A senior Mexican legislative official said a still-unreleased video and audio recording of Joaquin "El Chapo" (Shorty) Guzman's escape shows the web of complicity the drug kingpin wove to pull off his prison break.
The Sinaloa cartel leader escaped from the Altiplano I maximum-security penitentiary in the central state of Mexico on July 11 through a 1.5-kilometer (0.9-mile tunnel) dug to his cell.
"The video exists and is crucial in identifying the level of complicity in Chapo's escape," the secretary of the Mexican Congress' Bicameral Committee on National Security, Alejandro Encinas, told EFE Tuesday.
Prison employees "responsible for monitoring (Guzman) have been formally charged in recent days, but that's not enough because the mere fact that the sound of a power drill was heard means there were several levels of complicity," the leftist senator said.
He said the recording implicates other staff at Altiplano I, as well as personnel with the national prison system, the Center for Research and National Security, or Cisen, and the National Security Commission, adding that "clearly their complicity was what enabled the escape."
He said that members of the Bicameral Committee on National Security who visited the prison days after the jailbreak were not informed of an alternate surveillance module operated by Cisen and also were not told that the National Security Commission used a one-way mirror to monitor the drug lord.
Encinas said an article in newsweekly Proceso revealed the existence of footage of El Chapo's escape that also has audio. Even though different authorities told him the video did not exist, he requested on Aug. 7 that Government Secretary Miguel Angel Osorio provide him with a copy.
"Fifteen days ago, I received a verbal response from the deputy government secretary, Felipe Solis Acero, in which he told me it wasn't possible to provide me with a copy of the video because it was part of a preliminary inquiry, a response that I was expecting but which also means that the video exists," he said.
The video is particularly important because it will reveal the extent to which organized crime has penetrated all levels of the prison system and "even all organs of Mexican national security."
Guzman, whose wealth led to his name regularly appearing on Forbes magazine's list of global billionaires, had broken out of a Mexican prison 14 years ago.
On Jan. 19, 2001, the Sinaloa drug cartel leader escaped from the Puente Grande penitentiary in the western state of Jalisco, pulling off the Hollywood-style jailbreak by hiding in a cart full of dirty laundry in front of guards.