For 13 years, Mexico’s most powerful drug kingpin Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman lived on the run, staying well ahead of authorities. But it was one slipup — an associate of his being caught on a wiretap — that led to his capture on February 22, 2014.
Mexican Marines had located Joaquin Guzman in a condominium complex and quickly surrounded the area. Before sunrise, at around 5am, marines smashed open the door to his fourth floor condo, seizing Guzman without a shot fired. But that was just the start. Guzman utilized sophisticated communications equipment and scanners to detect surveillance. But it was his last ditch low-tech underground tunnel that helped him almost get away again.
Guzman fled south to Mazatlan. On his heels, a team of U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agents set up a base of operations with Mexican marines in the city, according to the current U.S. law-enforcement official. Early Saturday morning, Guzman’s reign came to an end without a shot fired. Marines closed the beachside road in front of the Miramar condominiums, a 10-story, pearl-coloured building with white balconies overlooking the Pacific and a small pool in front.
Mexican Marines allowed Reuters photographer Daniel Becerril to document what they found. With the Marines as guides, Daniel Becerril shows us what those tunnels were like:
A Mexican marine lifts a bathtub that leads to a tunnel and exits in the city’s drainage system at one of the houses of Joaquin ‘Chapo’ Guzman in Culiacan.
A steel ladder leads to the bottom of a removable bathtub that gave access to Guzman to move in and move out.
The bottom of a removable bathtub which leads to the city’s drainage system in Culiacan
It’s an incredibly extensive network.
Guzman would use these tunnels to move drugs and weapons, and to avoid police.
An open steel door leads from a tunnel underneath one of the Guzman’s houses to the drainage system.
This was only accessible to Guzman and his immediate team members and no one else. NO ONE ELSE!!!
A Reuters journalist stands outside a steel door which secures the tunnel.
Journalists use flashlights while walking through the city’s drainage system towards a tunnel that comes out of the house of Joaquin ‘Chapo’ Guzman in Culiacan
This is the part of the city’s drainage system which eventually leads to Guzman’s house. Eerie!!!
A river of drugs and weapons flows underneath the city.
A Mexican Marine points his weapon in the city’s drainage system after walking through the connecting tunnel.
At the end of the tunnel, Joaquin Guzman could make his escape. Unfortunately for Guzman, Mexican Marines and U.S DEA agents has set up a base of operations in the city, according to AP.