Mexican officials are moving the recaptured drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman from cell to cell at the Altiplano prison, the same prison from where he had escaped last July, the Associated Press (AP) reported Wednesday, citing a government official. Guzman's escape from jail six months ago led to an intensive manhunt, while he reportedly met actor Sean Penn and actress Kate del Castillo in October.
Eduardo Sanchez, a spokesman for the Mexican government, said Guzman has been moved eight times since he was recaptured on Friday, according to AP. The prison now also has 24-hour video surveillance showing all parts of the cells that Guzman has been held in.
"He is being changed from cell to cell without a pattern... he is only spending hours or a couple of days in the same cell," Sanchez said, AP reported.
The July escape was Guzman's second from a maximum security prison and officials in the country are reportedly taking extraordinary measures to avoid a third.
Mexican authorities have also said over the past few days they are willing to extradite Guzman to the U.S., a course of action they had resisted before Guzman' July escape. However, they warned the U.S. that the process could take up to a year.
Mexican officials are also investigating Guzman’s meeting with Penn and del Castillo to see if there were any crimes committed. Officials said earlier that the meetings helped the authorities track down Guzman, who was caught after a shootout in the city of Los Mochis, where five of his men were killed and one Mexican marine was injured.
"We investigate actions, we don't investigate people," Sanchez said, according to another report by AP, adding: "The Attorney General's Office is investigating this event and others involving contacts that Joaquin Guzman had while he was on the run."
Carlos Barragan y Salvatierra, a professor of law at Mexico's National University, told AP that there would be little ground to investigate Penn or del Castillo in the case unless money or gifts were exchanged.
"If during the dinner El Chapo gave them money, or jewels, or he gave them money for the movie or any other transaction, they could be charged with money laundering," adding that "meeting with a fugitive or criminal is not a crime, even if the law says we should report crimes, there is no punishment for not doing so."
While Penn, who secretly interviewed Guzman, commented on the meeting by saying "I've got nothin' to hide," del Castillo has not commented on it so far. A federal official told AP Tuesday that Guzman wanted to hold a meeting with del Castillo, whom he referred to as “hermosa” or “beautiful.” Reports cited officials as saying the meetings were held to discuss Guzman’s plans to make a movie about himself. Sanchez, however, slammed any efforts that tried to glorify drug traffickers.
"We very much regret the acts of any citizen who collaborates with organized crime, because many times drug traffickers have been stereotyped as people who have their good side, or who in some way do good things," Sanchez said, according to AP, adding: "The reality is that these types of criminals have raped women, have killed children, have tortured women and men."