Joaquin Guzman Loera is born in La Tuna Badiraguato, Sinaoloa, Mexico as the fourth child to Emilio Guzman and Consuelo Loera. His older siblings are Arturo, Ovidio and Miguel. Guzman and Loera will later give birth to Aurelio, Armido, and Bernarda. His father is involved in the drug trade, growing and selling marijuana and opium. He will suffer abuse from his father who will eventually kick him out of the house. He is poorly educated and ultimately follows his father into the drug trade, but operating independently from his father.
Guzman is indicted on drug smuggling and money laundering charges as a result of an investigation in the Pocono mountains of northeastern Pennsylvania.
Guatemalan authorities detain Guzman and hand him over to Mexican authorities near Tapachula. He is wanted on charges of drug trafficking, murder and kidnapping. He denies the charges saying that he is a corn and bean farmer who was sightseeing in Guatemala.
The indictment is unsealed in the U.S. Attorney’s office in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania after Guzman’s arrest. U.S. Assistant Attorney:
The arrest of Chapo deals a serious blow to the amount of heroin and cocaine traveling into this country and may well have an influence on the amount of arms being exchanged for drugs.
The U.S. Attorney is seeking his extradition for prosecution in Harrisburg on charges of conspiracy to smuggle heroin and cocaine and to launder drug proceeds.
A district court orders Guzman to be held without bail in a maximum security prison 35 miles west of Mexico City on charges of possession of cocaine and illegal weapons.
Guzman escapes from the Puente Grande prison in Guadalajara, having served only eight of his twenty-year sentence. The prison is considered one of the most secure in Mexico having only 100 inmates. Apparently Guzman hides in a laundry cart while a guard wheels it out the prison doors. The guard allows Guzman to get into his car and then drives him out of the prison facilities. None of the other guards check the car. Mexico’s Secretary for Internal Affairs:
All the force of the state will be used to find Guzman and investigate those responsible for the escape. Guzman’s flight is incomprehensible given the precise instructions that have been given to make sure prisoners of the state are guarded and supervised.
The Chicago Crime Commission names Guzman public enemy number one because he supplies a majority of illegal drugs to the city. Commission President:
Guzman is the major supplier of narcotics to Chicago. His agents are working in the Chicago area importing vast quantities of drugs for sale throughout the Chicago region and collecting and sending to Mexico tens of millions of dollars in drug money.
Guzman is arrested in a raid of a high-rise condominium in Mazatlan. The raid happens so fast that his guards do not have time to react and he cannot grab his AK-47 which is nearby. He is taken directly to prison. Former Mexican anti-drug prosecutor:
This is a huge success for Mexican authorities that after so many years, this guy will return to prison. All of his victims deserve that.
Mexico’s attorney general refuses to extradite Guzman to the U.S. citing national sovereignty and also because he must serve his time in Mexican prison for all the crimes for which he is being prosecuted:
I could accept extradition but at the time that I choose. El Chapo must stay here to complete his sentence and then I will extradite him. So about 300 or 400 years later — it will be a while.
Guzman escapes from the Altiplano maximum security prison through a 1.5 km (1 mile) tunnel from a hole in the shower area of his cell. The hole is ten meters (yards) deep and connects with a tunnel that is 1.7 meters (yards) high that is fully ventilated and has lighting, supposedly built without the knowledge of the authorities. Authorities find a motorcycle adapted to run on rails that they believe was used to carry dirt out and tools in during the construction. The tunnel terminates in a half-built house in a rural farm field near the prison.
Guzman is last seen at 9:00 p.m. A manhunt has begun, with roads being patrolled by federal police with many checkpoints and a Blackhawk helicopter flying overhead. Flights from Toluca airport near the prison are suspended and the hangars are being searched. A Guatemalan special task force of police and soldier are watching their border with Mexico.
U.S. Attorney General Lynch pledges support in the hunt to find Guzman:
The U.S. government stands ready to work with our Mexican partners to provide any assistance that may help support his swift recapture.
In a series of Twitter posts, Trump comments on El Chapo’s escape.
Mexico’s biggest drug lord escapes from jail. Unbelievable corruption and USA is paying the price. I told you so!..Now that the Mexican drug lord escaped from prison, everyone is saying that most of the cocaine etc. coming into the U.S. comes over border!..…..but that’s what I’ve been saying. Very unfair treatment by the media!..Can you envision Jeb Bush or Hillary Clinton negotiating with ‘El Chapo’, the Mexican drug lord who escaped from prison? ….
…Trump, however, would kick his ass!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 13, 2015
After Trump says that Guzman embodies ‘everything that is wrong with Mexico’ and added he would ‘kick his ass’, the drug lord responds on a Twitter account administered by his son:
Keep f**king around and I’m going to make you swallow your f**king words, f**king white cum sh**ter.
Sigue chingando y voy hacer que te tragues todas tus putas palabras pinche guero cagaleche @realDonaldTrump
— Joaquín Guzmán Loera (@ElChap0Guzman) July 12, 2015
Mexico’s government broadcasts security camera footage of Guzman before his escape. In the grainy video, Guzman paces the room, looks behind the partition wall by his shower, sits on his bed, then disappears from view at 8:52 p.m. local time.
He changed his shoes, and went to the shower. You can’t see what he’s doing.
Mexico’s Attorney General offers a reward of up to 60 million pesos (about $3.8 million) for information leading to the location and capture of Guzman. as well as releasing an updated photo of the escapee. The image shows the Sinaloa cartel chief with a shaved head and face and no mustache. So far, 34 people had been questioned in connection with the escape.
Mexican authorities reveal it took 18 minutes for guards to respond after surveillance cameras sounded the alarm that Guzman was no longer in his cell, giving Guzman a good head start on his escape. Prosecutors are investigating whether the prison’s protocols were properly followed and are holding 22 prison officials for questioning.
New evidence reveals that Guzman was allowed to escape. His GPS bracelet had been deactivated, he was never moved to a different cell according to regulations of cell rotation, the camera in his cell was moved to provide a blind spot in the shower area, he was allowed to receive guests against regulations, and prison officials pretended not to notice noises that were heard under his cell. The Ministry of the Interior:
Prison officials also deactivated the motion sensor alarms throughout the maximum security jail in Almoloya de Juarez (about 60 miles north of Mexico City) enabling Joaquin Guzman’s people to excavate the complex, high-tech and highly precise tunnel into his cell.
According to Mexico’s attorney general a judge has approved a request for Guzman to be extradited to the U.S. once he is recaptured.
The U.S. State Department offers a $5 million reward for information leading to the capture of Guzman. The tip line is being managed by the DEA’s San Diego field office.
Rosenberg, acting head of the DEA, says Guzman is most likely in Mexico, hiding in his home state of Sinaloa, Mexico. But Rosenberg acknowledged that the elusive Guzman could be anywhere.
I think he is still in Mexico. Do I know that? No. It’s an educated guess.