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WATCH: Surveillance Video Shows 'El Chapo's' Escape

A security camera inside the jail cell of Joaquín "El Chapo" Guzmán was rolling the moment the most powerful drug lord in the world made a run for it.

Well, to be precise, he didn't exactly run: The security video shows Guzmán pacing around his cell for a few moments. At one point, he ducks behind a wall that divides a shower stall from the rest of the cell. He looks at something and then comes back to sit on his bed, where he seemingly adjusts his shoes.

As the country's national security commissioner Monte Alejandro Rubido said during a press conference, these were "natural movements" for a prisoner inside a small cell.

A moment later, El Chapo calmly walks back to the shower area, where he quickly disappears.

Here's the video:

Rubido said a "code red" should be issued as soon as an employee notices that a prisoner is missing. As soon as a code red is issued, the maximum security jail is put under lockdown.

Citing unnamed sources,the Mexican newspaper Reforma reported that it took prison officials 30 minutes to issue a code red. Reforma reported that Guzmán crawled down a hole into a tunnel, where he rode a motorcycle on rails to a safe house about a mile away from the prison.

The search for Guzmán is still ongoing, but the AP reports that the search right around the prison seems to have lost its urgency:

"By Monday afternoon, the search for Guzman in the area near the prison had died down dramatically. Road blocks were gone and Federal Police patrols had lightened. Reporters traveled the area unhampered. Flights at the nearby Toluca airport that had been suspended on Sunday were back to normal."

If you're interested in what the tunnel actually looked like on the other side, Univison got a peek.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit

Eyder Peralta is NPR's East Africa correspondent based in Nairobi, Kenya.
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