El Chapo Moves To Prison With Less Security In City That’s A Cartel Stronghold

Photo: REUTERS/Daniel Becerril

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JP Carroll National Security & Foreign Affairs Reporter
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Sinaloa cartel boss “El Chapo” Guzman is now locked in a prison located near the U.S. border that has far less security than the one he escaped from in July 2015.

El Chapo was transferred Saturday to a prison in Juarez, near the Texas border, that was described by an anonymous Mexican official as being less secure than Altiplano Prison — where the kingpin was first incarcerated.

“It just doesn’t make any sense. He has that part of his empire, he has the infrastructure there and he has people who would assist him in terms of engineering him another escape,” former head of international operations for the DEA, Mike Vigil, told the Associated Press.

Juarez is a city infamous for cartel activity, and is even a known hub for Sinaloa Cartel activity.

There are concerns over El Chapo’s ability to break out of prison after he busted out of Altiplano Prison in July 2015. It was only in January of this year that Mexican authorities managed to get a hold of the drug lord and put him back behind bars.

“There will be no escape,” Governor Cesar Duarte of Chihuahua State told concerned citizen. “If he was brought here from Altiplano it’s because the security conditions are way above those of Altiplano, that’s what the federal government settled on.”

Vigil isn’t convinced the new prison is the right move and told the AP: “If they keep him there for a prolonged period of time, the Mexican government certainly is risking that he escapes. And if he escapes, it would just completely decimate the credibility of the Mexican government.”

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