Thirteen ex-prison officials have been jailed over the spectacular escape of drug kingpin Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman from a maximum security prison in June, Mexican officials said.
Those placed behind bars include Leonor Garcia, formerly in charge of El Altiplano, the maximum security prison that Guzman fled, a source at the prosecutor’s office told AFP.
Also jailed is Celina Oseguera, the former national coordinator of the federal prison system.
The 11 other prison officials were guards and personnel at El Altiplano, the source said. They will now all be serving time as inmates of that prison.
Oseguera and Garcia are being held at the female prison in Tepic, in the western state of Nayarit.
The Mexican government immediately put Oseguera on leave after Guzman — head of the Sinaloa drug cartel — escaped on July 11.
A judge issued orders to arrest the suspects on the same day, the prosecutor’s office said in a statement.
Mexican investigators say that Guzman, Mexico’s most powerful drug lord, had key inside information to ease his escape, as well as support or acquiesce from prison insiders.
Guzman’s escape, in which he crawled through a hole leading to a huge tunnel under his cell shower, was a major embarrassment to President Enrique Pena Nieto’s administration.
He served just 17 months of his lengthy prison sentence.
Guzman had broken out of another Mexican prison in 2001 and was caught 13 years later in Mazatlan, a tourist resort on the Pacific coast.
A $3.8 million reward is being offered for Guzman’s arrest.
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