Hi everyone! It’s time for another video. Click that notification bell on the bottom so you can get updated every time we upload. So let’s get right into it. You’ve heard of El Chapo, right? Well, that’s just his drug king pin name. His real name is Joaquín Archivaldo Guzmán Loera. He was the head of the Sinaloa Cartel. Sinaloa is along the Mexican Pacific Coast.
El Chapo was born on Christmas day in 1954. He rose to his notoriety in 2003 when he became Mexico’s top drug lord. The United States Department of the Treasury considered him at the time to be the “most powerful drug trafficker in the world.” This phrase was their exact words, and not an embellishment. El Chapo was so popular that from 2009 to 2011, he was even mentioned in “Forbes” as among the top 100 most influential people around the globe. The magazine even said that he was the “biggest drug lord of all time.” Again, these are their words, and not ours.
So how did this cartel get the drugs that they manufactured in the United States, you might ask. It was through a system of underground tunnels. And the reason that El Chapo is associated with this story is that he directed his cartel to first start building these underground networks. The cartel went to digging, and as you can imagine, the tunnels were quite primitive at first. However, the cartel had at their resources the finances to make the transportation routes a little more comfortable.
Then they started to get into the lights, cameras, action, kind of stuff. They put in lights so that people could see underground without the use of torches, flashlights, or candles. That of course made the trip a lot less risky. But the people needed to breath well while they were making that massive trek. So El Chapo installed ventilation. Nothing but the best for his employees right? Well, maybe it had to do more with the fact that he didn’t want them to die along the way, but that’s okay. At least the drugs stayed in better condition, and El Chapo really cared about his merchandise.
You might wonder what kind of person would want to risk their life and limbs still in these networks to run drugs? Well, it was usually people who did not have citizenship in the United States. So, they needed a way to get there without being stopped at the border. After all, Mexican visitors to the States are suspect in some senses. Immigration wonders if they want to extend their stays in the States and when they are coming home. It’s a nerve racking line of questioning if the person’s stomach is full of drugs.
Most mules can’t take that kind of pressure. And the cars- well, they are vetted by drug sniffing dogs, so it is unlikely that many Mexicans would have been able to get through at that time without evading a drug trafficking sentence. Cartel drug runners do not want to get caught because they are liable for the merchandise- sometimes even with their own heads!
The tunnels would begin in the most unlikely places. CNN reports that there would be a bathtub that one lifts up to enter the tunnel. Or, there could be a tunnel that actually starts in a prison cell. The sky was the limit when it came to the creativity put into these ventures. The bathtub tunnel was in one of El Chapo’s homes that had high security. By the time it would take the feds to get in, he would be well on his way to a safe house.
There was also the sewer system tunnel in Culiacan, Mexico. El Chapo had a secret passageway in one of his home that led directed to it. He used the sewer system to escape but it later also led to his undoing. He was apprehended at a resort town called Mazatlan in a small shack that was scenic, but ultimately unsafe. That didn’t stop El Chapo from plotting his freedom though. El Chapo was put into maximum security in Altiplano prison. Feds hoped that here he would remain under tight lock down. But nothing can keep the king of drugs down for too long. A master of tunnels, El Chapo had already devised a sneaky escape plan.
Take a look at this underground tunnel that connected from a shower in El Chapo’s cell. It even had a motorcycle inside it planted for a getaway. El Chapo proved to be a master of underground architecture. The hole was just 20 by 20 inches, but it was enough to squeeze one man down through. El Chapo had to climb down a tunnel with a ladder that was built in for about 33 feet of otherwise free fall. Then, he could walk through the tunnel that was 5.5 feet. But of course, he didn’t have to walk because he’d already prepared for his goonies to facilitate a ride for him.
A Mexican official estimated that it took around a year to build this tunnel. And it went dead straight. From there, El Chapo just had to go around a mile to his safe house. It was only a ramshackle dwelling as it was half manufactured, but it was good enough to do the trick. So here we have the tunnels of El Chapo. Do you think that you would have been impressed if you were a Fed on El Chapo’s trail, or would you have become extremely frustrated with his insistence on bringing drugs into the nation?
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