Updated 07:27 AM EDT, Sat, Apr 10, 2021

El Chapo Did Business in Prison? Drug Lord Transformed Cell Into an Office, Journalist Claims

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A new report revealed that Mexican drug kingpin Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman was using his cell at the Altiplano Federal Prison as an office to conduct business and personal matters.

NBC News reported this new information from acclaimed Mexican journalist Anabel Hernandez. Jose Daniel Aurioles Tabares, one of the two guards specifically assigned to monitor El Chapo's every move and conversation while he was in prison, said that the drug lord's chief attorney would pass messages to him through signs and codes.

"All the appointments 'El Chapo' had in prison were recorded," NBC News reported from Hernandez, who spoke with Telemundo's Cristina Londoño in Berkeley, California. Hernandez currently resides in there after receiving death threats in Mexico.

In July, El Chapo used an underground tunnel to escape the maximum security prison he was detained in since 2014. The passageway was 1.5 kilometer long and 10 meters deep, which then led to a half-constructed empty house in the fields of Santa Juanita, RT reported.

The Daily Beast wrote that the escape tunnel was sophisticatedly built, with PVC pipes serving as ventilation, and overhead electric bulbs as illumination. The tunnel even contained an oxygen tank to help a person breathe while going deeper into the channel.

Hernandez obtained his info from the Federal Criminal Court in Mexico, which has internal information and testimonies from officials and prisoners regarding El Chapo's meticulous escape, NBC News noted.

The documents indicate that three attorneys and a chauffeur, who pretended to be a lawyer, performed different duties so that El Chapo can still lead the Sinaloa cartel from prison, the news outlet added.

Daily Mail reported in July that El Chapo was reportedly treated with "great respect" by guards, who called the drug lord "Don Joaquin" and "Lord." He also had privileges, and was the only prisoner in Altiplano with a cell phone.

Hernandez also revealed that the notorious criminal has connections with judges, politicians, celebrities, and possessed "in-person, work-related meetings with similar professionals who were prison inmates," NBC News further reported.

El Chapo even promised a member of Los Zetas, Sinaloa's rival cartel, that "he would lend him a plane to purchase merchandise, and that he should contact his people," the news outlet added.

Miguel Osorio Chong, Secretary of the Interior in the cabinet of President Enrique Peña Nieto, believes that El Chapo "had to have relied on the aid of prison staff or directors to make his escape," The Daily Beast noted. General Jorge Carrillo Olea, the former chief of Mexico's spy agency CISEN, agreed with Osorio Chong and said that Altiplano is "impossible to penetrate."

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