Even though, drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman was under tight security at Maximum security prison Altiplano–including being moved from cell to cell, police dogs on his block and more security cameras–the powers made the decision to move him to another facility. This was the same facility that he escaped from last summer. Early Saturday morning, El Chapo was transferred to a prison in Juárez, closer to the Texas border.
According to Mexico’s Interior Ministry, the move was made “due to upgrades underway at Altiplano.” However, many are speculative of this story. It is the belief of some that Chapo and his comrades were plotting on another escape. Others are shocked that he would be moved to Juárez, a major post of the Sinaloa Cartel. “I’m shocked that the Mexican government would send him to the Juárez area,” said Arturo Fontes, who tracked El Chapo’s moves for 28 years in Mexico. “Juárez remains one of his strongholds. He’s a powerful person, the most powerful cartel leader of our time.”
Fontes, president of consulting firm Fontes International Solutions, added, “Either the Mexican government really intends to ship him out to the United States immediately, or something else is afoot. There are no coincidences here. I’m not buying the government’s explanation. For the sake of the Mexican government, they need to extradite him ASAP or risk being a joke again.”
The Mexican government has announced plans to extradite El Chapo to the US within the next several months.“The Mexican government seems intent on showing determination and speed in extraditing him,” Andrew Selee of the Woodrow Wilson Center’s Mexico Institute surmised. “This would certainly help increase confidence with those U.S. law enforcement agencies that work closely with their Mexican counterparts. But with Chapo, nothing is ever final till it’s actually done.”
Gov. César Duarte of the Chihuahua state (where the Juárez prison is located) is confident that the prison in secure enough that Chapo won’t escape again. Only time will tell.