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In February, Joaquin & # 39; El Chapo & # 39; Guzman, 62, found guilty of trafficking in cocaine, heroin and marijuana worth $ 12 billion during his reign as the Don of the Mexican Sinaloa cartel

In February, Joaquin & # 39; El Chapo & # 39; Guzman, 62, found guilty of trafficking in cocaine, heroin and marijuana worth $ 12 billion during his reign as the Don of the Mexican Sinaloa cartel

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In February, Joaquin & # 39; El Chapo & # 39; Guzman, 62, found guilty of trafficking in cocaine, heroin and marijuana worth $ 12 billion during his reign as the Don of the Mexican Sinaloa cartel

Since Joaquin 'El Chapo' Guzman was sentenced to life imprisonment in a New York court in July, the underground tunnels he once used to transport tons of heroin and cocaine across the US-Mexico border have become the center of a new cartel war.

In February, Guzman, 62, was found guilty of trafficking in cocaine, heroin and marijuana worth $ 12 billion during his reign as the Don of the Mexican Sinaloa cartel.

For decades, the huge criminal empire that Guzman built built underground tunnels to strengthen the Sinaloa cartel on top of the world's most respected crime syndicates, who dominated US drug trafficking in the late 1980s, following the fall and eventual collapse of Pablo Escobar.

But despite its own fall from grace, the Guzman tunnels continue to thrive as a profitable and viable way to flood the US with drugs.

However, unlike Chapo, the Sinaloa cartel is not the only gang that uses the tunnels.

For decades, the vast criminal empire that Guzman built built underground tunnels to cement the site of the Sinaloa cartel on top of the world's most respected crime syndicates, who dominated US drug trafficking in the late 1980s. collapse and eventual collapse of Pablo Escobar
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For decades, the vast criminal empire that Guzman built built underground tunnels to cement the site of the Sinaloa cartel on top of the world's most respected crime syndicates, who dominated US drug trafficking in the late 1980s. collapse and eventual collapse of Pablo Escobar

For decades, the huge criminal empire that Guzman built built underground tunnels to strengthen the Sinaloa cartel on top of the world's most respected crime syndicates, who dominated US drug trafficking in the late 1980s, following the fall and eventual collapse of Pablo Escobar

But despite its own fall from grace, the Guzman tunnels continue to thrive as a profitable and viable way to flood the US with drugs

But despite its own fall from grace, the Guzman tunnels continue to thrive as a profitable and viable way to flood the US with drugs

But despite its own fall from grace, the Guzman tunnels continue to thrive as a profitable and viable way to flood the US with drugs

However, unlike Chapo, the Sinaloa cartel is not the only gang that uses the tunnels

However, unlike Chapo, the Sinaloa cartel is not the only gang that uses the tunnels

However, unlike Chapo, the Sinaloa cartel is not the only gang that uses the tunnels

Criminal organizations work both behind each other and opposite each other via the lucrative routes.

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Duncan Wood, director of the Mexico Institute of the Wilson Center, told Daily Star Online: "I imagine there are between 10 and 50 tunnels active at any given time.

"They will not all be active at the same time, but they will be available. Over the years, the cartels have invested a lot of time and effort in building these tunnels.

"They are looking for the right locations in urban areas, as well as in the desert, so they can move the drugs."

Wood said that one of the main benefits of setting up an operation in an urban area is that you build your tunnels in buildings and end up in a building on the other side.

It essentially allows drug traffickers to hide their trade, with the urban background that protects it from the authorities.

Guzman, once praised as "master of tunnels", reportedly sent a number of his cartel engineers to Germany to receive specialized training for underground tunnel construction, which would eventually be used to build the escape route that was taken by El Chapo used to escape from a maximum security prison for a second time
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Guzman, once praised as "master of tunnels", reportedly sent a number of his cartel engineers to Germany to receive specialized training for underground tunnel construction, which would eventually be used to build the escape route that was taken by El Chapo used to escape from a maximum security prison for a second time

Guzman, once praised as the & # 39; tunnels' master & # 39 ;, allegedly sent a number of his cartel engineers to Germany to receive specialized training for underground tunnel construction, which would eventually be used to complete the El Chapo escape route Build to escape from a maximum security prison for a second time

In the case of the long-standing Guzman tunnels, some are controlled by one cartel, but they rent them out to other groups for a hefty premium. Often such a payment involves splitting the profit from the sale of medicines that are sent across the border

In the case of the long-standing Guzman tunnels, some are controlled by one cartel, but they rent them out to other groups for a hefty premium. Often such a payment involves splitting the profit from the sale of medicines that are sent across the border

In the case of the long-standing Guzman tunnels, some are controlled by one cartel, but they rent them out to other groups for a hefty premium. Often such a payment involves splitting the profit from the sale of medicines that are sent across the border

In the case of the long-standing Guzman tunnels, some are controlled by one cartel, but they rent them out to other groups for a hefty premium.

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Often such a payment involves splitting the profit from the sale of medicines that are sent across the border.

"The profit drop is significant because the last mile is the most difficult and dangerous to cross," Wood explains.

"I don't know if you have different factions that arrange different crossings at the border. I'm sure that's the case, but I don't know where, ”he went on.

Last October, DEA agents closed an incomplete cross-border tunnel near the city of Jacumba in the state of California, less than a mile north of the US-Mexico border.

The underground tunnel was very innovative and contains solar panels designed to operate electrical, lighting and ventilation systems, as well as two pump pumps to drain the tunnel from all the water that accumulated in it.

Depending on the length and complexity, the tunnels can usually cost between $ 1,000,000 and $ 2,000,000 to build, which can usually be paid off with just one load of methamphetamine or cocaine
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Depending on the length and complexity, the tunnels can usually cost between $ 1,000,000 and $ 2,000,000 to build, which can usually be paid off with just one load of methamphetamine or cocaine

Depending on the length and complexity, the tunnels can usually cost between $ 1,000,000 and $ 2,000,000 to build, which can usually be paid off with just one load of methamphetamine or cocaine

Entrance to the tunnel in the house where Joaquin & # 39; El Chapo & # 39; Guzman was used to escape the Maximum Security Prison from El Altiplano in 2015

Entrance to the tunnel in the house where Joaquin & # 39; El Chapo & # 39; Guzman was used to escape the Maximum Security Prison from El Altiplano in 2015

Entrance to the tunnel in the house where Joaquin & # 39; El Chapo & # 39; Guzman was used to escape the Maximum Security Prison from El Altiplano in 2015

In April 2016, the authorities discovered one of the longest narco tunnels built between California and Mexico. It stretched around 800 meters and was equipped with a lift.

Depending on the length and complexity, the tunnels can typically cost between $ 1,000,000 and $ 2,000,000 to build, which can usually be paid off with just one load of methamphetamine or cocaine.

Guzman, once praised as the & # 39; tunnels' master & # 39 ;, allegedly sent a number of his cartel engineers to Germany to receive specialized training for underground tunnel construction, which would ultimately be used to track the escape route of Build El Chapo to escape from a maximum security prison for a second time.

"The Sinaloa cartel is the main builder of advanced tunnels," said Mike Vigil, the former Chief of International Operations of the DEA last year. "The [narco tunnels] are worth gold."

Last month, Guzman said he wanted to donate his amazing $ 9.8 billion fortune to indigenous Mexican communities when he died, his lawyer said.

The request was made during a series of phone calls between the former kingpin and his mother, sisters and daughter in August.

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