Dubbed “Operation Black Swan,” the recapturing of Mexican drug kingpin and master escape artist Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman was not a subtle affair. This head-cam footage reveals how terrifying and chaotic the raid really was.
Viewer discretion advised, this is violent footage:
El Chapo escaped from the raiding force via a secret passage hidden behind a mirror in a bedroom closet. A mechanical door opened behind the mirror via toggling a mechanism hidden in the closet’s light fixture. The passageway led to the sewage system below the city of Los Mochis. It took the Mexican Navy commandos nearly 90 minutes to find the secret escape route, giving El Chapo a huge head-start.
You can see exactly what this escape route looked like in this video:
According to news reports, Guzman and a bodyguard crawled nearly a mile through the dark sewage tunnels before popping up onto the Los Mochis streets. They reportedly stole one car that quickly ran out of gas. They then stole another car that the Mexican police were able to intercept, at which time both men were promptly taken into custody. Afterwards they were driven to a nearby hotel so that they could be guarded by Mexican Navy commandos until an extraction team arrived.
During El Chapo’s attempted escape, Mexican commandos dropped down into the sewers in an attempt to find him but they began to fill with rainwater and they had to get out. At the same time other commandos were involved in a roof-to-roof gunfight with fragments of El Chapo’s crew. In the end, five gunman were killed and four were arrested. It is not clear if more got away, although previous reports stated that at least one of El Chapo’s top associates was on the run after the raid.
Apparently, the whole operation was heavily dependent on Sean Penn’s interview with Guzman. During his trip to Mexico to meet with the drug lord, Penn was accompanied by the pro-El Chapo actress Kate del Castillo and El Chapo’s lawyer. Mexican intelligence officials, who were already tracking El Chapo’s lawyer covertly, were led to where he was hiding and began tracking him from there.
As for El Chapo, once he was captured he supposedly told Mexican officials “my holidays are over.”
Contact the author at Tyler@jalopnik.com