'El Chapo' escape: Mexico arrests 13 ex-prison execs

© The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)
Mexico has arrested 13 former senior prison officials thought to be involved in the escape of the world’s most wanted drug trafficker, Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, including the former director of El Altiplano, the maximum security prison the drug kingpin escaped from in July.

Valentin Cardenas, the former director of the Altiplano prison in central Mexico, and Celina Oseguera, former director of Mexico's federal prisons, were arrested along with 11 prison guards, someone familiar with the arrests told Reuters. Both were removed from their positions shortly after Guzman managed to flee a high-security prison.

Joaquin ‘El Chapo’ Guzman is said to be responsible for the deaths of about 34,000 people. Twenty officials have now been arrested.

Four officials, two of them members of Mexico's intelligence agency CISEN and two prison control room employees, were charged earlier this month for their suspected roles in Guzman's jailbreak. They were accused of aiding and abetting the drug lord’s July 11 escape through a 1.5-kilometer and 10-meter deep underground tunnel dug from his cell, AP reported. He served only 17 months of his lengthy prison sentence. To secure his successful escape, ‘El Chapo’ may have reportedly paid as much as $50 million in bribes.

A photographer exits a tunnel connected to the Altiplano Federal Penitentiary and used by drug lord Joaquin 'El Chapo' Guzman to escape, in Almoloya de Juarez, on the outskirts of Mexico City, July 14, 2015. © Edgard Garrido

It's believed Guzman may be in a hideout in Costa Rica. Earlier this month, his son accidentally disclosed his fayher's alleged location on Twitter.

READ MORE: ‘El Chapo’ may be hiding in Costa Rica, son accidentally reveals on Twitter 

Jesus Alfredo Guzman Salazar, 29, has been regularly posting on social networks about his father, but probably forgot to remove the location tag in early September.

The picture he posted appeared to be from a restaurant in Costa Rica. The local authorities are currently checking whether the notorious drug lord managed to flee Mexico.

Guzman was imprisoned in February 2014, and his latest escape wasn’t the first. Authorities initially seized him in 1993 and sentenced him to 20 years in jail. He bribed prison guards, and was able to flee from a federal maximum-security prison in Puente Grande in 2001. In that breakout Guzman hid in a laundry cart. He was only recaptured 13 years later, in 2014 in Mazatlan, a tourist resort on the Pacific coast.

The drug lord's summer escape was a major embarrassment for President Enrique Pena Nieto's administration. A $3.8 million reward is being offered for Guzman’s arrest.