Mexico arrests brother-in-law of escaped drug kingpin, who helped him break out of jail

Mexican drug trafficker Joaquin Guzman Loera aka "El Chapo" Guzman, is escorted by marines as he is presented to the press on Feb 22, 2014 in Mexico City.
Mexican drug trafficker Joaquin Guzman Loera aka "El Chapo" Guzman, is escorted by marines as he is presented to the press on Feb 22, 2014 in Mexico City.

MEXICO CITY (AFP) - The Mexican authorities have arrested the brother-in-law of drug kingpin Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, who organised his July jailbreak, and a pilot who flew him to his home state, prosecutors said on Wednesday (Oct 21).

The pair were among six more people detained in connection with Guzman's prison escape, Attorney-General Arely Gomez told a news conference, adding that they were people who worked on the outside.

Mr Gomez said the brother-in-law organized the July 11 escape, including the construction of a 1.5km tunnel leading to a hole in his cell's shower in central Mexico State.

Guzman was then taken to the central state of Queretaro, where the pilot, who has transported narcotics for Guzman's Sinaloa drug cartel, flew him to the region "where he has taken refuge," the chief prosecutor said.

While Mr Gomez did not say where Guzman was flown, her announcement came days after officials said marine special forces closed in on the 58-year-old fugitive during raids in the northwest of the country earlier this month, somewhere around his home state of Sinaloa and Durango.

Guzman managed to evade arrest but injured a leg and his face when he fell in the mountain terrain while fleeing, officials have told AFP.

Authorities have also detained more than a dozen prison officials over the escape, including the director of the Altiplano maximum security penitentiary and the national coordinator of the nation's jail system.

Guzman's jailbreak has deeply embarrassed President Enrique Pena Nieto's administration, which had scored a major victory when it captured him in February 2014 after a 13-year manhunt.

Guzman previously broke out of prison in 2001 by hiding in a laundry cart.