7 prison workers were arrested in connection with the escape of Mexican drug lord 'El Chapo'

Seven people who worked in the maximum-security prison that held Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman have been arrested in connection with his escape, Arely Gómez González, Mexico’s attorney general said Friday in a statement.

Investigators said
Guzmán’s custom-built mile-long tunnel placed in the blind spot of his Altiplano cell’s sole security camera,
could have only occurred with the collusion of prison guards and offiicals.

What’s more, it took 18 minutes for prison guards to check Guzmán’s cell after he ducked behind the shower wall, completely out of view from the cameras.

Since Guzmán’s escape, investigators have questioned more than 30 prison officials and the government has fired the head of the prison.

Mexico france hollandeReutersMexican President Enrique Pena Nieto and French President Francois Hollande present toasts before a state diner at the Elysee Palace in Paris, France, July 16, 2015.

Peña Nieto, returning from a visit to France, on Friday acknowledged the escape had caused widespread frustration and that the only way to undo the damage was to recapture Guzmán.

Separately, the government said the US had requested the extradition of Guzmán about two weeks before the breakout took place.

That news hinted at a U-turn by the government, because the previous attorney general, Jesus Murillo had said in January the country had no plans to hand him over.

Still, opposition Senator Juan Carlos Romero Hicks said if Mexico did recapture Guzmán, extraditing him would be tantamount to admitting it was incapable of keeping him locked up.

“National sovereignty and national pride are so important … that I doubt the government will do it,” he said.

(Reporting by Dave Graham; Editing by David Gregorio)

NOW WATCH: Here’s the actual security footage of ‘El Chapo’ escaping from his prison cell

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