Mexico hunts drug kingpin probes prison guards

first_imgMEXICO CITY, Mexico — Mexican security forces scrambled Monday to save face and recapture drug kingpin Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán as authorities investigated whether guards helped him escape prisonthrough a tunnel under his cell.For the second time in 14 years the head of the powerful Sinaloa drug cartel managed to flee a maximum-security prison, dealing an embarrassing setback to President Enrique Peña Nieto.Troops and police were deployed to hunt down Guzmán after he vanished late Saturday from the Altiplano prison 90 kilometers (55 miles) west of Mexico City, after just 17 months behind bars.Prosecutors questioned 30 prison employees of various rank, including the warden, the attorney general’s office said, signaling suspicions of an inside job.The guards in charge of the capo’s cell and those who monitored the surveillance cameras that look into the room were among those interrogated, an official in the attorney general’s office said.Authorities had already investigated a strange prison visit to Guzmán in March when a woman managed to see him by using a fake ID to enter the jail.On a state visit to Paris, Peña Nieto said Guzmán’s escape was “an affront to the state” and demanded an investigation into whether prison guards helped him.Guzmán, 58, who nurtured a Robin Hood image in his northwestern state of Sinaloa while running the most powerful and one of the most ruthless cartels in Mexico, was able to slip out even though surveillance cameras were trained on his cell.He went into his private shower and after he failed to come out guards found a hole 10 meters (33 feet) deep with a ladder in it.The gap led to a 1.5-kilometer tunnel with a ventilation and light system that was apparently dug with the help of a motorcycle mounted on a rail to transport tools and remove earth.The sophisticated tunnel led to a gray brick building on a hill surrounded by pastures in central Mexico State.Prosecutors released a video showing the hole inside the building’s dirt-covered floor. A bed and kitchen were in the facility, indicating that people had lived there.Against the clockAs investigators tried to figure out how Guzmán busted out again, police and troops manned checkpoints and searched cars and trucks on nearby roads.Mike Vigil, a retired U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) international operations chief, warned that if Guzmán is not captured in the next day or so he will vanish for good.“If he is able to make his way to Sinaloa, his native state, and gets into that mountainous range, it’s going to be very difficult to capture him because he enjoys the protection of local villagers,” Vigil told AFP.Recommended: How do ‘El Chapo’ Guzmán’s kids live? Follow them on TwitterSeveral states, including Sinaloa, set up checkpoints. Central Puebla state said it was using X-ray technology at toll booths to see through cars.Troops in Guatemala launched a special operation at the border with Mexico. It was in that country that Guzmán was first arrested in 1993.Guzmán’s first escape was in 2001, when he slipped past authorities by hiding in a laundry cart in western Jalisco state.Marines recaptured him in February 2014 in a pre-dawn raid in a condo in Mazatlán, a Pacific resort in Sinaloa state, with the DEA’s help.He was then jailed at Altiplano, which houses several other infamous drug capos captured during Peña Nieto’s administration.Peña Nieto setbackGuzmán’s second escape overshadowed Peña Nieto’s visit to France.The government has won praise for capturing a slew of kingpins and Guzmán, a diminutive but feared man whose nickname means “Shorty,” was the president’s biggest trophy.U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch said she shared Mexico’s “concern” and offered help for his “swift recapture.”Some U.S. prosecutors wanted to ask for his extradition following last year’s arrest, but Mexican officials insisted on trying him first.“This leads to a big problem with the U.S. government because they asked (for an extradition) and the Mexican government did not deliver him, claiming that he could be held in one of the country’s maximum-security prisons,” said Raúl Benítez Manaut, security expert at the National Autonomous University of Mexico. Facebook Comments Related posts:How do ‘El Chapo’ Guzmán’s kids live? Follow them on Twitter World’s top drug trafficker, ‘El Chapo’ Guzmán arrested in Mexico Adiós, El Chapo Mexico captures fugitive drug lord ‘El Chapo’ Guzmán, says President Peña Nietolast_img read more

Conversation peace how a talking stick helped end the government shutdown

first_imgShare via Email This article is more than 1 year old Since you’re here… Susan Collins, a Republican senator from Maine, held a meeting with about two dozen lawmakers in her office. Senators who wanted to speak, she told reporters, were only allowed to do so if they were holding a special stick. Collins would then take the stick from one senator and give it to the next who wanted to speak.“As you can imagine, with that many senators in a room, they all want to talk at once,” Collins told reporters on Monday. “I know that shocks you.”The stick was described by the New York Times as “a Masai tribal talking stick”, a gift to Collins, a centrist Republican, from Heidi Heitkamp, a Democrat from North Dakota.“Sometimes people passed it person to person but generally I tried to control the stick,” Collins said.The bipartisan group involved was credited with helping end the shutdown, after discussing potential compromises and raising them with Senate leadership. Senator Susan Collins with her ‘Masai tribal talking stick’. Senators switched to a rubber ball after a glass elephant in her office was damaged in a heated exchange.Photograph: J Scott Applewhite/AP Key players in the US government shutdown: who came out on top? @holpuch US Senate Topics Share on LinkedIn Susan Collins insisted that a group of fellow senators seeking a compromise use the stick to indicate who had the right to speak US Senate news Shares170170 Share on Twitter Amanda Holpuch Share on Facebook Read morecenter_img Share on WhatsApp Talking sticks have been an effective tool for indigenous cultures in Africa and North America for centuries. The senators, though, struggled to adapt to such a simple process.According to Politico, a glass elephant on a shelf in Collins’ office was chipped after Lamar Alexander, a Republican from Tennessee, “forcefully tossed” the stick to Mark Warner, a Democrat from Virginia, after Warner interrupted him.Shortly after that, the senators switched from the stick to a rubber ball. Share on Twitter First published on Tue 23 Jan 2018 11.31 EST Support The Guardian This article is more than 1 year old Share via Email To resolve the federal government shutdown, Congress resorted to an ancient tool: a stick. Conversation peace: how a talking stick helped end the government shutdown … we have a small favour to ask. The Guardian will engage with the most critical issues of our time – from the escalating climate catastrophe to widespread inequality to the influence of big tech on our lives. At a time when factual information is a necessity, we believe that each of us, around the world, deserves access to accurate reporting with integrity at its heart.More people are reading and supporting The Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism than ever before. And unlike many news organisations, we have chosen an approach that allows us to keep our journalism accessible to all, regardless of where they live or what they can afford. But we need your ongoing support to keep working as we do.Our editorial independence means we set our own agenda and voice our own opinions. Guardian journalism is free from commercial and political bias and not influenced by billionaire owners or shareholders. This means we can give a voice to those less heard, explore where others turn away, and rigorously challenge those in power.We need your support to keep delivering quality journalism, to maintain our openness and to protect our precious independence. Every reader contribution, big or small, is so valuable. Support The Guardian from as little as $1 – and it only takes a minute. Thank you. Share on Pinterest Tue 23 Jan 2018 12.08 EST Share on Facebook Fabian Rivera-Chávez (@FabianRChavez)Chris Cuomo wasn’t impressed with Susan Collins’ stick @ChrisCuomo pic.twitter.com/9duitmZHHsJanuary 23, 2018 Reuse this content Share on Messengerlast_img read more