Mexican Drug Lord El Chapo’s Hideaway Becomes Prize In National Lottery
The house which was previously used to hide drug lord El Chapo is being given away as a prize in Mexico’s national lottery.
Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador is said to have given little attention to the history of the home as he talked up the prospect of giving away seized properties as lottery prizes, though the fact it was surrounded by Mexican marines in 2014 means it has become a topic of conversation.
Located in a quiet Culiacan neighbourhood, the house has undergone some changes recently and has been valued by the government at $183,000.
It has been abandoned for the last few years, but in 2014 housed drug kingpin Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán, who lived with surveillance cameras covering the property.
On February 17, 2014, marines flocked around the 2,800-square-foot home and charged inside to search for Guzmán, only to find he had managed to escape using tunnels under the house.
In the last few weeks, Mexico’s Institute to Return Stolen Goods to the People (INDEP) concealed the tunnels with a concrete slab and tiled over the entry point, as well as giving the home a fresh coat of paint, ABC News reports.
Guzmán’s escape didn’t last long, as a few days later the marines descended on a condo on the coast in Mazatlan and managed to capture the drug lord. Following yet another escape and arrest, Guzmán was finally extradited to the United States, where he was sentenced to life in prison in July 2019.
The recent renovations of the home have involved the removal of the surveillance cameras and the repair of items broken during the marines’ search.
The inclusion of the property as a lottery prize comes after INDEP failed to auction off the home last year, when it had a starting price of $130,000.
Drawing for the lottery is set to take place today, September 15, with proceeds from the event going to Mexico’s Olympic athletes.
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