Beginning Sunday, captured drug kingpin Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman will be moved from cell to cell as a way to ensure that he won’t escape a Mexican prison, a senior Mexican government official told CNN on Wednesday.
He is being held at Altiplano prison in Almoloya de Juarez — the same prison he escaped from in July.
Guzman managed to get out of the maximum security facility, authorities said, by making his way down a hole underneath the shower in his cell. They said he then hustled into a tunnel that had been constructed to include ventilation and lighting. He jumped on a motorcycle attached to rails and zipped out of the lockup. It was the second escape from a Mexican prison for the man responsible for untold carnage related to his billion-dollar illegal drug empire.
Before the decision to move him from cell to cell, another Mexican law enforcement source said Wednesday that Guzman was being monitored around the clock by heavily armed guards.
Mexico plans to extradite Guzman to the United States, where he faces drug trafficking charges connected to his cartel, authorities said. Mexican Attorney General Arely Gomez said extradition proceedings should begin. Gomez noted that the U.S. government sought Guzman’s extradition as early as June 16, before he escaped from Altiplano last summer.
Guzman’s capture on Friday in his native Sinaloa state was huge news. And the circumstances surrounding how Mexican authorities said they found him were just as intriguing.
While on the run, Guzman was interviewed secretly in the Mexican jungle by the actor Sean Penn for Rolling Stone magazine, just three months after he fled from Altiplano. Penn spent hours talking with Guzman, and Guzman bragged that he had supplied “more heroin, methamphetamine, cocaine and marijuana than anybody else in the world.”
Guzman answered follow-up questions in a videotape several weeks later, too, through an intermediary, according to the magazine.
Gomez, the Mexican attorney general, said the actor’s meeting with the cartel boss was “essential” for Guzman’s capture.
In Rolling Stone, Penn wrote that he flew to his meeting with Guzman on a small plane that had a device that jams radar.
Before the interview came to light, two U.S. law enforcement officials had said the tracking of cell phones and electronic exchanges of people close to Guzman led to his recapture.
Mexican authorities had said they captured Guzman partly because his representatives contacted filmmakers and actors about making his biopic.