'El Chapo' Escape: Video Shows Moment Guzman Vanished From Prison Cell

Breaking News Emails

Get breaking news alerts and special reports. The news and stories that matter, delivered weekday mornings.
SUBSCRIBE
By Becky Bratu and Alex Johnson

Mexican authorities released video Tuesday of drug kingpin Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman in his cell the night of his audacious escape from a supermax prison through a mile-long tunnel — including the moment he apparently vanished down his elaborate tunnel.

As they said they had fired the national prisons director and the head of Altiplano prison Monday night, federal officials also promised to release video from the surveillance cameras that recorded Guzman's cell 24 hours a day. They made good on that promise at a 23-minute news conference that the Mexican government posted online in its entirety Tuesday.

Let our news meet your inbox. The news and stories that matters, delivered weekday mornings.

The videos show not only Guzman's cell but also the entrance into the tunnel through which he escaped Saturday night and its interior. NBC News and other news organizations were briefly allowed inside the tunnel Tuesday.

The surveillance video is shot from angles that don't provide full coverage of his cell, as authorities have previously acknowledged.

"We can confirm that the camera has two blind spots in the cell to allow for the privacy of the inmate in the bathroom area," Mexico's national security commissioner, Monte Alejandro Rubido, told reporters Tuesday. One of those blind spots included the opening to the escape tunnel, he said.

Guzman can be seen walking into that blind spot a few seconds after 8:52 p.m. Saturday — and six seconds later, "he vanishes," Rubido said.

National Security Commissioner Monte Alejandro Rubido shows security footage Tuesday in Mexico City of drug lord Joaquin 'El Chapo' Guzman the night of his escape.Reuters

Rubido said that as an inmate in the prison's "special treatment" unit, Guzman wore a monitoring bracelet, but he acknowledged that it didn't have geolocation capabilities because Altiplano doesn't have GPS service.

Another of the videos provides the best views of the tunnel to be made public so far — replete with PVC tubes and even a motorcycle.

"We are working a coordinated effort to try to quickly re-apprehend Guzman," Rubido said Tuesday, a day after Interior Minister Miguel Angel Osorio Chong and Attorney General Arely Gomez offered a $3.8 million reward for Guzman's capture.