World

New video shows guards ignored tapping, voices heard before 'Chapo' Guzman's escape

Newly released video footage shows not only images but sounds of what appears to be the minutes preceding Mexican drug lord Joaquín "El Chapo" Guzmán’s notorious escape from a high-security prison.

The footage, obtained by Mexican news network Televisa, shows a split screen of Guzman’s cell and a room where five guards are sitting in front of computer monitors, motionless — despite the sound of at least five loud taps in the course of five minutes, apparently coming from the right side of the screen.

The video adds more credence to the theory that guards in Mexico’s high-security Altiplano prison were complicit in the escape of the Sinaloa cartel boss. It is the same footage released by the government back in July, but is longer and has recorded audio. 

Televisa did not say how it obtained the video and the press area of the Attorney General's Office in Mexico did not respond to requests to authenticate the video.

The video shows the drug lord lying on his cot in his cell as the tapping begins. While the noise appears to be clearly audible to the guards, there is no movement or indication that they are alarmed.

According to the video, El Chapo – who was watching a Mexican variety show on TV – gets up, makes his bed and goes to the urinal. He flushes the toilet as the taps grow louder.

Moments later, he approaches the shower area and the sound of a grate being moved is heard.

He walks back to his bed to put his shoes on and an indecipherable voice is heard, Televisa reported.

He then walks to the shower area one last time and is last seen at 8:52:14.

Meanwhile, at the monitoring center, nobody seems to be concerned about what the monitors show.

It is 9:17 when the guards gather around one of the computer screens and become aware that someone is amiss in the drug cartel leader’s cell. Another 15 minutes pass before two guards enter his cell and discover that Guzmán had escaped.

- Commander, you hear me?

- What happened?

- There is a hole in the shower.

- What happened?

- There a hole in the shower, commander, there is a hole in the shower.

- Is there a hole?

- Affirmative, affirmative. In the drain of the shower there is a hole.

- What size?

- Big, Commander, big ...

- The inmate is not there?

- No Commander, he is not.

- Inaudible.

- As quick as possible because we will lose him.

Mexico has arrested 30 former officials, guards or police officers for allegedly participating in Guzmán’s escape or failing to prevent it.

Among those being held for trial are the former coordinator general of federal prisons, the former director general, nine monitors from the Altiplano prison's control room and the prison's commander.

Guzmán escaped July 11 through a sophisticated mile-long tunnel with ventilation, lighting and a motorcycle apparently used to move dirt. .

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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