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Saturday, February 4, 2023

Mexico will give away “El Chapo” safe house in lottery

Culiacan, Mexico – Former drug lord Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán fled in 2014 when the Mexican Marines surrounded him, and some changes have recently occurred as the Mexican government prepared to send him out in the national lottery.

The surveillance cameras covering all angles of the exterior of this humble house were removed. The hole under the bathtub that Guzman passed through in order to reach the network of tunnels is covered with concrete slabs.

The Associated Press was allowed to enter a property in a quiet Culiacan neighborhood before the draw. In recent weeks, Mexico has returned the stolen items to the People’s Institute, using its acronym INDEP, painted a new layer of white paint on the inside and outside, and paved the bathroom where the bathtub and the tunnel entrance point are. On the tiles.

President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has been talking about the lottery for confiscated property, but did not mention the history of the house. The spacious residences in one of Mexico City’s trendiest neighborhoods and the private boxes of the famous Aztec Stadium have attracted more attention.

The notorious drug lord Joaquin Guzman Loera (Joaquin Guzman Loera) escaped the authorities through an escape hatch in Culiacan, Mexico. The tunnels in the drainage system were connected to each other by tunnels. The Mexican lottery will give away the property on Wednesday, September 15, 2021. (Adriana Gomez/Associated Press photo)

The INDEP website only lists it as “Casa en Culiacán”. It is approximately 2,800 square feet and is located in a neighbourhood called Libertad or “Freedom”, which may be appropriate. The government valued the two-bedroom house at US$183,000.

The house has been abandoned for many years, and the Marine Corps caused some damage during the search, so it needs to be repaired.

Guzman escaped through the tunnel, but his freedom lasted only a few days. On February 22, 2014, the Marines landed again, this time in an apartment on the coast of Mazatlan.

By then, Guzman was already known for his bold escape. In 2001, he slipped out of one of Mexico’s heavily guarded prisons, allegedly in a laundry cart.

In July 2015, less than a year and a half after his arrest in Mazatlan, Guzman passed through a tunnel dug into a drain in the shower of his cell, and escaped on the track through the tunnel on a motorcycle. Another Mexican prison with the highest security level.

Six months later, the Marines captured him again in Los Mochis, Sinaloa, and he has been hiding in another humble home.

Guzman was extradited to the United States in July 2019, tried, convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment.

INDEP officials who declined to be named because they were not authorized to speak said they were surprised that the house attracted people’s attention. It is not luxurious. There is no swimming pool, nor the conspicuousness of other drug properties in Sinaloa.

People nearby said they didn’t know who their neighbors were.

“We don’t know anything, we never know who lives there, we have never seen anyone,” said a neighbor, who quickly interrupted the conversation. Many locals are not interested in talking about Guzman even by his name in a place where the Sinaloa Cartel is still strong.

The location of the house is very good and it can satisfy the previous purpose. There are neighbors on only one side. On the other side is the underground storm sewer-Culiacan built hundreds of kilometers of sewer to deal with heavy rains-this is the place where the bathroom tunnel is attached, making Guzman’s escape possible. A school is across the street.

On the morning of February 17, 2014, the nearby area was suddenly crowded with grey trucks from the Marine Corps. They blocked the traffic. There is no doubt that they are interested in this seemingly humble house.

But they did not find Guzman there. In fact, during his US trial, a witness testified that despite reports to the contrary at the time, Guzman was not in any of the five houses searched by the Marines.

Five days later, the Marines caught up with Guzman 125 miles south of Mazatlan, where Guzman and his wife Emma Coronel and their twin daughters lived.

INDEP tried to auction the house last year. It started bidding at a price of approximately $130,000. There are no recipients.

Now, López Obrador is giving it away as part of the lottery, which is scheduled for Wednesday, the day before Mexico celebrates Independence Day. This is the first time that the Mexican National Lottery has given away property. The proceeds will be donated to Olympic athletes in Mexico.

López Obrador said at a daily press conference last week: “This lottery is very important. I call on everyone who can help buy tickets, or two or three people.”

In the center of Mexico City, lottery ticket sellers report that sales are good.

Jorge López said that since last week, he has sold tickets for $100 to $120 a day, of which $12. “Now, it sells very well.” He said that the value of these 22 awards, many of which are much higher than the value of the Culiacan family, is attracting people’s attention. He said that some people asked who the former owners of these properties were, but not many.

Back in Culiacan, passing through towns near the city center, Ignacio Mariscal said he supported the lottery. “Those houses don’t serve anyone; those people own them,” Mariscal said. “I think it is very good. It is to help people in need.”

Andres Villarreal

Associated Press

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This News Originally From – The Epoch Times

World Nation News Desk
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