October 22, 2015 / 2:43 AM / 2 years ago

Mexico arrests key figures in escape of drug lord Guzman

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Mexican officials have arrested the “principal planner” and five other suspects behind the brazen jail break by the world’s most-wanted drug boss, Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, Mexico’s attorney general said on Wednesday.

Mexico's Attorney General Arely Gomez addresses the media in Mexico City, October 21, 2015. REUTERS/Edgard Garrido

Guzman, the head of the Sinaloa drug cartel, escaped from a maximum security prison in July through a tunnel leading from the shower in his cell.

The escape has caused a major embarrassment for President Enrique Pena Nieto, who has pledged to recapture Guzman.

Attorney General Arely Gomez told a news conference that the escape’s mastermind had repeatedly entered the maximum security prison where Guzman was held by taking advantage of the access afforded to his lawyers.

“He used that cover to become a link between those who built the tunnel as well as making the payments,” said Gomez.

She did not name any of the new detainees, which also include a pilot believed to be a long-time Sinaloa associate, one of the cartel’s top tunnel builders, as well as a brother-in-law to Guzman.

Gomez added that after Guzman escaped through the tunnel, he was transported in a vehicle to a town in central Queretaro state, where a small plane was waiting to carry him away.

She did she take any questions from reporters.

Reporting by Adriana Barrera; Writing by David Alire Garcia; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore

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