El Chapo celebrated prison escape anniversary with partyDecember 12, 2018
Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman is known for his spectacular prison escapes — one of which he celebrated with an annual party, an ex cartel associate revealed Tuesday.
Jorge Cifuentes testified he first met Guzman in 2002, a year after the pint-sized kingpin rolled out of a Mexican prison in a laundry cart.
“He was celebrating his second anniversary of his escape,” Cifuentes told jurors, recalling how the plane that he had chartered to the top of a mountain in Sinaloa, Mexico, had nearly teetered off the edge of a steep landing strip on the cliff.
The harrowing flight in a beat-up Cessna 206 left Cifuentes, who supplied cocaine to Chapo’s cartel, determined to “gift [Guzman] with a helicopter so he could fly in a more civilized way,” he said.
Earlier Tuesday, jurors were treated to clips of El Chapo waxing poetic about drug trafficking — as a rooster crows in the background of the video.
Seated and wearing a flat-billed cap, the kingpin says that drug trafficking “culture was passed on from my ancestors.”
Asked if he feels he bears any responsibility for the evils of his trade, he responds, “No, not at all. Not at all.”
“Drug trafficking doesn’t depend on just one person, rather it depends on a lot of people,” Guzman adds. As he speaks, a man with a rifle paces in the background.
The tapes were made for Sean Penn and Mexican actress Kate del Castillo, and Guzman was arrested months after the ”The Falcon and the Snowman” actor published a piece about the drug lord in Rolling Stone magazine.
Prior to the interview, Chapo had successfully evaded authorities since his jaw-dropping 2015 escape through a tunnel dug by flunkies under the prison and up into his prison cell’s shower.
Guzman was extradited to the United States in January 2017. He faces up to life behind bars if convicted of the top count.
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