How would you like to win a two-bedroom house with stunning views of the Sierra Madre, courtesy of the Mexican lottery? Only one careful owner. He fled the property in 2014 through a series of tunnels as heavily armed Mexican marines closed in on him.
Yes, former drug lord Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán’s safehouse is now a lottery prize.
The house, in Culiacán, Sinaloa, is available via the Institute to Return Stolen Goods to the People (INDEP). The organisation decided to offer it on the Lotería Nacional because it failed to sell at auction. Perhaps there were more luxurious ex-drug lord properties on the market.
Because according to the Associated Press, the safehouse is modest with “no swimming pool, none of the ostentation that characterizes other narco properties in Sinaloa.”
Having been uninhabited since El Chapo’s daring escape, INDEP told the AP it had been in to give it a lick of paint and make the necessary repairs since the marines smashed it up seven years ago.
They’ve even filled in the hole under the bathtub that Guzmán slipped through to reach his secret undergroud labrynth.
Guzmán was the leader of Sinaloa cartel and one of the most powerful drug traffickers in the world before he finally ran out of tunnels and the marines caught up with him. But he gave them a run for their money.
Just days after they missed him in Culiacán, Guzmán was cornered in another safe house in the coastal resort of Mazatlan.
But in July 2015, he escaped from prison through a tunnel that had been dug into the drain of the shower in his cell by associates. He rode a motorcycle on tracks that had been laid through the tunnel to temporary freedom.
It was the second time he had escaped a maximum-security prison. The first time, in 2001, he bribed guards and was smuggled out in a laundry basket. It helped that he was only 5’6”. El Chapo means “shorty.”
On January 8, 2016, he was finally captured after fleeing a shootout with marines at another modest safehouse. Emerging from a tunnel around a mile away, he stole a vehicle at gunpoint, but was intercepted by federal police 15 miles from the scene.
He was extradited to the US, where he was tried on a litany of charges ranging from drugs trafficking with intent to distribute to kidnapping and murder. He was convicted on all counts and sentenced to life in prison in July 2019.
His current home is ADX Florence, the most secure supermax prison in America.
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