- The Washington Times - Wednesday, July 15, 2015

The former chief hit man of Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar says that the Mexican prison break by Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman likely cost $50 million.

“You have to buy off the guards, and they know how rich he is. They will have asked for tens of millions of dollars. They had sensors and cameras. That escape cost money,” said Jhon Jairo Velasquez Vasquez, The Telegraph reported Tuesday. Mr. Vasquez is said to have killed 250 people during his time as a paid assassin.

“Shorty” Guzman disappeared July 13 in a mile-long tunnel leading from his cell. The head of the Sinaloa Cartel also used a motorcycle within the tunnel to expedite his escape.

Guzman had surveillance cameras aimed at his cell around the clock, and he was supposed to have a monitoring bracelet on him at the time of his disappearance.

“It’s not just like someone took a couple tools, shovels and pickaxes. This is a very sophisticated operation,” said Alonzo Pena, a former senior official at U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, The Associated Press reported Wednesday. “How could they be there and not hear that construction was going on underneath? It’s just impossible.”

“El Chapo Guzman will die free,” said Mr. Vasquez, The Telegraph reported. The hitman said the Mexican government’s $3.8 million reward would not be enough enough to entice informants to come forward. He estimated that the reward would have to be at least $20 million.

At least 34 employees at the maximum-security prison have been questioned about the disappearance of the Mexican drug lord.

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