Ciudad Juarez – Drug lord Joaquin Guzman, widely known as “El Chapo”, was moved early Saturday to another Mexican prison located in Ciudad Juarez, near the Texas border. An attorney for the Sinaloa Cartel boss told Associated Press the defense team did not receive a notification before the transfer and that one of his lawyers was on his way to try to meet with him.
Associated Press reported that, according to the Interior Department, the Sinaloa cartel boss was transferred because there was work being done to improve security at the Altiplano lookup, the maximum-security facility near Mexico City where he had been confined since he was recaptured in January.
Mexico’s National Security Commission has been conducting a security strategy since September to enhance security protocols and said in a statement that Guzman was moved to Juarez as part of those formalities. The commission added that more than 7,400 prisoners have been rotated nationwide under the protocols.
Michael Vigil, a former boss of international operations for the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, said Mexican officials had told him Guzman’s transfer was due to security concerns. Vigil, who did not reveal the identities of the officials, noted that authorities were not specific about those concerns and did not give any indication of potential escape plots.
Attorney Jose Refugio Rodriguez confirmed Guzman was taken to the Cefereso No. 9 prison in Ciudad Juarez and declared he was not aware of the government’s strategy, according to the report by AP. He reassured Guzman’s lawyers are still working to avoid their client’s extradition to the United States.
Lawyers for the convicted drug lord have filed several appeals against Guzman being transferred to the U.S., and Mexican officials have said a final ruling could be reached within a year.
Mexican authorities want to avoid third escape
#BREAKING — Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzmán Loera transferred to northern Mexico prison near Texas border #ChapoGuzman pic.twitter.com/i9PDB52NsI
— David Gonzalez (@DavidTVGonzalez) May 7, 2016
El Chapo has broken out of prison twice and is fighting to block extradition. The drug lord faces charges from New York, Chicago, San Diego and Miami, among seven different U.S. attorneys’ offices.
He was captured in 1993 in Guatemala, where authorities decided to extradite him. Guzman first escaped from a Mexican jail in 2001. Mexican authorities re-arrested him thirteen years later but he managed to break out of the Altiplano in 2015 through a mile-long tunnel dug to the floor of his shower stall, according to AP.
Mexican marines recaptured him in Sinaloa in January after the convicted drug lord left a safe place through a storm drain. Once he was returned to Altiplano, where officials reinforced the floors with metal bars and a 40-centimeter layer of concrete, Guzman was always under observation from a camera with no blind spots placed in the ceiling.
Source: FOX News