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Pick Axes, Tunnels, And Motorcycles

by Jessica Bugg 8 months ago in celebrities
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How El Chapo Escaped Prison

Pick Axes, Tunnels, And Motorcycles
Photo by Hasan Almasi on Unsplash

No drug lord is as famous as El Chapo and once he was in Mexican prison, he was a model prisoner. El Chapo was professional and courteous to prison guards, his personal mail and letters (which were closely surveilled for good reason), and phone calls were all small talk.

El Chapo was a huge escape risk and flight risk. At anytime, he could be moved to another prison in order to avoid an escape attempt. But as usual, El Chapo had a plan.

Drug Cartel Purchases Land Next To The Prison

Well as close to the prison as they could get. The cartel erected two shell buildings that were never finished and began to draw suspicion from locals due to the fact that it was never being worked on, and was never completed.

Then they set off to free El Chapo. The cartel was going to dig a tunnel all the way to his cell. They couldn’t use huge machinery so they were forced to tunnel by hand using only pick axes and shovels through solid rock.

Tunnel Logistics

The walls were reinforced with paneling and had a generator which pumped fresh air from the outside through mile long ventilators to keep the tunnel oxygenated.

The tunnel also had a rail system and used a motorcycle to move two carts to transport the dirt to the outside. The plan was that once freed, El Chapo would then ride the same motorcycle cart all the way to freedom.

Where Did All Of That Dirt Go?

Once the dirt was transported, it had to go somewhere. El Chapo’s cartel had that covered. The dirt was placed into the two carts, they would then be pulled down the one mile long railway to the outside.

When the dirt carts reached the opening of the tunnel where workers were waiting to unload the dirt, and the dirt was spread around the field instead of being piled into heaps or mounds. I mean, we are talking a LOT of dirt here people.

The dirt was spread about acres of fields. Acres.

The Escape: July 12, 2015

After 16 months of imprisonment, the drug cartel/tunnel workers made it to their target. They had reached El Chapo’s cell in the middle of the night. They had reached the shower area and the bottom of the shower popped open where El Chapo saw a cartel member who motioned for him to come down into the tunnel.

El Chapo lowered himself down the tunnel which was only a few feet wide and tall, just tall enough for him to stand upright. He walked a few feet into the mouth of the tunnel, and climbed aboard the motorcycle and began to cruise the one mile to the opening.

Once El Chapo reached the opening of the tunnel which was in one of the empty home shells on the property the cartel had purchased for this very reason. he climbed several wooden stairs and was received with a fresh change of clothes.

El Chapo quickly changed and hopped in a truck where he was whisked far away from the shell house and tunnel.

El Chapo Was Captured Again

El Chapo was caught a few months later when someone alerted the authorities that there were several heavily guarded men on the property of the new safe home.

Mexican special force agents put the house under surveillance and a month later, they raided the home, killing several body guards.

Another Tunnel

El Chapo and one of his higher officials escaped the raid by yet another secret tunnel.

The tunnel was a mile long and after they reached the end, proceeded to steal a car at gunpoint. The driver reported this to the police and issued an alert to find the stolen vehicle.

The police officers found the vehicle, El Chapo, and the other official. El Chapo attempted to bribe the officers with money, high paying work, and houses. Because that was the way things had been done in Mexico.

Not this time. These police officers refused El Chapo. So then El Chapo threatened to kill them.

The Team Of Forty Assassins

When the police officers reported to their superior that they had El Chapo recovered, even sending pictures. The superiors let the officers know that they had received a secret tip that forty assassins were on the way to free El Chapo.

The officers along with El Chapo were sent to a hotel near the edge of town where they prepared for a shoot out while El Chapo laughed.

El Chapo warned the officers that they were going to die and then their families would all die too.

Vehicles began to enter the parking lot and the officers braced themselves for a final shootout, until they looked up and saw the thing they least expected . . .

Vehicles Turning Into The Parking Lot

The forty assassins were not the cartel as they thought but were the Mexican marines who were in defense positions.

El Chapo was pulled out of the hotel and into an SUV, where he was then sent to an airfield.


El Chapo would not escape again as after two years, the Mexican government approved expedition to the United States. El Chapo now faces life in prison in the United States, Florence, Colorado to be more exact.

Final Thoughts

Through tunnels made with pick axes, shovels, rail systems, the cartel was inventive and thorough in their prison escapes and alluding authorities.

El Chapo is to this day one of the richest and most successful drug lords in history.


About the author

Jessica Bugg

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