Book him: Mexico releases video of ‘El Chapo’ being fingerprinted

Posted at 8:29 PM, Jan 27, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-27 20:29:12-05

He’s been booked before, but a video released Wednesday is the first to show Mexican drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman being fingerprinted, standing for a mugshot and giving a blood sample.

The 19-minute video released by the Mexican attorney general’s office shows the head of the Sinaloa cartel signing documents and being questioned after his latest capture.

It shows facial comparisons using mugshots from Guzman’s first arrest in 1993 and the capo’s arrest on January 8 when the Mexican navy raided a safe house where he and another 11 people, presumably associates, were hiding.

The video authorities sent to news outlets narrates with great detail how “El Chapo” escaped from prison last July from the El Altiplano maximum security prison in Almoloya de Juarez.

It shows pictures inside the house used by associates and images of the power tools they worked with inside the nearly mile-long escape tunnel fitted with lighting and ventilation systems.

The tunnel used in July was 1,425 meters (0.89 miles) long. Its height was 1.46 meters (57.48 inches) and it was 65 centimeters (25.5 inches) wide, just enough space for a person to get through.

Workers removed 3,159 metric tons of dirt to build the tunnel, dirt they evenly deposited in different sections of a walled-in lot adjacent to the house. Disposing of the dirt this way minimized the possibility of raising suspicions.

Mexican officials say the workers used motorcycles that were modified to run on tracks. One of them was used to whisk “El Chapo” out of the tunnel the night of his escape.

The attorney general’s office says it took between eight and 10 months to build the tunnel. As many as 15 people worked nonstop. They used a compass to dig in the right direction and hydraulic tools to break through concrete and metal-cutting tools to cut the reinforcing bar in the concrete floor of Guzman’s cell.

The video includes an animation showing how Guzman changed clothes inside the tunnel and his getting into a cart that was pushed by a motorcyclist to freedom.

Weeks of search operations followed, officials say, in the drug-producing region known as the Golden Triangle.

The navy pinpointed El Chapo’s location in October, but he escaped, officials say, using a young girl and at least one woman as a human shields. Six of his alleged associates were detained, suspects that officials say provided crucial information.

Intelligence work took investigators to a house in the coastal city of Los Mochis. Intelligence officers watched the house for a month until unusual activity was detected on January 6, including the arrival of new vehicle.

The navy raided the house two days later. Five people allegedly tied to El Chapo died in the shootout and one soldier was wounded.

“El Chapo” again would use a tunnel to briefly escape again, only to be caught moments later by federal police. Guzman was with an alleged accomplice in a stolen car.

The Mexican government earlier this month released video of the daring early-morning raid. According to authorities, soldiers chased Guzman and his accomplice through the sewer tunnels, playing a cat-and-mouse game that Guzman would eventually lose.