video footage shows the prison control room, where prison employees are able to hear the noises, but do not respond.
El Chapo is seen in the video getting up from his bed, walking to the bathroom area briefly, then stepping away again. A loud noise of a large object crashing and dirt falling is heard on the video. Then El Chapo steps back to the bathroom area and makes his escape. That was at 8:52 p.m.
IM BEING EL CHAPO FOR HALLOWEEN
— Papa Sean (@OGseaniejohnson) October 16, 2015
Prison employees took no notice that El Chapo was no longer in his cell until a cry was raised among inmates that they thought he had suffered a heart attack and was being ignored by the guards. Two officials then look at the video monitor at 9:17 and send two guards to check on El Chapo.
“Guzman? Guzman?” one guard says at the cell door, receiving no response from inside. Both guards enter the cell. The audio of the conversation between the guard and his commander on two-way radio follows:
Guard: “Commander, can you hear me?”
Commander: “What happened?”
Guard: “There’s a hole in the shower.”
Commander: “What size?”
Guard: “Big, commander. Big.”
Commander: “Listen, but the inmate is not there?”
Guard: “No, commander. He is not.”
El Cahpo was long gone by the time guards checked his cell, despite all the loud noises that came from his cell.In September, four people working at the prison were charged with helping El Chapo escape. Two were guards stationed in the control room who seemingly did not hear the noises coming from El Chapo’s cell. The other two were secret service members stationed at the prison. The charges were related to not alerting superiors and sounding the alarm about an escape in a timely manner.
The previously-released video footage had aroused curiosity about El Chapo’s escape, but the new footage with audio is damning, indeed.