El Chapo's Daughter Says The Drug Lord Entered The US Twice Last Year

Imprisoned Mexican drug lord Joaquín "El Chapo" Guzmán allegedly entered the US twice while he was a wanted fugitive.

Guzmán's eldest daughter, Rosa Isela Guzmán Ortiz, claimed her father paid Mexican officials to help him avoid US authorities and sneak into California shortly after he was interviewed by Sean Penn, The Guardian reports.

El Chapo escaped from a Mexican maximum security prison in July and spent seven months on the run before being recaptured and sent back to the same prison.

Guzmán Ortiz, 39, told The Guardian her father crossed the border in late 2015 to visit relatives and see the home he bought for her.

She said,

My dad deposited the money in a bank account with a lawyer and a while after he came to see the house, his house. He came twice.

When asked how her father was able to bypass security at the border, the mother of four suggested El Chapo did not disclose this information to her.

José Reveles, who's written several books about Mexican drug cartels, was not surprised to learn El Chapo crossed the border with ease.

He said "nothing is impossible" for El Chapo, whose cartel was among the first to utilize underground tunnels allowing drugs and cartel members to enter the US.

Reveles told The Guardian,

Everything indicates that El Chapo would be able to visit the US: He's very smart, he has well-trained operatives and he has experts in building tunnels.

El Chapo remained a fugitive for so long because he paid highly ranked Mexican politicians to not get involved in his recapture, Guzmán Ortiz said.

These politicians were given money while running for office and allegedly knew about his escape as it was being planned.

More than 30 people, including the former director of the prison and the head of Mexico's federal prison system, were reportedly arrested in connection with the escape.

Guzmán Ortiz believes her father is back in prison because the agreement between El Chapo and his political allies was broken.

She said,

If there's a pact, they don't respect it. Now that they catch him they say he's a criminal, a killer. But they didn't say that when they asked for money for their campaigns. They're hypocrites.

Late last month, El Chapo's wife said her husband is being subjected to torturous prison conditions that are endangering his health.

According to reports, the inmate at the Altiplano prison is now hoping to escape these conditions by being extradited to the US, where apparently he may be given a lighter sentence.

Citations: El Chapo entered US twice while on the run after prison break, daughter claims (The Guardian)