Saturday, 18 July 2015

Mexican lawmakers say drug lord 'El Chapo' had 18-minute head start on escape

MEXICO CITY –  At least 18 minutes passed before anyone was alerted to the escape of drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, two Mexican lawmakers said Thursday.

Deputy Aleida Alavez of the leftist Democratic Revolution Party told The Associated Press that National Security Commissioner Monte Alejandro Rubido reported during a tour of the maximum security prison Wednesday that Guzman had an 18-minute head start. She said Rubido hesitated when asked how much time elapsed, but eventually answered.

Officials had not said publicly how much time passed from when Mexico's most prized prisoner slipped into a mile-long tunnel Saturday night and when authorities became aware he was gone.

The National Security Commission did not immediately respond to questions about the time.

Deputy Adriana Gonzalez of the conservative National Action Party, who was also on the tour, said she did not hear Rubido give that time, but added that she asked by personnel monitoring the cameras and was told about 20 minutes.

Gonzalez said she was also told there was not a single person exclusively dedicated to monitoring Guzman. One person monitored two screens that each show images from 20 cameras. She was shown about five minutes of additional video footage after Guzman disappeared in his cell — more than has been released publicly — and all that was visible was an empty cell.   READ MORE

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