Details are emerging about the price tag on 'El Chapo' Guzmán's impressive jailbreak

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Overview of Joaquin 'El Chapo' Guzman's Escape from Central Mexico Prison


The price Mexican drug lord Joaquín "El Chapo" Guzmán paid to escape from a high-security prison seems to have been pocket change for the Sinaloa cartel boss.

At the helm of the highly lucrative Sinaloa cartel, Guzmán is estimated to have a fortune exceeding $1 billion, and he reportedly paid $3 million to escape from another maximum-security prison in 2001.

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See photos of 'El Chapo's' escape route:

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El Chapo Tunnel Escape Route
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Details are emerging about the price tag on 'El Chapo' Guzmán's impressive jailbreak
Federal Police officers stand guard inside a half-built house where drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman made his escape through a tunnel from the Altiplano maximum security prison in Almoloya, west of Mexico City, Thursday, July 16, 2015. A widespread manhunt that included highway checkpoints, stepped up border security and closure of an international airport failed to turn up any trace of Guzman after he escaped through an underground tunnel in his prison cell. (AP Photo/Marco Ugarte)
A motorcycle adapted to a rail sits in the tunnel under the half-built house where according to authorities, drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman made his escape from the Altiplano maximum security prison in Almoloya, west of Mexico City, Thursday, July 16, 2015. A widespread manhunt that included highway checkpoints, stepped up border security and closure of an international airport failed to turn up any trace of Guzman after he escaped through an underground tunnel in his prison cell. (AP Photo/Marco Ugarte)
A Mexican Federal Police officer crouches inside the tunnel where according to authorities drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman made his escape from the Altiplano maximum security prison in Almoloya, west of Mexico City, Thursday, July 16, 2015. Two Mexican lawmakers say at least 18 minutes had elapsed from when Mexico's most prized prisoner slipped into a mile-long tunnel Saturday night and when authorities became aware. An official with the National Security Commission said he would try to confirm the figure, but did not think it was that much time. (AP Photo/Marco Ugarte)
Mexican Federal Police officers stand guard at the exit of a tunnel where according to authorities drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman made his escape from the Altiplano maximum security prison in Almoloya, west of Mexico City, Thursday, July 16, 2015. Two Mexican lawmakers say at least 18 minutes had elapsed from when Mexico's most prized prisoner slipped into a mile-long tunnel Saturday night and when authorities became aware. An official with the National Security Commission said he would try to confirm the figure, but did not think it was that much time. (AP Photo/Marco Ugarte)
A Mexican Federal Police officer crouches as he walks through the tunnel that according to authorities drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman used to make his escape from the Altiplano maximum security prison in Almoloya, west of Mexico City, Thursday, July 16, 2015. Two Mexican lawmakers say at least 18 minutes had elapsed from when Mexico's most prized prisoner slipped into a mile-long tunnel Saturday night and when authorities became aware. An official with the National Security Commission said he would try to confirm the figure, but did not think it was that much time. (AP Photo/Marco Ugarte)
Federal Police officer stands in the tunnel where according to authorities drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman made his escape from the Altiplano maximum security prison in Almoloya, west of Mexico City, Thursday, July 16, 2015. Two Mexican lawmakers say at least 18 minutes had elapsed from when Mexico's most prized prisoner slipped into a mile-long tunnel Saturday night and when authorities became aware. An official with the National Security Commission said he would try to confirm the figure, but did not think it was that much time. (AP Photo/Marco Ugarte)
This photo shows the shower area where authorities claim drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, slipped into a tunnel to escape from his prison cell at the Altiplano maximum security prison, in Almoloya, west of Mexico City, Wednesday, July 15, 2015. (AP Photo/Eduardo Verdugo)
The photo shows the interior of the cell occupied by drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, from where authorities claim he escaped via a tunnel in his shower cell, at the Altiplano maximum security prison, in Almoloya, west of Mexico City, Wednesday, July 15, 2015. In the top left corner is a security camera. (AP Photo/Eduardo Verdugo)
A Mexican authority climbs a ladder to exit the tunnel that according to authorities, drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman used to escape from the Altiplano maximum security prison in Almoloya, west of Mexico City, Thursday, July 16, 2015. Two Mexican lawmakers say at least 18 minutes had elapsed from when Mexico's most prized prisoner slipped into a mile-long tunnel Saturday night and when authorities became aware. An official with the National Security Commission said he would try to confirm the figure, but did not think it was that much time. (AP Photo/Marco Ugarte)
A Mexican authority climbs up a ladder leading to the exit of the tunnel that was used by Mexican drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, to escape from the Altiplano maximum security prison in Almoloya, Mexico, Tuesday, July 14, 2015. (AP Photo/Marco Ugarte)
The photo shows the opening of a tunnel, authorities claim was used by drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, to escape from inside his cell at the Altiplano maximum security prison, in Almoloya, west of Mexico City, Wednesday, July 15, 2015. (AP Photo/Eduardo Verdugo)
A journalist reports from the exit of the tunnel that according to authorities, drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman used to escape from the Altiplano maximum security prison in Almoloya, west of Mexico City, Tuesday, July 14, 2015. A widespread manhunt that included highway checkpoints, stepped up border security and closure of an international airport failed to turn up any trace of Guzman after he escaped through an underground tunnel in his prison cell. (AP Photo/Eduardo Verdugo)
A journalist climbs a ladder to get out of the tunnel that according to authorities, drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman used to escape from the Altiplano maximum security prison in Almoloya, west of Mexico City, Tuesday, July 14, 2015. A widespread manhunt that included highway checkpoints, stepped up border security and closure of an international airport failed to turn up any trace of Guzman after he escaped through an underground tunnel in his prison cell. (AP Photo/Eduardo Verdugo)
Journalists exit the tunnel where according to authorities drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman made his escape from the Altiplano maximum security prison in Almoloya, west of Mexico City, Tuesday, July 14, 2015. A widespread manhunt that included highway checkpoints, stepped up border security and closure of an international airport failed to turn up any trace of Guzman after he escaped through an underground tunnel in his prison cell. (AP Photo/Eduardo Verdugo)
A motorcycle adapted to a rail sits in the tunnel under the half-built house where according to authorities, drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman made his escape from the Altiplano maximum security prison in Almoloya, west of Mexico City, Tuesday, July 14, 2015. A widespread manhunt that included highway checkpoints, stepped up border security and closure of an international airport failed to turn up any trace of Guzman after he escaped through an underground tunnel in his prison cell. (AP Photo/Eduardo Verdugo)
The exit of the tunnel that according to authorities was used by Mexican drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, to escape from the Altiplano maximum security prison is seen in Almoloya, Mexico, Tuesday, July 14, 2015. A widespread manhunt that included highway checkpoints, stepped up border security and closure of an international airport failed to turn up any trace of Guzman after he escaped through an underground tunnel leading from his prison cell's shower area. (AP Photo/Mario Vazquez de la Torre)
In this photo provided by Mexico's attorney general, authorities inspect the exit of the tunnel they claim was used by drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman to break out of the Altiplano maximum security prison in Almoloya, west of Mexico City, Sunday, July 12, 2015. A massive manhunt is underway after Guzman, escaped from the maximum security prison through the tunnel that opened into the shower area of his cell, the country's top security official announced. (Mexico's Attorney General's Office via AP)
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His most recent jailbreak, through a custom-built, mile-long tunnel equipped with ventilation, lighting, a motorcycle built on rails, and with an exit disguised by an unfinished home, is estimated to have cost Guzmán $50 million, when bribes to prison employees and government officials are included, said Pablo Escobar's top hit man, Jhon Jairo Velasquez Vasquez.

