El Chapo’s Lawyer Says Escape Was Motivated by Fear of Extradition

Read more

We still have no El Chapo, but we now have some more information about why he escaped the high-security prison in Mexico. One of his lawyers, Juan Pablo Badilla Soto, spoke to Univision and said that El Chapo was afraid to be extradited to the United States. “That was the solution to calm his fears, to simply say, see you around,” Badilla said, adding that El Chapo was also afraid of being murdered. Badilla, who has been working with El Chapo since 1993 was able to keep him from being extradited in 2014, said that Trump’s beef with El Chapo is made up.

While head of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Chuck Rosenberg believes that El Chapo is still in Mexico (“probably Sinaloa”), the people of Mexico don’t believe the tunnel escape story. Today, the New York Times spoke with several legislators, government administrators and citizens in Sinaloa who all shared their skepticism at the official account of the escape. “The government wants to sell us a tale in which no one knew about the tunnel and he got away,” said Carlos Castaños, a Sinaloa legislator, to the NYT. “It’s like they think that Mexicans are all kindergartners and they’re going to believe anything they tell them.” Alternate theories include:

  • The man who was imprisoned was actually an El Chapo lookalike.
  • El Chapo went to prison to avoid being assassinated, so he also left on his own terms.
  • The tunnel doesn’t actually exist.
  • The tunnel was actually secretly built in the 90s by former president Carlos Salinas de Gortari, who wanted an escape route for his imprisoned brother, Raúl.

One retired government administrator said that El Chapo walked out of the front door, something that was supposedly planned a year ago. “How is it possible that the noise of the drilling to make the tunnel didn’t warn anyone?” Manuel Benítez said. “Didn’t someone, anyone, hear that tremendous noise?”