A New Museum Exhibit Examines El Chapo's Prison Break

The Mob Museum
The Mob Museum / The Mob Museum

Move over, Al Capone—Joaquín "El Chapo" Guzmán is now modern history’s most notorious criminal. The Mexican drug kingpin heads the infamous Sinaloa Cartel, and is often called the "world's most powerful drug trafficker." Now, a new exhibit at The Mob Museum in Las Vegas tells the story of El Chapo’s life and his improbable July 2015 escape from the maximum security Altiplano prison.

“El Chapo’s Great Escape” features a scale model that recreates the outlaw’s journey to freedom through a massive underground tunnel system. The elaborate network of passages began with a 32-foot climb down a ladder from a small hole underneath Guzmán’s shower. It descended into a 4921-foot paved horizontal tunnel equipped with lighting, ventilation, and a customized motorcycle. A third vertical tunnel carried El Chapo up and into a compound built on a construction site, where the drug lord met his co-conspirators and fled.

Guzmán was arrested by Mexican authorities on January 8, 2016, nearly six months after his jailbreak. He is currently back at Altiplano, awaiting extradition to the United States, where he faces drug trafficking charges.

“El Chapo’s Great Escape” opened on March 1, and also includes a video documentary of Guzmán’s life. It closes in July. The Mob Museum is open daily from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., and adult tickets cost $19.95 if they’re bought in advance online. Can't go to Las Vegas? Check out a sneak peek of the exhibit below.

All photos courtesy of The Mob Museum.