Attorney General's OfficeAs with all drug-related finances, the true value of Guzmán's escape has not been quantified or verified.

"Listen, it's a black market for these things," Walter Lopez, the president of the College of Civil Engineers in Sinaloa, told The New York Times in reference to the cost of the escape. "Getting it exact is impossible," said Lopez.

According to Excelsior, the Mexican attorney general's office sourced $123,800 (more than 2 million pesos) in payments related to the escape.

Federal investigators provided Mexican legislators with the following figures (according to Excelsior):

  • $24,320 (400,000 pesos) for the construction of the house where the tunnel led to
  • $91,200 (1.5 million pesos) for the plot of land on where the house was built
  • $10,340 (170,000 pesos) paid to a pilot who flew Guzmán after the escape (the amount paid to another pilot, who flew a decoy plane is unknown)

El Economista reported the same payments as Excelsior, with the addition of a $10,340 (170,000 pesos) payment given to the owners of an airstrip in San Juan del Río in Querétaro, where Guzmán's plane taxied before flying to Sinaloa

El Economista's report put the total cost of the escape at approximately $133,900 (2.24 million pesos).

El Economista also notes that the price of machinery and labor for Guzmán's tunnel has not been quantified, nor have the details reported by El Economista and Excelsior been verified.

'El Chapo' Guzmán's financiers

A Mexican businessman named Manuel Trillo Hernández has been arrested, and Mexican authorities have accused him of financing the escape.

Attorney General's OfficeTrillo Hernández was arrested on August 19 in Puebla state in central Mexico and then held so he could be investigated for his connection to the escape.

Investigators say he "presumably financed the escape" of the Sinaloa cartel chief, and Trillo Hernández is also accused of using false identities and "shell companies" to purchase goods for the cartel between 2012 and 2015.

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An owner of restaurants and exchange houses and, allegedly, an old friend of Guzmán, Trillo Hernández has since been locked in the very same jail Guzmán broke out of.

Also arrested in late October was Oscar Manuel Gomez, who is believed to be the "mastermind" of the escape and reportedly managed the payments described above.

The investigators also linked Manuel Gomez to several high-profile figures in the drug underworld.

According to Excelsior's report, Manuel Gomez worked with Vicente Zambada Niebla, a relative of Adelmo Niebla González, known as El G-3, a lieutenant in the Sinaloa cartel who tunneled out of a Mexican prison just 14 months before Guzmán did the same.

Manuel Gomez has previously worked for Eduardo Arellano Félix, the Tijuana cartel boss who warred with the Sinaloa clan before being arrested in 2008 and extradited to the US.

Manuel Gomez also worked for several Sinaloa network figures related to Ismael "El Mayo" Zambada, who, along with Guzmán, helped make the Sinaloa cartel the most powerful in the Western Hemisphere.

"El Mayo," who directs Sinaloa's operations in Colombia, is regarded as "one of the most storied traffickers in Mexico."

NOW WATCH: A leaked audio file from inside El Chapo's prison cell proves just how obvious it was that he was about to escape

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