Mexican prison officials charged after escape

  • 18/07/2015
Escape tunnel used by drug lord Joaquin 'El Chapo' Guzman (Reuters)
Escape tunnel used by drug lord Joaquin 'El Chapo' Guzman (Reuters)

Seven prison officials from the Mexican jail where drug kingpin Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman escaped have been charged over the affair and taken to a federal detention centre, authorities say.

Prosecutors have held 22 prison officials, including the facility's director, for questioning since Sunday, but it was unknown whether the director was among those charged.

The seven officials were "driven to a federal detention centre" after being charged, a source told AFP on Friday (local time).

It took 18 minutes for guards at the Altiplano prison some 90km west of Mexico City, to go into Guzman's cell after they noticed that he vanished from it, Interior Minister Miguel Angel Osorio Chong said Thursday.

Closed-circuit camera footage released by the government this week showed that Guzman paced in his cell before bending down behind a short partition wall in the shower, then disappearing.

The Sinaloa cartel chief then rode on a motorcycle with two carts rigged on a rail system inside a 1.5km tunnel built for his second escape in 14 years.

The escape has dealt a heavy blow to President Enrique Pena Nieto and the Mexican government, which had pointed to Guzman's arrest last year as its biggest victory yet in its war on drugs.